Skip to comments.No agreement over conflicting wolf rulings
Posted on 11/24/2010 11:43:14 AM PST by jazusamo
While one conservationist sees room to negotiate, two hunters disagree.
Two seemingly contradictory wolf decisions from two U.S. District Court judges in Wyoming and Montana indicate that it is time to move the wolf debate out of the courts, the head of a regional conservation group said Tuesday.
The decisions also show that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has not done a very good job in terms of keeping up with its legal responsibilities, Greater Yellowstone Coalition executive director Mike Clark said.
At issue are rulings from U.S. District Court judges Donald Molloy, of Missoula, Mont., and Alan B. Johnson, from Cheyenne.
Molloy said the government was wrong to remove federal protection from the wolf in Montana and Idaho but not from Wyoming.
Johnson then said the governments rejection of Wyomings wolf plan a foundation of the Malloy ruling was improper and must be reconsidered.
Both judges have said the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service needs to clean up their act, Clark said. They seem, on the one hand, to be politically different, but they are both saying shape up.
Were still hopeful that all of us can step back from this and begin talking about whats happening on the ground instead of having to use the courts, Clark continued. Its time for all of us to ... have some dialogue. The wolves are here to stay. The question is what number of wolves will people tolerate.
Not everybody is amenable to talks outside the courtroom, however.
Those type of negotiations are out the window, Kelly outfitter B.J. Hill said.
Theyve lost their credibility with the folks, Hill said of conservation groups. You do not negotiate with an environmental greenie. If you want to play, you play hardball.
The conflicting rulings could lead to even more legal wrangling, Bob Wharff, Wyoming executive director for Sportsmen for Fish and Wildlife, said. If Congress doesnt intervene, he warned, the case will likely get bogged down in courts for years.
Now youve got two different rulings from two different circuits, which means its probably going to go all the way to the Supreme Court, he said. Weve been saying the only solution is a congressional one. The system has just flat not worked.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is likely to wait until Congress decides the fate of several pending bills that would put wolf management in control of the states before it takes steps to reconsider Wyomings wolf management plan, as ordered by the most recent court decision, Clark said. In the meantime, he continues to look at the existing situation.
Livestock depredation rates didnt increase until 2007, when the wolf population was about 1,500 animals, Clark said.
We know the system will support 1,200 to 1,500 wolves, he said.
Hunting could be an option once Idaho, Montana and Wyoming agree on a comprehensive strategy that would remove wolves from Endangered Species Act protection while ensuring a healthy population into the future, Clark continued.
If Wyoming would modify its [wolf management plan] so its not so onerous, then there would be some room for agreement.
Conservationists have criticized Wyoming for forging a plan for minimal wolf numbers that would classify them as predators, which could be killed at any time and by any means, across more than 80 percent of the state.
Hill said the political baggage over wolves has tainted the issue.
I have three boys, he said. I would have liked to see if they could have learned to like that animal.
Were not against predators, he said. Were against the politics of the predators.
The Johnson ruling is both a victory and a loss, Hill said.
We ended up winning the lawsuit, but, having said that, we would have liked [U.S. District Court Judge from Wyoming] Alan Johnson to delist these wolves and remove federal protection, he said.
If I had a magic wand, I would turn it trophy [game] statewide, Hill continued. Im in Pacific Creek Wyoming wolf central but I would not go against my allies to force the wolf on the state.
Wharff said Judge Johnsons decision is a vindication.
Its something we felt all along, that Wyomings plan was biologically and scientifically sound, he said. There is a burden that is borne by the sportsmen and the agricultural community.
For now, Johnsons decision doesnt affect wolf management, Jenny Harbine, staff attorney for Earthjustice, an conservation law firm, said.
Wolves on the ground are still subject to [Endangered Species Act] protections, she said. Not only in Wyoming, but in Montana and Idaho as well. The Wyoming courts decision does not change that.
Wyomings Governor-elect Matt Mead said he hasnt had time to read the lawsuit, but he said Johnsons decision is a good first step.
I thought Wyomings plan was the right way to go. It was based upon science, he said. This plan that Wyoming has was originally signed off on by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service as an appropriate plan.
