With wolf management back in the news in Idaho, we asked Bruskotter to provide some national perspective on the long process of reintroduction and delisting that is still underway, focusing on  popular opinion in Idaho and in the rest of the country and the psychological factors behind management.  — Eds.

Wolf management in the United States is contentious — and it seems especially so in Idaho. One need only read the comments section following any news story about wolves to learn how much opponents and advocates differ on wolf management policy. On one side are people who oppose lethal harvest of wolves; on the other are those who oppose any restrictions on hunting and trapping. Yet, while there is little question that debate about wolves is polarized, less is known regarding how widespread these conflicting attitudes are, how Idaho residents’ attitudes compare with the rest of the nation or how people come to hold these attitudes. Empirical data on these topics is sparse, but enough exists for us to begin to address some of the questions people raise regarding wolves and wolf management policy.

ATTITUDES TOWARD WOLVES IN IDAHO AND BEYOND

Research on attitudes toward wolves in the northern Rockies emerged in the late 1980s, as the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service considered whether to restore wolves to the greater Yellowstone ecosystem. A 1987 study that assessed attitudes toward wolves and their restoration across the Northern Rockies found that more than half of Idaho residents exhibited positive attitudes toward wolves (53 percent positive, 12 percent negative) and wolf reintroduction (57 percent supported, 27 percent opposed). Attitudes toward wolf reintroduction were slightly more favorable among Idaho residents than those expressed by residents of adjacent Wyoming (49 percent supported, 35 percent opposed) and Montana (44 percent supported, 40 percent opposed).

This result mirrors the findings of a national study conducted a few years prior that found that 50 percent of residents of the Rocky Mountains expressed positive attitudes toward wolves, while 30 percent disliked wolves. However, in contrast with widespread public perception, the same study also found that attitudes toward wolves were more positive among residents of Rocky Mountain states (50 percent) than the country in general (42 percent).

These studies indicate that wolves were controversial and attitudes polarized before the reintroduction began. So what about now? Just how polarized is the wolf issue? A 2007 survey of 421 Idaho, Montana and Wyoming residents living within wolf range found that one in four non-hunters opposed all hunting of wolves, while roughly one in six opposed any limitations on the hunting of wolves. Among hunters, one in 15 opposed all hunting of wolves, while more than half (55 percent) opposed any restrictions on wolf hunts. Such polarization creates problems for wildlife managers.

Under prevailing legal doctrine, states claim ownership of wildlife on behalf of their citizens and are supposed to manage wildlife populations for all of their citizens. How is the state to implement acceptable wolf management policy when there is such disagreement about what policies are acceptable?

HAVE ATTITUDES TOWARD WOLVES CHANGED?

wolf graffiti

Rick Hobson / Flickr
Wolf graffiti in Boise.

There is little data to directly address the question of whether/how attitudes in Idaho have changed, as researchers failed to replicate study questions and methods from prior studies. Researchers who have examined attitude change regarding wolves in the U.S. have come to mixed conclusions. A meta-analysis of studies conducted through 2000 concluded that attitudes toward wolves had remained relatively stable and (slightly) positive. For a summary of survey data on wolves from 1972-2000, see Williams, et al, in Wildlife Society Bulletin 30(2)That study found that, across the U.S. West roughly 57 percent of people were positive towards wolves or wolf reintroduction. Likewise, a study of Utahans that I helped conduct found attitudes were consistent over a roughly 10-year time period (from 1994-2003); that study found 70 to 74 percent of Utah residents expressed positive attitudes toward wolves. Moreover, attitudes in Utah were stable among both urban and rural residents as well as hunters.

This finding is not universal, however. Research from Sweden indicates that hunters’ attitudes toward wolves became more negative after roughly a quarter century of living with wolves. Similarly, research from Wisconsin found that people who resided in wolf range became more negative toward wolves over a 5 to 8 year time period. While the bulk of the existing data suggest that attitudes toward wolves have remained stable across recent decades, they also suggest that the attitudes of those people living among wolves and those who feel they are negatively impacted by wolves (e.g., hunters) can become more negative.

WHAT DETERMINES TOLERANCE FOR WOLVES?

Theory and research on risk perception provides a convenient lens through which to interpret research on attitudes toward wolves. Research on a variety of hazards indicates that perceptions of risks and benefits associated with hazards tend to drive acceptance of hazards. See work by Michael Siegrist, a psychologist with the Western Institute for Social Research at Western Washington University in Bellingham. Thus, people who perceive high risks (or costs) associated with wolves and low benefits would be expected to show little tolerance for the species. While this research suggests that people make such decisions through a kind of rational, cost-benefit analysis, the weighing of risk/cost and benefit is not equal — that is, perceptions of benefits tend to have a greater influence on the acceptability of a hazard than perceptions of risk/cost.

A recent study I co-authored that investigated acceptance (or tolerance) of wolves found exactly this — people’s intentions to take actions for and against wolf recovery were largely explained by the benefits — not the risks associated with those species. K. M. Slagle, J. T. Bruskotter, R. S. Wilson, The Role of Affect in Public Support and Opposition to Wolf Management. Human Dimensions of Wildlife 17, 44 (2012). As the perceived benefits associated with wolves increased, people expressed a greater willingness to take supportive action; as they decreased, people showed a greater willingness to take intolerant actions.

But does this represent a “rational” weighing of the evidence? The data suggests not. Perceptions of both risks and benefits associated with wolves were strongly associated with one’s emotional reaction toward wolves; as people reacted more negatively, perceptions of benefits decreased and perceptions of risks increased (and vice-versa). And interestingly, this relationship held true whether one opposed wolves or supported them. Thus, while the data supports the notion that wolf supporters (to paraphrase) “base their judgments on emotion,” the same holds for wolf opponents.

WHAT’S WRONG WITH WOLF MANAGEMENT IN IDAHO?

Recently, Idaho Fish and Game (IDFG) Director Virgil Moore observed that the department’s decision to kill two packs of wolves in the Frank Church wilderness was “more a philosophical and social issue” as opposed to a biological issue. I would agree with that statement with just a slight amendment: The question of how to manage wolves is philosophical (insomuch as there is no objectively “correct” answer), but how one answers the question has both social and biological implications.

