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In Court To Argue For Protecting Northern Gray Wolves

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View Brian Smith's blog posts
16 June 2010, 11:54 AM
Fall hunting season looms in northern Rockies

Federal District Court Judge Donald Molloy heard arguments yesterday on whether the federal government's decision to delist wolves in the northern Rockies was illegal. On the line is the ability of Montana and Idaho to allow wolf hunting, which is not permitted when a species is listed as endangered.

Both states allowed hunting of wolves last year. Montana's hunt killed 72 wolves. In Idaho, 188 wolves were killed. Both states intend to set higher wolf hunting quotas this fall in an effort to reduce the size of the wolf population.

In 1974, gray wolves were listed as endangered species. Federal protections for wolves were removed in Montana and Idaho in May 2009, but federal protections were kept in place in Wyoming, a state with laws hostile to wolves.

Earthjustice attorney Doug Honnold argued that the entire northern Rockies wolf population—including Montana, Idaho, and Wyoming—must remain protected under the Endangered Species Act.

The federal government's attorney argued that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is allowed to split a single wolf population along state lines for the purpose of providing differential protections.

At the hearing, Judge Molloy told the government's lawyer, "I understand the practical argument, I understand the political argument. Those two things are very, very clear. But what I don't understand is the legal argument. That's not very clear."

Honnold also challenged the decision by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to declare that the northern Rockies wolf population does not need federal protections so long as there are at least 100 wolves and 10 breeding pairs in each of the three states, even while the agency has said that the Midwest's wolf population requires 1,500 wolves to be considered recovered.

"We hope the Fish and Wildlife Service will go back to the drawing board and come up with something that will work," said Honnold. Judge Molloy stated he would issue a final decision in the case "as quickly as I can." We will keep you updated.

The problem is that the media relies on the Fish and Game's point of view, and the Fish and Game's agenda is to work with any side that will come up with the money to contribute to their organization. I work in research of carnivores such as Wolves. From what I have learned, the Fish and Game will obey by the rules of satisfying anyone that will dish out the money. Last year, they posted a number of negative portrayals on Wolves so that they can satisfy hunters to put more money into the Wolf hunts because they were legal. This year, a week before the ruling, the Fish and Game put out an article stating that Wolves are not the reason as to why a small amunt of areas are losing Elk populations, it is human harvest. Out of the 29 zones researched, 11 of them were overpredated by human hunters in which 4 of those zones lost Elk populations. 6 of those zones were predated upon by Wolves, and 4 by Wolves and Cougars, with the others having no results. In the 4 zones that lost Elk populations, all were due to human harvest and not Wolves and/or Cougars. This was clearly to attract more tourism for the states Wolves. With more tourism, it means money in the back pocket of the Fish and Game. I read a statement from a journalist from Idaho who commented on one of the links to Earthjustice regarding the misrepresentation the Fish and Game has done in regards to Wolves and mentioning that MOST of Idaho citizens do not share the views that hunters and ranchers do. In a research project I did last December on two packs of Wolves in Idaho, we surveyed more then 35 non hunters and ranchers in the area, and ALL stated that hunters are misinforming people on the issue regarding Wolves.

Your blog provided us with valuable information to work with. Each & every tips of your post are awesome. Thanks a lot for sharing. Keep blogging
duty belts

Not one word about the decision to save our wolves. Judge Molloy is certainly taking his sweet time about deciding what he's going to do. It's been a month and he's given his Republic buddies an entire year of slaughtering the wolves. The worst is probably yet to come - I hope I'm wrong. Our beautiful wolves don't deserve this genoicde by trigger-idiots who apparently take their hostilities out on animals since they can't wipe out human populations. We certainly have been disappointed by our government since agencies like Fish and Wildlife Service, EPA and BLM are tools of destruction. President Obama could have ordered Ken Salazar to overturn his (Salazar's) decision to implement Bush's last minute death warrant, but didn't. A champion for the environment; what lies he fed us and what a price we're paying - especially wildlife.

Skye, Your precise wolves are not going to be "wiped out"....! Its "idiots" like you that are turning people against this high maintenance non-threatened non-endangered killer. What stake do you have in any wolf that is not in Yellowstone national park?? Please don't let me hear your babbling "they were here first" & need them for "healthy ecosystem" garbage. The simple fact is that this poor excuse of an animal is high maintenance & the more they continue to move into areas where they are more likely to depredate on live stock and pets, the more animosity you will be seeing against this killer! I was once all for returning them to Yellowstone.....but its "idiots" like you that are turning me and thousands of others against this taxpayers nightmare! I'm going to fight anything doing with wolf expansion - in the name of spending that money on schools & education....... maybe we need to gear that schooling more towards educating disnified people like Skye!

What is the purpose of hunting wolves? They need to be left alone. All wild animal's should be left alone no matter if there on land or in the ocean's. Clean up your act and save the animal's and the planet. If you want fur like what the wolf has make fake fur. STOP THE VIOLENCE TOWARD ALL FISH AND WILDLIFE!!!!!

I hope someone wins something for the Wolves. between the PAWS Act to end Aerial Hunting, and to try and get Federal Protections back for Wolves in The Northern Rockies. It is all Bull-Shit with Politicians catering to idiot scumbags like Idaho Governor Otter, a wolf-killing zealot, and also a card carrying member of THE SAFARI CLUB, who doles out millions of $$$$ to buy Politicians every year, and all these so-called Hunters, who want to kill wolves just for "The Hell Of It". Wolves need protection from dirtbag Human Beings.

when I was a younger women back in 1979 I owned a dog that was three fourth wolf and one quarter malamute. She was the most patient and tolerant being I have ever had the blessings to live with. She lived only 9 years . In those 9 years with her she taught me so much about her wolf ways . They are so social and loving, they have a place in our natural world and I hope we can help them thrive once again.!

