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Idaho Residents..Hysteria! RE: Wolves

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Idaho Residents..Hysteria! RE: Wolves

Postby madeintahoe » Wed Apr 06, 2011 5:54 pm

I apologize if I should have posted this else where..I felt this was important to post it here!
Do any of you that live in Idaho know what your State is doing in regards to the Gray Wolves? How disrurbing and sad it is to the Wolves that are constantly being blamed for eveything!
I hope I get the link to post
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/42443051
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Re: Idaho Residents..Hysteria! RE: Wolves

Postby climbinmandan » Wed Apr 06, 2011 6:35 pm

You have to understand... the gray wolf is not a native species to Idaho, and since its introduction to our state it has decimated many other native species. Just like any other species, it must be controlled. The Fish and Game of any state monitors populations of most species and gives out a set number of hunting tags in order to manage the wildlife.

Also, there is no false blame being placed upon wolves. Fish and Game researchers monitor herd sizes of all big game animals in Idaho and there is a noticeable change in the elk and mule deer populations. Some estimates by the Idaho Fish and Game state that elk will be nearly extinct in our state within 10 years. In order to be good stewards of nature, we must recognize alarming trends such as this, and work to change them. I'm sorry if the idea of killing things that look like household pets disturbs you, but it is absolutely necessary from an conservationist's perspective.
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Re: Idaho Residents..Hysteria! RE: Wolves

Postby lcarreau » Wed Apr 06, 2011 6:47 pm

I can understand both sides of the issue. But, I'm not sure why people should get "hysterical" over this.

In Arizona, residents always have to deal with wildlife such as javelina going into their yards, which are also NOT native to Arizona.

It's something folks must deal with on a day-to-day basis, and just be happy that "clear minds" will prevail in the end.

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Re: Idaho Residents..Hysteria! RE: Wolves

Postby climbinmandan » Wed Apr 06, 2011 6:50 pm

I agree Larry. The cold, clear fact is that gray wolves are thriving a little too well in Idaho, and the rest of the ecosystem is suffering as a result. By the way, I haven't seen all that much hysteria in Boise. Most people here understand what wildlife management entails.
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Re: Idaho Residents..Hysteria! RE: Wolves

Postby lcarreau » Wed Apr 06, 2011 7:00 pm

climbinmandan wrote:I agree Larry. The cold, clear fact is that gray wolves are thriving a little too well in Idaho, and the rest of the ecosystem is suffering as a result. By the way, I haven't seen all that much hysteria in Boise. Most people here understand what wildlife management entails.


Yeah, but please don't get me wrong. I'm NOT a wildlife manager. There's a lot of controversy involved with being a wildlife manager, just as there's a
lot of controversy involved with being a daytime "talk show" host.

We just need to understand both sides of every coin we find lying in the dirt.

:wink:
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Re: Idaho Residents..Hysteria! RE: Wolves

Postby builttospill » Wed Apr 06, 2011 11:44 pm

climbinmandan wrote:You have to understand... the gray wolf is not a native species to Idaho, and since its introduction to our state it has decimated many other native species. Just like any other species, it must be controlled. The Fish and Game of any state monitors populations of most species and gives out a set number of hunting tags in order to manage the wildlife.

Also, there is no false blame being placed upon wolves. Fish and Game researchers monitor herd sizes of all big game animals in Idaho and there is a noticeable change in the elk and mule deer populations. Some estimates by the Idaho Fish and Game state that elk will be nearly extinct in our state within 10 years. In order to be good stewards of nature, we must recognize alarming trends such as this, and work to change them. I'm sorry if the idea of killing things that look like household pets disturbs you, but it is absolutely necessary from an conservationist's perspective.



I'm curious about where you got your information that wolves are not native to Idaho. I am familiar with the debate about whether they were or were not native to Yellowstone and my understanding was that the evidence was not definitive but that the Dept. of Interior concluded based on the available evidence that they were native to Yellowstone. I don't know of any conclusive studies about Idaho specifically, but I'd be interested to see them, given that my understanding was always that they were native to some parts of Idaho.

I also think the claim that they are decimating other species is a bit overstated. According to Idaho Fish and Game's own website (as of February, 2009): "Elk are managed in 29 zones. In most of those zones, elk numbers are within management objectives. In a few, the numbers are above objectives, and in three zones, numbers are below the objectives."