On the social side, how we choose to manage wolves is an expression of the value we associate with this species. The IDFG’s aggressive approach to wolf management, paired with consistent disparaging rhetoric from state politicians, suggests that those with authority over wildlife do not value wolves in the least. These actions call into question Idaho’s intentions regarding wolves and their commitment to long-term conservation of the species, as I argued recently in the Wildlife Society Bulletin.

Collectively, their actions appear designed to appease the most vocal opponents of wolves. While this may be a good short-term strategy for politicians, it comes with a substantial long-term risk — specifically, the potential of alienating “non-consumptive” wildlife stakeholders (i.e., those who do not hunt or fish, but are passionate about conservation). Long-term trends suggest participation in hunting is declining, while participation in non-consumptive activities, such as birding, is exploding. It is likely that long-term conservation of our wildlife resources will require the concerted efforts of both hunting and non-hunting conservationists (whom agencies are desperately courting), yet Idaho’s aggressive pursuit of lethal wolf management is likely to keep these interests apart, and could sow distrust for decades to come.

On the biological side, research has demonstrated a myriad of beneficial ecological impacts associated with the presence of top carnivores, including wolves (see especially research by William J. Ripple and Robert L. Beschta at Oregon State University’s Department of Forest Ecosystems and Society). Their  recent review article suggests that the very industries often thought to be hurt by the presence of large carnivores, can be positively impacted as well:

“Large carnivores help reduce disease prevalence in ungulate prey populations, thereby mitigating agricultural costs because of spillover effects on domestic livestock… counter intuitively, large carnivores may also provide crucial services for the very industry they are perceived to be at most in conflict with: pastoralism. By limiting the density of wild herbivores and promoting productivity, large carnivores may enable pastoral activities that are sustainable…” — W.J. Ripple, et al., “Status and Ecological Effects of the World’s Largest Carnivores,” Science 343 (January 10, 2014).

This brings us back around to the idea of benefits, and in particular, how the ecological effects of large carnivores are perceived by different individuals. To ecologists and many supporters of wolves, the effects associated with large carnivores amount to important ecological benefits that are not monetized in any existing industry. But to some hunters, the idea that elected officials should allow predators to limit the number of elk and deer is tantamount to treason; any limitation on ungulate hunting opportunity is perceived as a cost. Correction (1/23/14): An earlier version of this post misidentified Virgil Moore. He is the director of IDFG.

These differences in perception help explain why wolf management — including the current issue regarding shooting wolves in the wilderness — is so controversial. Elk hunting opportunities in Idaho abound, and those benefits are accrued by hunters across the state and beyond. But accruing the ecological “benefits” associated with wolves will require people to allow them to reach densities where they can provide that function. Idaho’s approach to wolf management sends a message that such benefits are unwelcome — even in a federally-designated wilderness.

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The views and opinions expressed here are those of the writer and do not necessarily reflect those of Boise State University or the School of Public Service.

  • 123tl78

    Evidence that the needs of the minority trophy hunters are getting to run the show in Idaho. So some trophy hunters have to actually put in some effort to hunt Elk and the solution is to kill two packs of wolves? Unbelievable disregard for other people’s concerns and the importance that predators play in nature. Just unbelievable that the government is leaving the mismanagement of predators to the minority trophy hunters and some livestock owners who are unwilling to coexist with predators. At least with federal protection there is the understanding that animals don’t recognize boundaries of states. The predators go where the prey go. The predators kill the diseased prey whereas the trophy hunter kills the healthy prey. The predators would love to stay away from us if we let them. They aren’t attacking little children either. The fact that the last time the predators were hunted to near extinction and the prey populations exploded carrying disease and over grazing plants and trees and they actually had to be culled is indication of how dangerous it is to leave wildlife management in the wrong hands. The wolves reintroduced to Yellowstone have shown that predators restore the native plants and trees and keep the prey populations in check and kill the diseased prey and it also brings in new wildlife that left when the overpopulated prey animals ate everything up leaving nothing for other animals. Trapping that makes an animal suffer is another issue in this day and age that needs to be addressed also. Times are changing. Ethical hunting using a kill shot for food is one thing but anything else that makes an animal suffer or kills off animals to please a minority group needs to be discussed. Tourists who pay a lot of money to view wildlife alive should also have a say in these issues.

    • Guest

      Traps pose a risk to all animals and they should be destroyed on sight

      • Mandy Sue

        I learned from the book “Wolfer” that if you pee on traps, wolves will stay away. And yes, it’s unbelievable that states, which clearly have a conflict of interest, are now entrusted to “manage” wolves — when the states make money on the sale of hunting licenses. And ranchers have money to contribute to legislators, to do the ranchers’ bidding.

        Idaho is particularly depraved, touting wolf-killing contests as fun for the kids, too. I’m shaking my head how hateful they’ve become, and they’ve always ben that way. Yes, Idaho has gotten much worse than wolves have been delisted — another reason why they need federal protections.

        Those hunters and trappers and shooters are killing their own souls whether they know it or not. I’m glad we have good people working to protect the very symbol of the American West. Teddy Roosevelt would come back and kick their asses if he could.

  • Lepus Timidus

    If trophy hunters are reluctant to put some effort in actually getting an elk, why don’t they just hunt within fenced areas. I am sure we could arrange places where they could get their damn trophies quickly so that the rest of us could experience some kind of functional nature. I thought that hunting was a way to live, kind of a quest. At least that’s what many pretends. But oviously, it has to be easy otherwise they keep complaining. Please, do not justify hunting by anything else than a personal goal. Hunters have had no functional role in ecosystems whatsoever. At most, they mimic natural processes that they themselves extirpated… To me the need of hunting for ecosystem balance is lilke someone spilling sewage on the ground and saying “look I am necessary to clean it”!

    • Rork1

      People alive today didn’t spill that sewage, and in some cases it wasn’t even hunters (were market hunters, and fur trappers of old even “hunters”), but rather livestock farmers, and it was often 100 years ago. Where I am (lower MI) and many other places deer hunters are currently necessary. Imagining we can have predator densities (in unspecified future time) high enough to dispense with hunting seems utopian in many places – though moving in that direction is welcome. We also use recreational hunters and anglers as sources of funds, some of which is used to reverse problems caused by human pressures having nothing to do with hunting (like reestablishing wetlands). It is possible to create recreational hunting opportunities that do little harm, like Saint Aldo’s prescriptions to improve cover on farmland to create more upland birds. We permit football fields and even golf course despite some environmental costs. I think you know all of these things.