State officials were also pleased by the ruling.
We havent had a chance to review the entire ruling yet, Wyoming Game and Fish spokesman Eric Keszler said. However, we have been saying for a long time that Wyomings wolf management plan is sufficient to maintain a recovered population of wolves in northwest Wyoming. This decision would seem to support that.
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service officials would not comment directly on the decision.
We know the system will support 1,200 to 1,500 wolves,
Who cares what the system will support, that doesn't mean they should let the numbers get that high. Set the minimum number lower and keep them there like WY wants to do by classifying them as predators.
Wolves are spectacular animals and I’m glad they’re back. Farmers and ranchers simply need to get Great Pyrennes livestock guardian dogs. I have two of them. Trust me, they can take out wolves, coyotoes, just about anything.
They are one of the oldest breeds and very close genetically to wolves.
Just because they’re spectacular animals doesn’t mean we need them in numbers the enviro nazis want in the lower 48 states.
Wolves take a heavy toll on game animals and the enviros and anti-hunting crowd know it. The less game animals could mean the demise of hunting which is what those groups are after.
As someone who lives in Wyoming and has seen the Moose/Elk populations suffer as direct result of the wolves, I will guarantee that the ultimate goal of the pro wolf crowd is the end hunting. There can be no other reason for the “needed” number of wolves to keep increasing. Everyone needs to remember the three S’s Shoot Shovel & Shut up!
I hear you and I’m sick that OR and WA are letting wolves get a foothold in the Eastern part of the states. It won’t be too long until they’ll be in the Cascades and parts in between, most all of which is good hunting country now.
You don’t know what you are talking about.
Great Pyrennes my aching *ss.
My Idaho neighbor has a Great Pyrennes-—nice enough dog, by the way-—and when my neighbor was fool enough to drag a roadkill deer into his yard (don’t even ask me why) a small pack of coyotes showed up for the carcass and the neighbor’s wife called me hysterically to come over and shoot them (husband was at work) before they killed poor Buddy, the not so Great Pyrennes.
These were coyotes, genius. Four scraggly coyotes.
The wolves we are talking about are huge and ferocious and bloodthirsty. Your stupid dog would end up not in their gene pool but in their turd pile.
Put down your Sierra Club magazine and wake the hell up.
p.s. The wolves aren’t “back” either. The brutes they transplanted out here aren’t even the same freaking species as the ones we had deservedly killed off decades ago.
p.p.s. Your spectacular wolves out here have also killed 15 or 20 thousand-—yes, thousand!-—elk over the past several years, as well as innumerable other game animals. Are the elk supposed to order up a guard dog too? What idiocy....
Thanks to you both. It seems Peter isn’t interested in taking the discussion further.
Yes and they’re also getting a foothold in Utah.
Check the record, and you will find that wolves can and do kill Great Pyrennes.
“Wolves are spectacular animals and Im glad theyre back.” is easy for you to say, but you do not have to live with wolves or suffer the dangers and financial disasters a pack of wolves can inflict on humans. Oh, and don’t forget wolves eat humans, after ripping them apart alive.
“Spectacular” can be deadly, and wolves are. All large bodied predators used to regularly kill and eat humans. Only gunpowder changed large bodied predator behavior. Then, enviro-socialists removed the Natural Right of man to self defense when the Endangered Species Act was passed. Beasts could then kill humans, but humans could not kill beasts.
Wolves tend to start the meal before the guest of honor at the wolf feast was dead. That is because they often are too small to quickly kill their prey. Therefore they hamstring dinner and eat it alive, one bite of flesh ripped out of the prey animal at a time.
Rip! Gulp! Rip! Gulp!
That is where the term “beastly behavior” came from.
Scouts Out! Cavalry Ho!
Amen to that, good post.
The original number everyone agreed on was 300 wolves in the Northern Rockies, all the turkey's forgot about that in a hurry.
We already have big cats here but nobody will talk about it publicly.
Bring it on. I’m ready.
I can post story after story of Great Pyrs taking out coyotes AND wolves.