Source:
http://fishandgame.idaho.gov/apps/releases/view.cfm?NewsID=4775


Here's a slightly more in-depth view from the same Fish and Game dept:

http://fishandgame.idaho.gov/cms/wildlife/manage_issues/ung/elkupdate.cfm

3 management zones are listed as "below management objectives," meaning that survival rates for elk in those zones are below the targets set by wildlife managers. But you'll note wolves are only primarily responsible for the missed target in one zone (Lolo). In Island Park hunting accounts for most of the elk mortality and that zone is below management objectives. In Smokey Mountain (the third zone below management objectives), wolves, cougars and hunters are about equally responsible for elk mortality. So, wolves are basically responsible for elk falling below management objective in one management zone. That doesn't sound like decimation to me. What Fish and Game officials are predicting elk extinction? I'll believe it if you tell me that they have said so to you personally--because I've talked to wildlife managers in Utah, Idaho and Montana and most of them are vehemently anti-wolf--but no reputable, public statement by the department will claim that because there is absolutely zero evidence for the assertion.

I agree that wolf populations should be controlled. But is it surprising that the federal government has not given that responsibility over to state officials, and that environmentalists mostly oppose it?

Leave aside the most recent brouhaha in Idaho. In the past, Gov. Otter has volunteered to be first in line to hunt wolves. In Utah, the guy who would be in charge of "managing" the wolf population if they were delisted has stated that wolves "destroy wildlife." (ignore the fact that wolves ARE wildlife). HE's also said "I just don't want them in Utah."

When I talked to Montana wildlife officials three years ago they seemed downright gleeful at the idea of hunting wolves down to unsustainable levels. It shouldn't be surprising that people who are fairly moderate on most environmental issues are skeptical about the ability of state officials in Idaho, Montana and Wyoming to "manage" wolves with any degree of sustainability in mind. If you really want them delisted and management given to state agencies, your elected officials should tone back the rhetoric and show they can be semi-responsible about the process and maybe people will learn to trust them. To everyone outside of Idaho, most of them look like raving lunatics.
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Re: Idaho Residents..Hysteria! RE: Wolves

Postby builttospill » Wed Apr 06, 2011 11:48 pm

*Sorry, I can get a little stirred up, so I hope I don't come across as too much of an ass. I'd go back and revise but I've got a lot of other work to do--so you'll just have to accept my apology if I come across as a dick.
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Re: Idaho Residents..Hysteria! RE: Wolves

Postby splattski » Wed Apr 06, 2011 11:55 pm

I beg to differ. Wolves are native to Idaho. They brought some of the same species in from Canada, but I'm pretty sure they had green cards.

And there are loads of deer and elk around. But their numbers have fluctuated historically:
http://wallowa.com/special_sections/hun ... c90c7.html
http://www.northernrockieswolves.org/idaho/elk.html

The Idaho legislators are a bunch of idiots. They want to cut medicare (and lose matching federal funds), increase classroom size, and stand for states rights while holding out their hands for federal dollars. Sadly, about half this wolf argument is really about states rights.

There is a very vocal anti-wolf group here. They say wolves are ruining the elk herds. As a sterling example of their concern for wildlife, one of them recently got busted for illegally harvesting trophy elk:
http://voices.idahostatesman.com/2010/1 ... ng_trophy_
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Re: Idaho Residents..Hysteria! RE: Wolves

Postby lcarreau » Thu Apr 07, 2011 12:42 am

builttospill wrote:
To everyone outside of Idaho, most of them look like raving lunatics.



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Re: Idaho Residents..Hysteria! RE: Wolves

Postby climbinmandan » Thu Apr 07, 2011 12:44 am

The information I have is from a few of my good friends who are elk monitors for the Idaho Fish and Game. One of them has recently moved on to big horn sheep, but the other two are still active in the elk side of studies. These studies, which are not published, give evidence to the fact that far fewer elk are reaching adulthood.
So as of now, no, populations are not entirely endangered, but the problem is that the statistics that tell you the current size do not tell you the ages of the herd.

Gray wolves were not IN the state of Idaho until they were introduced in 1995. Determining whether they were originally here many many years ago is just speculation.

I'm definitely not set either way, but I am simply looking at the facts. Elk herds have decreased since their introduction. On top of that ranchers have large amounts of cattle taken down by wolves each year. It's unfortunate, because they were brought here for a specific reason: to save the species. Naturally they brought them to an area where they would have no competition, and now they're the Yankees.
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Re: Idaho Residents..Hysteria! RE: Wolves

Postby lcarreau » Thu Apr 07, 2011 1:04 am

Sorry, I don't live in Idaho.

If the wolves were "introduced," then WHOSE fault is it that they're ranging inside Idaho ??? I guess we can ALL take the blame for this issue and/or problem!

:wink:

And, HOW are you going to FIX a problem that will make EVERYBODY happy ??? ?
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Re: Idaho Residents..Hysteria! RE: Wolves

Postby builttospill » Thu Apr 07, 2011 1:09 am

climbinmandan wrote:These studies, which are not published, give evidence to the fact that far fewer elk are reaching adulthood.
So as of now, no, populations are not entirely endangered, but the problem is that the statistics that tell you the current size do not tell you the ages of the herd.