      • Lepus Timidus

        Well, that sounds as a pretty biased way to consider the effects of trophy hunting on the environment… My key message here is that nature does not need hunters to take care of itself. This is an extremely arrogant and anthropocentric approach to ecosystem functioning. I can understand why people wants to believe that nature needs us, but that’s not really how things work. The problem is that many people, especially hunters, consider the nature as their backyard. I could agree with you that many ecosystem disruptions originated long ago, yet, hunters are good at keeping bad habits… I hope you know all these things too 😉

      • Lepus Timidus

        By the way, when you say wetland restoration has nothing to do with hunting… Well, I am pretty sure a lot of hunters engage in wetland “restoration” or rather duck restoration but I doubt it is for the seek of functional wetlands. Also when you mention the deer problem… What happens if hunters stop feeding or “improving” habitats for deer (you are aware that thousands of hunters improve their so-called backyards to have more deer right?) + give some rest to coyotes + support wolf functional role? I guess a lot of trouble would be resolved… But this would be too simple and this would show nature does not collapse without them. So, they found a great alternative: let’s increase artificially the deer population, control coyotes, fight wolves, and keep complainng that deer are too numerous so it becomes obvious the society needs us. (additionally let’s put some water in a dirty hole that we will call a restored wetland just to make us conservationists)

        • Rork1

          I was saying the loss of wetlands was not caused by hunters (but restoring is a goal, and functional wetlands with ground water recharge is a benefit to more than just hunters).
          Not shooting down the deer near me would create disaster very quickly – it’s degrading the environment even at current levels. I need practical solutions now. Coyotes now helping, but not helping enough. This is not true everywhere, and there’s danger of overmanaging like a game farm, but you are being over the top trying to essentially say hunters never helped anywhere, ever.

          You sound like good deeds are judged only by who did them. Results, not intentions, are what I care about.

          • Lepus Timidus

            I am not saying hunters do not help. I am just saying that they clean part of the mess they are also responsible for. In addition, large carnivores would just do the job better… So I am in favor of natural processes over the hunting lobby.

    • Levi

      And yet you would deem feesable the fencing of wildlife for hunting? Just lock up some animals with no availability of escape so that your wolf can run free. Sounds like a great plan.Hunting was probably a large source of food for your ancestors for many generations. You need a wolf for a functional nature? I must have missed that day in Biology Then write about wolves. How much money have you paid into managing our nature? How many hours of labor have you given to improving wildlife habitat? Don’t bash something you know little about. All those roads you drive through nature were probably built by loggers, and the nature you enjoy funded by hunters. Facts my friend. What monies do you think manage wildlife? Hunting fees. No wonder this country is going to shit. Too many whiny little idiots thinking they know it all.

      • Lepus Timidus

        Well, you have missed the point here. But that’s ok, management is almost a religion. I suppose you have faith in the so-called wildlife management. It is ok, but just for you to know, it is a disease. The good thing about it: you can treat it. You just have to realize nature takes care of itself. Well, carnivores are important in the ecosystems and wolves are the primary large carnivores in NA. Did you also miss that point in Biology? Probably, you should have opened a single textbook. I agree that having carnivores does not guarantee a functional ecosystem, BUT it is part of it (did you also miss that part?). Funny when you ask whether it is feasible to fence wildlife. Have you ever been to Texas or South Africa? Maybe you missed that part too. I am not saying I like the way it is done. But I would be in favor of hunters keeping their religion within fenced areas, so that they can stop management and so-called habitat improvement outside them. That’s funny you mention habitat improvement as a positive thing. Did you even realize that when you improve habitat for some species, you degrade it for others? Maybe you also missed that part. Or probably that’s because outside white-tailed, elk and ducks, there are little species you care about (why would you if you cannot eat them ?!?). Anyway, that’s funny as a comment. I argue against wildlife management, and you reply without hunters there is no wildlife management…fine, great!

        • Levi

          I suppose you would bring back the dinosaurs too if you could. Maybe we could have a little granola management. Lol. I was born in IDAHO. I live in IDAHO. I speak for IDAHO conservation. I don’t agree with high fence hunting. IDAHO does not have high fence hunting. You try to segregate hunters as a single entity of people who all think the exact same. As a whole you will not find a larger group of people more passionate about the outdoors and the wildlife that coincides there. We spend the most time in it. We spend the most money taking care of it. I never said without hunters there is no management, I said they provide the funding for the majority of it.Tell me what species we have impacted negatively by improving habitat for others? And yes, large carnivores are needed to sustain a balanced eco-system, but not in the numbers they have evolved into. We also have coyotes, bobcats, mountain lions, and bears. (They are large carnivores as well). You do realize there Lepus, that YOUR habitat was improved at the cost of some critters as well. You don’t see hunters spending countless hours blogging about it. There is no perfect solution but despite all your ranting and raving there will always be hunters. Mankind has been hunting since its earliest existence. Had you grew up in the country where McDonalds and Chick-fil-la were not around the corner, you would probably be a little more educated in common sense. Your precious wolves and almost every species known are hunters. We do not need wolves to manage our ecosystem. It survived just fine without them for many years.

          • Guest

            Wolves will manage the ecosystem. Accept that. You rednecks are in invasive species. Wolves are the apex predator and its their job to manage the elk, deer, and moose you clueless ignorant redneck.

          • Levi

            I didn’t realize that they took away our tags to kill wolves?? I also didn’t realize our hunting rights were taken away and we can no longer kill, deer, elk, and moose. Fortunately humans are considered in the animal planet and we are actually the apex predator. Probably not a sissy, liberal like you, but real men are. I’d love to meet you in person to discuss this. Where are you from by the way?

          • Guest

            No, you are a coward that needs a gun to kill. The wolf is the top apex predator that will manage the elk, deer, and moose all year round from here on out. You lost you anti-wildlife terrorist.

          • Guest

            It does not matter what you rednecks need. The fact is wolves are back and elk, deer, and moose will be managed by them, year round you redneck. You lost you anti-wildlife terrorist.

          • Dvm. Demelow

            Wolves hunt to survive. Stupid rednecks like you hunt for the fun of it. Stop trying to make yourself seem like you’re in the hunter-gatherer age where you HAVE to kill to survive. Killing ANYTHING from a distance with a high powered rifle for the thrill of it is cowardly and not healthy human behavior, regardless of what arguments you can come up with. Wolves are back, deal with it.

