Gray Wolf (Canis lupis) [USF&WS Photo]
Today, Idaho and their Governor Butch Otter, along with some of their Fish and Game Department officials, are to wolf reestablishment and conservation, as Alabama and Bull Conner were to desegregation and the struggle for the rights of African Americans during the 1960's civil rights campaigns. The applicable words in this instance are ecological bigotry, as opposed to racial bigotry, and the motivation is the political support and special interest economic gain of hunters and the ranching industry.
You may remember the history, from the early 20th century, of the extermination of wolves, and the war by stockmen and the government on other predators as well:
U.S. Department of Agriculture Year Book for 1920
“Evidence that Uncle Sam’s Hunters Get results” U.S. Department of Agriculture Year Book for 1920
For more background please read:
THURSDAY, DECEMBER 6, 2007
Wolves, Prison Labor, NPR
Idaho's political leaders, in an effort to please livestock producers and hunters, have to date encouraged the killing 290 wolves since they allowed the hunting of wolves with gun and trap. Unfortunately, wolf OR 9, from the travel oriented family of wolves called the Imnaha Pack, in North Eastern Oregon, made the mistake of crossing the Snake River into Idaho, and ultimately encountered one of the West's, in my opinion, ecologically ignorant, and culturally damaged coyote "hunters," who was out entertaining himself during a day dedicated to the pursuit of bloodsport killing. He ended up with a " trophy."
The photo of the hunter and his trophy in the following article says it all--how proud he was to have drained the life out of an Oregon endangered species--and with an expired wolf tag no less. [The human species Homo sapiens contains two major subspecies; Homo sapiens ssp. hypocritcus and Homo sapiens ssp. desructivus--this one appears to be destructivus, but could be a hybrid betwen the two, like Governor Otter.]:
The photo at the Wallowa County Chieftain ( now 2nd link below) has apparently been taken down, but you can still (2/22/12) find it here:
Birds & Wolves post with with OR 9 and the hunter who killed him.
Idaho hunter shoots former Imnaha Pack wolf
Male wolf OR-9 from Imnaha pack killed by Idaho hunter with expired tag
Published: Friday, February 10, 2012, 1:22 PM Updated: Friday, February 10, 2012, 1:48 PM
And, more importantly:
Idaho hunter kills the brother of famous wolf that wandered to California
Submitted by Rocky Barker on Fri, 02/10/2012 - 4:31pm, updated on Fri, 02/10/2012 - 4:36pm
But the officer let the hunter off with a warning after checking out his story, said Mike Keckler, Fish and Game communications chief. All he would have had to do was buy a new tag when he brought the wolf in, though it would be illegal.
“He could have done that and we’d have never known,” Keckler said to justify the officer’s decision.
We all know that laws are sometimes, or is that often, selectively enforced. What would happen to a hard-pressed poor person if they had taken a deer or elk with an expired tag? Well, you know. . . .
Here is an Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife (ODFW) video of the Imnaha pack from Nov. 12, 2009. OR 9 is likely one of the young wolves seen in this video.
Imnaha Wolf Pack
Video shows 10 wolves in the Imnaha pack-
A video taken by ODFW on Nov. 12, 2009 in the Imnaha Wildlife Management Unit (east of Joseph, Ore. in Wallowa County) shows at least 10 wolves make up a pack that ODFW has been monitoring since June 2008. The video was taken from an adjacent ridge across a canyon and shows a mixture of gray and black individual wolves moving upslope.
Here is a short video clip of another Imnaha pack wolf, OR 3, who dispersed into areas where wolves are Federally protected, north of Prineville, OR, but to the best of my knowledge, has not been located for a few months. This wolf may be dead too.
Short Clip of Or-3
Imnaha 3-year-old male wolf, May 2011
Now Idaho is considering a bill that would escalate the level of their war on wolves:
Idaho rancher's bill would OK untralights, use of live bait for wolf control
BOISE, Idaho —
. . . .
Under Sen. Jeff Siddoway's plan introduced Thursday, ranchers whose livestock are molested or killed by wolves could employ powered parachutes, as well as traps baited with live animals, to target the predators within 36 hours without a permit.
After that, they could get permits giving them up to 60 days to pursue offending wolf packs.
Idaho now allows gunners aboard powered parachutes to shoot foxes and coyotes.
But shooting wolves from ultralights is forbidden, with wolves classified as big game.
. . . .
Beastly bingo: Bills allowing wolf killing, defining dangerous dogs and establishing felony animal cruelty offense introduced
Submitted by Dan Popkey on Thu, 02/09/2012 - 8:47am, updated on Thu, 02/09/2012 - 8:49am
Idaho is one of three states without a felony animal cruelty statute, but the livestock industry has so far rebuffed efforts to toughen the law. In 2010, a felony cruelty bill passed the Senate 34-1 but died in a House Committee.
. . . .
Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Jeff Siddoway, a Republican sheep rancher from Terreton, authored the bill that would make it easier for a rancher to kill wolves after an attack on his flock.
Siddoway began by declaring a conflict of interest, . . . .
Wolf hunt numbers up; state wants them higher-- Wildlife officials say further control needed
. . . . [Idaho] Department Deputy Director Jim Unsworth said the agency is still worried about wolves in the Lolo zone in northern Idaho.(Several of the articles above came to me via Wally Sykes at Northeast Oregon Ecosystems.)
"We are still having excess mortality on cow elk up there," Unsworth said. "We need to reduce wolf populations."
Cow and calf mortality rates in that region stand at roughly 20 percent, most of which has been from wolf predation, Unsworth said. He said he'd like to reduce that rate to 10 percent from all causes, including other predators such as mountain lions.
. . . .
Garrick Dutcher, program manager for wolf advocacy group Living With Wolves, said the control actions might not have the desired effect. Dutcher argued that predator populations respond to prey populations, rather than the other way around. In other words, fewer wolves doesn't mean more elk.
In Yellowstone National Park, a reintroduced population of wolves grew rapidly as it fed on an "out-of-control" elk population.
"In the park, the wolf population peaked at 174," he said. "Now it's down to 90-something. Now that they have picked off all the easy elk, the wolf population has leveled out.". . . .
OK. So now, with the wolves back, nature has taken its course, and the ecosystem can begin to recover from misguided human "management."
Some ask how wolf restoration and conservation leads to healthy ecosystems. The two videos and two articles below provide some answers.
Lords of Nature - Trailer
Please See Also:
Predators, Bill Ripple
And the many educational links at:
Trophic Cascades in Terrestrial Ecosystems
Linking Wolves and Plants: Aldo Leopold on Trophic Cascades
And, from Defenders of Wildlife;
Will You Pay for Idaho's Aerial Wolf Kills?
Idaho officials want to recklessly gun down wolves from aircraft -- and they want you to pay for it.
State officials want the Department of Agriculture's Wildlife Services to track down and kill up to two thirds of wolves in northeast Idaho. It's an unscientific plan aimed at artificially boosting big game populations.
Already, nearly 62,000 Defenders' supporters have urged President Obama not to use federal resources to carry out Idaho's misguided wolf cull.
Louise du Toit - Ode to the Wolves - Wolf Paintings by Vincent A Kennard