Sorry, but I have a hard time believing this. The legislators in Idaho have a clear incentive to publish any and all information that would support their argument for delisting wolves or allowing more rigorous management of the wolf population. They would push for publication of studies that exist to this effect.

The Fish and Game folks have a similar incentive. Bureaucracies, in general, want more authority, and certainly the wildlife officials I've talked to at the state level want to manage wolves themselves--whatever their motives are, they want the responsibility.

Given those two facts, I find it implausible that they would sit on evidence of the damage that wolves are doing to elk herds.


climbinmandan wrote:Gray wolves were not IN the state of Idaho until they were introduced in 1995. Determining whether they were originally here many many years ago is just speculation.


I don't understand. Are you saying they weren't in Idaho in 1994? I don't know whether they were or were not--I'm not a wildlife manager. Your claim earlier was that wolves were not native to Idaho, which I dispute. Whether they were present in 1994 or not is irrelevant. Wolves, at one time, roamed Utah, but we know they were not present in Utah in 1998, because they were actively hunted and extirpated prior to that. That is not proof they were not native to the area.

Here is the Dept. of the Interior EIS for the Yellowstone reintroduction which discusses the nativity of wolves in Yellowstone.

[url]westerngraywolf.fws.gov/EIS_1994.pdf[/url]

They cite several studies, only one of which is available online through Google Scholar. The others are probably available through university libraries though. Here's the paragraph where they address this and the studies they cite:

"Impact of wolf recovery on wolves because wolves were not native to Yellowstone National Park. –
Wolves were native to the Yellowstone National park Area, although their historic numbers cannot be
determined. In recent times, wolves were the most widely distributed land mammal in the world next to
humans. Wolves occupied nearly all habitats in the northern hemisphere that contained large
ungulates. In the 1700s, wolves occupied most of North America north of what is now Mexico City.
Recent investigations indicated that wolves were part of the original fauna of the area now containing
Yellowstone National Park from historic times until they were extirpated by humans around 1926. For
references see Koth et al. 1990, Cannon 1992, Laundre’ 1992, Schullery and Whittlesey 1992, and
Kay 1993."

So, if your claim is that they were not present in 1994, then I won't argue. I don't know and I don't particularly care. But that doesn't strike me as particularly convincing evidence that they should not have been reintroduced. If your claim is that they were never present prior to 1995 and are not native to Idaho, then that's a different story, but I don't think that's true. And the evidence linked to above suggests it is not true.
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Re: Idaho Residents..Hysteria! RE: Wolves

Postby splattski » Thu Apr 07, 2011 1:14 am

Gray wolves were in Idaho when Lewis and Clark passed through. They just weren't from Canada, as far as we know.

As far as ranchers, they lose more cows to intestinal problems (16.8%) than to wolves (2.3%). That, and most of those occurred on federal lands that were subsidized by the taxpayers, and then the ranchers were compensated in cash by Defenders of Wildlife.
http://www.peer.org/docs/doj/06_9_5_nass_report.pdf

The most vocal anti-wolf group here are the hunters, who complain that the wolves kill wildlife-- so that there is less for the hunters to kill. How ironic is that?
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Re: Idaho Residents..Hysteria! RE: Wolves

Postby lcarreau » Thu Apr 07, 2011 1:18 am

Intermission ... "YOU can't HANDLE the Truth !!!"

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Re: Idaho Residents..Hysteria! RE: Wolves

Postby climbinmandan » Thu Apr 07, 2011 1:32 am

splattski wrote:Gray wolves were in Idaho when Lewis and Clark passed through. They just weren't from Canada, as far as we know.


You are correct. There were gray wolves. But there are over 20 different species of gray wolves. The breed that Lewis and Clark described was the Rocky Mountain Gray Wolf, which is now extremely endangered and some believe that it is extinct. The difference is that the Canadian Gray Wolf is a very large and very aggressive breed, whereas the Rocky Mountain Gray was an average sized wolf.

builttospill wrote:The Fish and Game folks have a similar incentive. Bureaucracies, in general, want more authority, and certainly the wildlife officials I've talked to at the state level want to manage wolves themselves--whatever their motives are, they want the responsibility.


Well, I'm all for your argument in most cases, but it seems a little cynical for this specific instance. The men that I know who work for the Fish and Game are wildlife enthusiasts who are trying to preserve nature for future generations, not corrupt bureaucrats who seek authority and power wherever they can find it.

The reason that these studies are not published is that the Fish and Game never releases these type of stats immediately. It can take years for studies to be entirely conclusive, so they do not report on them until they are certain that they are not year to year fluctuation. The only thing that they consistently report are the numbers.

Either way, I knew I shouldn't comment on this. For some reason people will defend gray wolves to the death. Beats me. I just happen to have different opinions on our responsibilities as stewards of this earth.
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