          • Levi

            I actually kill my prey from within 30 yards with a bow and arrow. Most shots being within 10 yards. The majority of my meat intake is venison. Who are you to speak of healthy human behavior?? Are you god now too?

          • Mandy Sue

            Well said, Demelow.

          • Lepus Timidus

            No, I would bring back only species we made recently extinct, and which are still extant. Large-scale gardening through nature management is not too diferent from hunting within fenced areas. It is the same kind of stupidity. Please, realize there are not only game species. So when you manage the habitat you also destroy special habitats that other species inhabit. If you do not understand this, I cannot help you.

        • Levi

          Former U.S. Department of Interior Secretary Gale Norton.

          “Dating back to Teddy Roosevelt, hunters have been the pillar of conservation in America, doing more than anyone to conserve wildlife and its habitat.”

          Justice Alito in U.S. v. Stevens, April 20, 2010; U.S. Supreme Court

          “While there are certainly those who find hunting objectionable, the predominant view in this country has long been that hunting serves many important values, and it is clear that Congress shares that view. Since 1972, when Congress called upon the President to designate a National Hunting and Fishing Day, see S. J. Res. 117, 92d Cong., 2d Sess. (1972), 86Stat. 133, Presidents have regularly issued proclamations extolling the values served by hunting. See Presidential Proclamation No. 8421, 74 Fed. Reg. 49305 (Pres. Obama2009) (hunting and fishing are “ageless pursuits” that promote “the conservation and restoration of numerous species and their natural habitats”); Presidential Proclamation No. 8295, 73 Fed. Reg. 57233 (Pres. Bush 2008) (hunters and anglers “add to our heritage and keep our wildlife populations healthy and strong,” and “are among our foremost conservationists”); Presidential Proclamation No. 7822, 69 Fed. Reg. 59539 (Pres. Bush 2004) (hunting and fishing are “an important part of our Nation’s heritage,” and “America’s hunters and anglers represent the great spirit of our country”); Presidential Proclamation No.4682, 44 Fed. Reg. 53149 (Pres. Carter 1979) (hunting promotes conservation and an appreciation of “healthyrecreation, peaceful solitude and closeness to nature”); Presidential Proclamation No. 4318, 39 Fed. Reg. 35315 (Pres. Ford 1974) (hunting furthers “appreciation and respect for nature” and preservation of the environment). Thus, it is widely thought that hunting has “scientific” value in that it promotes conservation, “historical” value in that it provides a link to past times when hunting played a critical role in daily life, and “educational” value in that it furthers the understanding and appreciation of nature and our country’s past and instills valuable character traits. And if hunting itself is widely thought to serve these values, then it takes but a small additional step to conclude that depictions of hunting make a non-trivial contribution to the exchange of ideas….Hunting enhances the environment and brings joy to those who use the outdoors and should therefore be encouraged.”

          • Lepus Timidus

            Thank you for this! I never thought someone would quote politicians when it comes to nature conservation. You just did it! That is a clue to everyone you are not as informed as you pretend.

          • Levi

            And you would venture to say that you have a grander mind, education, and understanding than these men. Teddy Roosevelt was one of the premier conservationists this country has ever seen. You have any idea how many refuges and state parks are in place because of him??? But I bet you think you know more about this country than even a president. You are an idiot and a tragedy that is an epidemic in this country. I pretend to be informed? I live in Idaho’s backyard. Not in a city. I actually live and breath the nature I speak of. Try and tell me you know more from a book you read. I’d meet you face to face at any conservation effort in Idaho and make you look a fool. FInd a new hobby. You have no credibility in this area.

          • Lepus Timidus

            Politics have always pleased the hunting lobby. Do you think politicians do all good. Then exlplain us whether you think this country has been in good hands. Are you pleased with the social/economic context. No chance you will meet me on any Idaho conservation effort when you talk about habitat improvement. But if it pleases you to believe that’s conservation…

        • Levi

          You think more educated in conservation than these people. I’d love to see you take up this argument with them.

          • Lepus Timidus

            No problem. There is a difference between saying “I know conservation because I am born and raised in Idaho + I have been hunting all my life” and having actually an idea about what conservation is!

      • Lepus Timidus

        Also, you question how many hours of labor I have given to improve wildlife habitat. That is a silly question since it suggests that improving wildlife habitat is a “conservation” goal. So my answer is none. But, I cannot yet count the amount of labor that takes me to protect few areas from so-called managers, people just like you, who think they know what is best for the ecosystems.

        • Levi

          And you’re insinuating that you do know what’s best hugh? How can improving wildlife habitat not be considered conservation?
          Habitat conservation is a land management practice that seeks to conserve, protect and restore habitat areas for wild plants and animals.-Wilkipedia

          Basic definitions. Common sense.
          Almost every Habitat Conservation plan calls for the improvement of habitat.
          So you’re protecting areas from people that are trying to restore and improve those areas. Hmmm. Good luck in your ventures.

          • Guest

            You hunters are wildlife killing cowards.

          • Lepus Timidus

            You really missed the point, once again. No, I do not know what’s best for nature. That’s why I oppose management as a whole. I believe that nature can just take care of itself. Improving wildlife habitat is just gardening. You improve habitats for the species you want to hunt, that’s all you do. It is far more complicated than that. When hunters do some logging to make forests more open. That’s beneficiary for some species, but obviously not all species. Is that difficult to understand? Just the word improvement is a completely anthropocentric word when referred to habitat. Even if Wikipedia was the best source of information when dealing with conservation (which I doubt), the word “improvement” is not written.

          • Levi

            Whats so difficult to understand is when you speak of an area being improved you act like it is being done over the whole state. Small improvements help certain species in that small area. Its not like we logged every tree in Idaho. Habitat IMPROVEMENT is mentioned in every states action plan for conservation. I could find every one if you’d like. Be a little more researched before you make opinions that every other moron takes as fact cause they like the conflict.

          • Lepus Timidus

            Habitats do not need improvement, they need protection and as less human engineering as possible. State action plans? Well, that’s not a good reference for what I mean by conservation. But, ok go improve habitats for wildlife, we will see what it brings. More game?

          • Lepus Timidus

            Again, you missed the point. That’s probably because you are so focused on the game species you hunt. A small scale “habitat improvement” favors some species, but is detrimental to others. Nature does not need improvement. It needs to be kept alone from managers.