Hundreds of years ago people killed wolves to extinction, they killed all our wildlife, they took all the land like they did to the Indians.There is no where near as much wild places as there was thousands of years ago. The least the government should do is keep our wildlife wild and leave them in peace. We owe our wild animals that much. The need to kill things is plain savage and we are not savages. Hunters need to stop being so ignorant and leave the wolves, bears, cougars, and all other animal predators alone. Ranchers need to find solutions to keep wolves from killing there cattle. C'mon people we are in 2010 I'm sure by not with all our smart people and advanced technology we could come up with a solution to keep wolves from killing cattle and sheep. Its an age old question that really should have been solved by now.

How can anybody with any common sense at all consider this ok to do. Wolves deserve to live in peace, and how can they do that, if people like those that are running the U.S. fish and wildlife services in Montana and Idaho keep feeling a need to kill things they don't wanna understand. We don't thin out the human population, and everybody knows that humans are one of the most over-populated species on the planet. So, why does the wolf have to suffer from the over population and some the most "I need to control and kill everything" attitude species on earth.

How can the argument for killing wolves down to 10 breeding pairs have ever been permitted? The facts are obvious to anyone with a brain. 100 individuals is NOT enough to support a genetically healthy population. Look at the midwest! (joke in poor taste, I know). I am thoroughly tired of polititians and their lobbyists changing our laws, based on fake evidence and falsified science. How stupid have Americans become? How scientifically illiterate does one have to be to believe for a second that 100 wolves is enough? Its sickening to think that anyone so stupid is in a position of power in our country.

The federal government is not interested in conserving intact ecosystems, nor in recovering species or ecosystems.
The federal government exists to maximize economic gain within its nation, as states are within their domain, and local governments likewise.
The loudest (that is , money speaks, while little or nothing else does in this culture) voice is the most dangerous to officeholders, who feel their duty is to those who keep them in office, no matter what platitudes they mouth about ideals of any kind.

This nation was founded upon personal economic gain, make no mistake about this.

If you, as I, are concerned about the other beings with whom you share the world, you may have to think and develop a more radical point of view. To the money-minded, predators are either to be pursued for economic gain (the more true adjective is social - money is only an indicator of cultural status in this egregiously exorbitant society), or to be exterminated because they prevent the maximization of personal economic, and therefore social, gain.

No gods separate from the living organisms on the earth itself, reflect the truth of life. We are a fear-filled social primate, with the capacity to kill or lay waste to EVERYTHING which does not contribute to social gain, and most of us do so to one extent or another.

And although I have read Sigurd Olsen with pleasure long ago, one must take issue with his 20th century ideal of "enjoying" the wilderness without fear. Fear is built in to at least mammalian brains and hormonal systems. True enjoyment has to do with experiencing ALL of our capacities: the most well-adjusted of us tend to seek the variety of experience, which must include fear and various catharses that occur from mastering ourselves in stress. Olsen himself went on many adventures since youth; he sought situations containing fear. His essay on encountering 2 wolves on a frozen night was memorable to him, and along with other exciting and mysterious life experience, led him to his preservationist stance.

Moderation means something quite other than what most take it to mean. To step wildly outside the bounds of comfort is rare. Hunters do not do so - they carry the most distantly lethal of weapons, preventing themselves from experiencing real fear at all. A mild rush as they kill anything is all they experience. That rush is the quelling of their fear when an animal is about as distant or dangerous as it were caged or restrained.

There exists in social psychology a well-supported theory called cognitive dissonance theory.
It points out that new ideas or beliefs are generally in line with older or deeply-held beliefs.
We are resistant to truly changing our mind, and ignore or discount information and evidence which shows us wrong. To kill a predator in this culture is a self-righteous act, and only thoughts in line with that self-rioghteousness will be entertained. of such value is the rational mind.

As long as that man pictured is alive, he will believe in the rightness and worth of his act. Even so-called conservationists are such because they have agendas. Almost no person will live and let live other species. Do you pull "weeds?"

I note this site removes paragraphs and spaces, which would make the above far more easily read.

Hopefully, Judge Mollory will do the right thing this time and restore the wolves to protected status. Heavy fines and jail time must be implemented, as we know too many people will still go after our wolves. We must also send a strong message to Pres. Obama and Scty. Salazar that we won't tolerate this kind of "rubber stamping" again. The wolves are a marvelous symbol of strength and beauty of this country. Power, greed and ignorance is running rampant in this country. American, what has happend to us?

Why doesn't Fish and Wildlife go to the Gulf and protect the Bayous and wildlife
and leave the Wolves alone? What benefit is gained by shooting them but
the perpetuation of the bloody violence in our species?

"We still do not realize that today we can enjoy the wilderness without fear, still do not appreciate the part that predators play in the balanced ecology of any natural community. We seem to prefer herds of semi-domesticated deer and elk and moose, swarms of small game with their natural alertness gone. It is as though we were interested in conserving only a meat supply and nothing of the semblance of the wild." Sigurd F. Olson.

Why is it so hard for the Federal Government to keep WOLVES protected? Their value has been established. We have so many short-sighted politicans and greedy politicans that our government is the enemy of the people now rather than working for the people. We, the people, want all wolves protected, no matter what state they are in and the crime of killing a wolf for SPORT should have a $10,000 fine and at least a one-year MANDATORY jail term. The only thing people seem to understand is getting in their wallets and taking their freedom.

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