      • Guest

        Hunters are terrorists to our wildlife. You hunters KILL our wildlife and you should be put in prison for your crimes against our wildlife.

        • Behind_You1

          Ah, Guest, you misspelled “freedom-fighter”!

      • Guest

        The whiney little idiots are you worthless rednecks. We support hunting you redneck moron. We support the wolves harvesting elk, deer, and moose all year round. They are the apex predator and you are a redneck coward with a gun.

        • Levi

          You have a lot of balls behind a computer. Your reference to “redneck” is obviously a sign that you lack any knowledge in who hunters are. This is an Idaho discussion in my replies. Aren’t rednecks from the south? Just saying. And I’m a coward?? I’d love to speak with you in person in that tone and see who the coward is. You reminded me of a small dog, ankle biter perhaps,a lot of bark but a tucked tail if ever confronted.

    • Levi

      Hunting has been the cornerstone and most important conservation development in the 20th Century and continues to be the leading contributor to conservation as man enters the 21st Century. Hunting is an exceptional form of sustainable use that has been proven to create conservation stakeholders, to stimulate conservation incentives and generate operating revenue for conservation budgets; hence, is one of the foremost forces for conservation.
      -Conservation Force

      • Lepus Timidus

        No, hunting has been the cornerstone for management, which is not a synonymous for conservation. Furthermore, hunting is not always sustainable…

        • Levi

          You would argue if I said the sky was blue. Not a great patron for your cause. There is no exacts, no 100 percents. But there is try. There is do’ers and procrastinators. You my friend, are a procrastinator. Sit behind an education and think you’re right. I actually make a blood, sweat, and tears commitment. Beats bitching about everything on a computer, behind peoples back.

          • Lepus Timidus

            No, I would not argue on anything. But when you make habitat management a synonymous for conservation, I disagree. What makes you believe you actually go in the field more often than I do. I understand you like the idea of the urban/countryside debate. However, I am sorry to tell you but I live in the countryside, oppose management by hunters. And I also get emotional about nature, but not with a bow and some arrows.

      • Pete Braun

        The only way hunting could be sustainable today would be if the human population were drastically reduced, like through some cataclysmic event. And that already happened to us once before. Ever hear of the Toba eruption? 70,000 years ago, Lake Toba, a supervolcano on the Indonesian island of Sumatra had a catastrophic eruption that caused major climate change. Hardest hit would’ve been places like Africa, where humans still were at the time. At the time, the human population on Earth was already very low. The climate change brought on by the Toba eruption reduced human numbers from hundreds of thousands to just a few thousand, resulting in a bottleneck in the human gene pool. The 7,000,000,000+ people who inhabit Earth today are believed to be the descendants of the survivors of the affects of the Toba super-eruption.

        And for those of you who have never of the term supervolcano before, that’s what Yellowstone is. One big-ass volcano. Here’s a few others:

        Lake Taupo, New Zealand, a popular fishing destination on the North Island.

        Santorini, in the Aegean Sea, a former island colony of the Minoan race and a popular tourist destination. It’s Bronze Age eruption that signaled the downfall of the Minoan race may have inspired Plato’s legend of Atlantis.

        Campi Flegrei, just west of Naples Italy, where several hundred thousand people live.

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xsb_g2jx5Qc

        And you think a supervolcano could decimate our numbers? I know of one phenomenon that can one-up any supervolcano. Even Toba or Yellowstone. Ever heard of a gamma ray burst? They’re the biggest explosions to rock the universe since the Big Bang, formed from either the collapse of a super-massive star at the end of its life or a colliding pair of neutron stars and is thought to be the birth-cry of a black hole. If one of those hits Earth today, the damage to the atmosphere and the resulting climate change would be so grave that it would a decade to recover. 5-10% of today’s human could be supported for several decades after a gamma ray burst.

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YH_01tUjkOo

        Only after a major cataclysm like these could hunting be considered sustainable on a wider scale than it is today.

  • Lepus Timidus

    It is true that the debates on wolf management are filled with values. However, many protagonists use facts as support of their views. When hunters pretend that wolves are bigger than originally existing wolves, that they disrupt ecosystems and when they pretend that they are important in keeping a balance in these ecosystems, these arguments are considered as facts. There is no values implicated in rejecting all of these arguments, which are simply false.

  • Pete Braun

    Idaho lawmakers, trophy hunters, welfare ranchers, and recreational trappers are exhibiting a classic example of a sick mentality that runs amok through America. It’s called N.I.M.B.Y., meaning Not In My Backyard. People in America don’t want anything near them that doesn’t benefit themselves. Part of that phony Great America Spirit of Generosity we hear so much about.

    To give you an idea of how N.I.M.B.Y. works, I suggest you watch this:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AbSRCjG-VLk

    Another example of N.I.M.B.Y. in Idaho: Gov. Otter himself said, “We don’t want them here.” Well, we don’t you here either, Otter. And God forbid anyone else should have a better solution to the problem. A friend of mine once offered to have some wolves transferred from Idaho to the Northeast to help kickstart recovery there. “Butch” Otter threatened to have her extradited if she ever set foot in “his state”. If I was in a position of power, Otter would be the one getting extradited. To Deception Island. Permanently. Where, by the way, there is no hunting or trapping allowed. And dress warm, Otter, because it gets really cold there.

    • Levi

      It does benefit us. A tanned out wolf looks great on the wall. Lol.

      • Guest

        You’re an anti-wildlife terrorist.

      • Dvm. Demelow

        True idiot redneck

        • Levi

          Just like stirring up a chickens feathers

      • Pete Braun

        You’re the one who would look good skinned, tanned, and hung on a wall over the fireplace. In fact, I bet you’d make a nice gig bag for my brother’s Jackson Randy Rhoads V electric guitar. Headstock fits in your head, body and neck inside your torso, legs and arms for storing accessories. Brilliant.

        • Levi

          Well if you think you’re capable of being the man for that job, you’re more than welcome to pm me for my number and we can arrange a time to let you try. Might learn a thing a two.

          • Pete Braun

            I prefer to do it when you least expect it. Keep you on edge.

          • Levi

            You’re a great representation of your kind. Thanks

        • Pete — Please tone down the personal attacks and keep the comments relevant to the article at hand.

          • Pete Braun

            My comments are relevant, even with the analogy. And Levi had that attack coming. Don’t like it? FO.

          • Chandie Bartell

            You don’t know Pete if you think that is possible.

      • Pete Braun

        As opposed to the likes you, who are ugly coming and going. And Editor, back off.

  • somsai

    How about we just stick to the agreed upon 10 breeding pair and see how that works while JB figures out how he’s going to fund IDFW

    • TreeHugger_hon

      Yes… THAT sure will work to at least NEAR-EXTERMINATE the wolf in Idaho again, especially as IDFW is willing to count ANY group of at least four wolves, regardless of sex and relation, as “breeding pair with pups”. Contrary to the initial agreement, even 10 REAL breeding pairs would be too little to form a sustainable population ensuring the genetical diversity needed for long-term survival. A handful of scattered survivors certainly will NOT be enough to keep the species alive… Target achieved.

      • Chandie Bartell

        There are at least 1,000 wolves in Idaho we estimate, and more than 600 of them are in the Panhandle. Idaho Fish and Game can’t count wolves they have to use estimates, and the fact we have so many packs on the Palouse that are not documented, as well as the Panhandle, St. Joe, Clearwater in Northern Idaho alone showed how inaccurate this is.

        Two years ago Idaho Fish and Game told us at an IDFG meeting in CDA, Idaho that 50% of the wolves shot and trapped in the Panhandle in Idaho were form packs they had no idea existed.

        • TreeHugger_hon

          UNsubscribe – please. I see the notifications on my facebook account anyway. Thank you.

          2014-02-04 22:43 GMT+01:00 Disqus :

          • Chandie Bartell

            If I subscribed I’m unaware of it. How do you unsubscribe to something you didn’t subscribe to?

    • julierl

      10 breeding pair, vs how many deer/elk? Especlally the same-sex pairs just as TreeHugger_hon points out. Surprised that Idaho is so progressive about same-sex unions though!

      • Levi

        Your cheap shot about same-sex unions shows the level of intelligence you posses. If you’re such a fan of wolves, introduce them into YOUR backyard. Just because you don’t partake in one of our oldest traditions (hunting) don’t attack the people that do. I don’t attack your golf courses, subdivisions, and ski resorts that reduce wildlife areas. To most hunting means quality family time and traditions past on for generations. My greatest memories are times spent hunting/camping with my family. That experience has been considerably reduced with the vast reduction in deer/elk numbers. And I do all my hunting on foot, living out of my pack. Not the “lazy” hunter you frequently mis-represent. I am an avid hunter and conservationist. I have been involved in many conservation efforts, from building wood duck boxes to re-establish numbers along the snake river to bettering lands for upland birds and deer. “We”, meaning you and I, have done more damage to our wildlife with our subdivisions, highways, and urban developments than any source of hunting or trapping. Where your home/apartment sits now probably was home to an animal at one time. So let’s keep that in mind. Before wolves were re-introduced I never once heard a complaint from non-hunters and hunters alike about a lack of wildlife viewing, the availability of animals for harvest, or such a blatant disregard for one states management of natural resources, (Usually spoken by non-Idahoans). Hunters have always been the major contributor to sustaining wildlife and their eco-system and will continue to be the driving force in that effort. We as hunters spend the most time utilizing our natural resources. So when you speak of trophy hunters and the non-necessity of hunters to balance our wildlife populations you are attacking the very people who have helped and funded the most money on the very conservation of our wildlife. I would venture to say that less than 5 percent of hunters are actually trophy hunters. Most of those being non-residents. To most hunters, harvesting an animal means food on their children’s plates and a meal when incomes are low. Even a “trophy” hunter utilizes more of the meat than any wolf ever thought of. You can’t give a wolf a harvest quota. We pay to harvest, therefore putting money back into proper conservation. I have come across more elk than I care to remember that have only had the rump and guts eaten. I personally have seen the effects of wolves on regions of Idaho. From the sport slaughter of sheep, cattle and elk, to the decline of back country camping, hunting, and hiking. A loss in monies generated for wildlife conservation. People are afraid to be with the wolves for the most part. Let alone go into the mountains with pets and children. I myself no longer take my dogs into the back country. The only true benefit I have seen to the introduction of wolves is for the people that don’t have them in their backyards. They can come to a state like Idaho and try to view one from the confides of their cars and then go back home to the safety of their non-wolf ecosystems and complain that we are trying to reduce them to a level sustainable to Idaho’s resources. We have had a great balance of wildlife in Idaho’s backyard for the last century. Why did we think we needed to disrupt that balance and cause all this controversy. People should use these efforts to settle our national debt or bring peace to the world. Geez. Let’s just create needless drama and drive a larger wedge between tree huggers and true conservationists (hunters-ranchers-outdoorsman) so that an apartment dwelling New Yorker can go see a large dog walk across a meadow.

        • Lepus Timidus

          You should also have missed the point when talking about conservation. Conservation has nothing to do with having more deer and elk to shoot. That is so ridiculous.

          • Levi

            Fortunately I understand more about conservation than your books will ever tell you.

          • Guest

            You hunters know about KILLING. You hunters are a cancer on this planet to our wildlife. You rednecks are terrorists.

          • Levi

            And I suppose you would deem god a terrorist too? You fucking moron. Get a life
            Genesis 27:3 ESV

            Now then, take your weapons, your quiver and your bow, and go out to the field and hunt game for me,

            Genesis 9:3 ESV

            Every moving thing that lives shall be food for you. And as I gave you the green plants, I give you everything.

            Acts 10:13 ESV

            And there came a voice to him: “Rise, Peter; kill and eat.”

            Genesis 21:20 ESV

            And God was with the boy, and he grew up. He lived in the wilderness and became an expert with the bow

            Jeremiah 16:16 ESV / 41 helpful votes

            “Behold, I am sending for many fishers, declares the Lord, and they shall catch them. And afterward I will send for many hunters, and they shall hunt them from every mountain and every hill, and out of the clefts of the rocks.

            Genesis 1:29-30 ESV

            And God said, “Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit. You shall have them for food. And to every beast of the earth and to every bird of the heavens and to everything that creeps on the earth, everything that has the breath of life, I have given every green plant for food.” And it was so.

          • Levi and Guest — Please keep the discussion relevant to the article at hand and tone down the personal attacks –Eds.

          • Lepus Timidus

            Now I get it. That’s a holly conservation book. That’s where you get it all!!

          • Levi

            You make it so easy to show your lack of intelligence and stomp down any credibility.

          • Guest

            Rednecks like you think you are a high intelligence? Wanna you try to kill something that can fire back you COWARD

          • Levi

            Wanna you try? I think your lack of proper grammer disqualifies you from having an intelligent opinion. And are you threatening me? Might want to be careful with that. You aren’t helping your side there chief. I’d suggest STFU

          • Guest

            You hate facts huh you stupid redneck?

          • Guest

            Elk, deer, and moose will continue to be harvested 24.7 365 days a year you worthless redneck. Dead elk, deer, and moose feeds many scavengers and wolves do more for wildlife in one year than you rednecks do in 20 years.

          • Guest

            A worthless redneck who enjoys shooting wildlife thinks he knows about wildlife because he shoots you. You rednecks are a cancer to our wildlife.

          • Lepus Timidus

            Fortunately, litterature has been a bad thing only in your moron’s mouth. But maybe you know sooooo much that you do not have to read anything? Why? Because you live in Idaho’s backyards, obviously!

          • Levi

            And where do you live?

          • Lepus Timidus

            I cannot see why the origin of a person has to do in this debate. The wolf is only one topic, as far as I am concerned, the larger topic is management. From the beginning, I argue against the management religion, which basically states that man has to control/reduce/regulate/take care of populations and ecosystems. I oppose this view. About hunting, I am not totally against it. I can tolerate hunting for food, but I am sorry, many (too many) hunters just hunt for fun. Ethically speaking, I strongly oppose trophy hunting – that’s a personal opinion, and you have to accept it. Now, I disagree with so-called predator control when the objective is to reduce their potential impacts on game species. That’s how ecosystems work, and hunters have to accept it. They cannot just twist ecosystems so that they act as game farms. Most people here argue on the ethical side of hunting, I do not. The main point of my opposition with hunters is how they view entire communities, and how they pretend to be a keystone species in that ecosystem.

          • Pete Braun

            You just gave us a new reason to decimate you wolf haters.

          • Chandie Bartell

            Had a wolf howling at midnight in front of my house. Didn’t see it but heard it they are in heat now. A lot of snow now on the Palouse and have packs up on Jerome Creek off highway 6, and another pack in Meadow Creek. Strychnine Creek out of Laird Park off highway 6 past the Dredge.

            On Gold Hill pack on Arson Creek, and up 95 pack on Deep Creek.

            IDFG only knows about two packs around Potlatch the Arson Creek Pack and Big Creek.

            This doesn’t bring into consideration packs towards Moscow Mountain and past Harvard and Emida.

          • Chandie Bartell

            We live in the area of impact, where you read about it.

        • Dvm. Demelow

          Go cry about it you stupid redneck. You people whine and bitch about wolf reintroduction because they make it THAT much harder to hunt. Quit masking that idea with frivolous bullshit. Where did you get your wildlife ecology degree? A fucking cereal box?

          • Levi

            I just want it their for my children and children’s children to enjoy. I already hunt the most challenging way possible, Bow and arrow. I love that the best word you spineless pricks can come up with is “redneck”. Always big tough guys from behind a computer. Never hear all those tough-guy words when discussing face to face. But besides all your immature debauchery, the issue still lies that wolves are not needed to sustain our ecosystem, hunting will be around long after you leave this earth, and the weak will keep being laughed at when they bark from behind their computer.

        • julierl

          Hunters like you are the biggest tree-huggers (like that’s a bad thing) of all. You could not hack it in a city environment – your belligerence wouldn’t be tolerated for long and any big city would beat you down. Your toughness only lasts as long as you’ve got your guns. If you’re afraid of going into the back country because of the wildlife that calls it home – then don’t go into the back country, Einstein. And if you’re so fearful for your pets and children’s safety, maybe you ought to consider moving closer to town.

          • Levi

            I actually spent four years living in Atlanta. Thanks. I saw more “guns”, drugs, crime, and low-life riffraff than I care to see again. And I didn’t even bring a gun when I moved down there. The city was easy. Didn’t have to work hard for anything. Walk out the door and had everything within a block. I’m not afraid of the back country. I’ve spent the majority of my life in it. So get out of your F’ing apartment and come to my wilderness and tell me how to manage it when you are no part of it. You’ve done so well with your cities.Makes a shit load of sense. Maybe I should start lobbying on how you should live in your “ecosystem”. That would make sense too.

        • Chandie Bartell

          Well written and you bring up good points. My first elk hunting trip was at the age of 3 or 4 and I have my picture taken with my Dad. Grew up on a farm in rural N. Idaho and my entire family hunted and fished. My dad provided us with great memories of going with him as well as waiting to see what he brought home, as we helped with the butchering process. One of his favorite things to make was jerky, he would string it up in an upstairs bedroom when we were little to dry, in a room with a wood stove.

          He also would bring home steel head, trout, and take us blue-back fishing as well, including fishing mountain streams and lakes. Was with him when he shot a black bear on Saddle Camp Road on the Lochsa River, I was in grade school. The bear hide is now in my younger sister’s house. My dad also taught my husband how to hunt when he moved out here at age 18 from Maryland. He shot is only mule deer with my dad, as we mainly have white-tails in N. Idaho. Also went pheasant and quail hunting on our farm.

          My husband has purchased as sportsmen package every year from IDFG since 1978, and we depend on wild-meat to fill our freezer.

          We are losing our wildlife heritage in Idaho, and our elk are in a predation pit, as well as our moose, and deer herds white tail and mule especially in the wilderness and back-country areas. Our black bears and wolverines are also taking a “negative hit” and I hear there are less cougars in some areas as well.

          This wolf is not the proper sub-species for the lower 48 Rocky Mountain States.

          Also I agree with you that we had abundant wildlife pre-Canadian wolf introduction, and I never heard “anyone” complain about not seeing wildlife, or even giving it a “label” to manufacture a strategy to hi-jack wildlife management away from sportsmen, as non-hunters historically always enjoyed the “freebies” they received from sportsmen, and appreciated their contributions to the North American Model of Hunting/Conservation.

          George Dovel writes the Outdoorsman for sportsmen in Idaho and our Legislatures, I will give you some links to bulletins he has written that will explain how the complete infiltration of our state fish and games was achieved by radical environmental operatives.

    • Guest

      No, the wolves will manage elk, deer, and moose all year round.

    • Chandie Bartell

      Our legislatures will not allow Idaho Fish and Game to be turned into Idaho Fish and Wildlife to manage our wildlife for J.B. or out-of state citizens, as well as citizens in other countries. J.B. needs to “study” the United States Constitution, and realize we are a nation of laws, and Idaho is a sovereign state. The citizens already had their legislatures take the necessary steps to ensure our hunting, trapping, and fishing rights were protected in the Idaho State Constitution, by allowing it on the 2012 ballot. Unlike a “survey” or a meeting using the Delphi Technique, there is was no per-determined out-come to how House Resolution would be voted on, it was either yes or no to have our Hunting, Fishing, and Trapping Rights added to our Idaho State Constitution.

      We are a nation of laws not a nation of “regulations” created by an International United Nations Governing Body.

  • Guest

    Wolves are the top apex predator and they manage the elk, deer,

    and moose. Harvested elk, deer, and moose not only feeds the wolves, but feeds many scavengers as well. Wolves by what they do are conservationists even though they don’t know it.

  • John Freemuth

    Actually there is solid evidence of the opinions of Idahoans on wolves, at least from the period 1992-2003 provided by the Boise State University Public Policy center in its Annual Policy Survey. It is provided below. I helped write the question the first time along with individuals from USFWS to try and inform the debate. Results were immediately conveyed to the office of Senator Larry Craig, USFWS, and USFS, among others. The question was edited the next two times, so its is not exactly the same. Perhaps the author, and the folks at the Blue Review would have found this information useful in their analysis

    DO YOU FAVOR OR OPPOSE
    HAVING WOLVES IN THE WILDERNESS AND ROADLESS AREAS OF CENTRAL
    IDAHO?

    FEBRUARY, 1992

    FAVOR 72%

    OPPOSE 22%

    NO
    OPINION 6%

    95%
    Confidence Level

    +/-3.4
    %

    N=809

    Source:
    Idaho
    Public Policy Survey No. 3, Boise State University

    SHOULD IDAHO HAVE WOLVES IN THE WILDERNESS AND
    ROADLESS AREAS IN THE CENTRAL PART OF THE STATE?

    JUNE, 1995

    AGREE
    47%

    DISAGREE 38%

    UNSURE 15%

    95%
    Confidence Level

    +/-3.6
    %

    N=636

    Source:
    Idaho
    Public Policy Survey No. 6, Boise State University

    IDAHO SHOULD HAVE
    WOLVES IN THE WILDERNESS AND ROADLESS AREAS IN THE CENTRAL PART OF THE STATE.
    AGREE OF DISAGREE?

    MARCH 2003

    AGREE 41.8%

    DISAGREE 39.4%

    NEITHER 18.0%

    DON’T KNOW 00.6%

    95% Confidence Level

    +/-4%

    N=530

    Source:
    Idaho
    Public Policy Survey No. 14, Boise State University

    • idahomay

      Are there plans to refresh this survey data, ten years out (now)?

      • John Freemuth

        I would love to, but that, takes funding to do

        • Fish Out of Water

          John, with all due respect, I could do the survey for free and it would take about 15 minutes, tops, to set it up online …. funding??? Sounds like grant writers and “researchers” who want to make a living doing what is easy to do for virtually nothing with today’s technology. Typically, such “polls” are biased based on the question’s wording. How do you think the majority of folks would have answered had it been worded as to the negative economic impacts of wolves on Idaho’s hunting industry? Some wolves are fine. But they need to be managed, too.

          • John Freemuth

            Well first, I am not asking for money…this was part of large set of questions that had to do with Idahoans attitudes towards public issues. But, the procedures to insure that the survey “statistics” are set at a certain level do require rigor, and that does cost some money.Making sure you have an unbiased sample is something we cant do in 15 minutes. It would be great to ask a whole set of nested questions about wolves, no question.We did that once when we asked a subset of people opposed to dam breaching whether their views would change if there were economic mitigation polices put it place.Lo and behold enough people changed their views to make breaching “viable” (in the survey) as a choice. Obviously your proposed question would get a different set of answers, but I’ll bet it would be seen as biased by many. Here is the reason we asked what we asked:. At that point (1992-3) the rhetoric was pretty simple: “Idaho is opposed to wolves”was the argument so we simply asked the question the way we did. The result would have been announced whatever the results, as were the next two. But I do think your point about management is a good one and questions about the hows of management ought to be included on any future poll.

          • Guest

            Wolves don’t need to be killed you ignorant redneck

    • Chandie Bartell

      Interesting as I live in Idaho and I was never surveyed nor were any of my friends, neighbors, relatives or community. So how was this survey conducted? A survey is only as good as the “surveyor.” Pre-determined out-comes are easily produced, with the type of questioning, verbiage, and “choices” and methods provided to “answer.” Kind of like YNP when they surveyed people if they wanted to see wolves in the park, including little 5 year children from Japan, and having wolf meetings in metro areas, and not in the rural towns that live in the areas of impacts. This was all done by design to ensure a desirable per-determined out-come.

      There are a lot of variables to consider, and “surveys” are not an accurate measurement of the population.

      Now explain to me in a Representative Republic why HB 343 the Wolf Disaster Bill passed unanimously out of committee and by a huge majority of our legislatures in the Idaho House and Senate to kill all the wolves in Idaho to the original agreed upon numbers in the EIS of the ESA 150?

      Also explain to me why 74% of the citizens in Idaho voted for the Right to Hunt, Fish, and Trap to be added to our Idaho State Constitution in November 2012?

      • John Freemuth

        Chandie

        The survey followed typical protocols which take some explanation but they are the same ones followed for election preferences and so on. There was no attempt to pre-determine an outcome. Perhaps its more helpful to suggest that people are always empowered to hold whatever beliefs they choose to about wolves in terms of the survey question. That is, you want them or you don’t, etc. what the survey does to is give evidence of the opinions of Idahoans AT THAT POINT IN TIME.

  • Mandy Sue

    I learned from the book “Wolfer” that if you pee on traps, wolves will stay away from them.

    Yes, it’s unbelievable that states, which clearly have a conflict of interest, are now entrusted to “manage” wolves — when the states make money on the sale of hunting licenses. And ranchers have money to contribute to legislators, to do the ranchers’ bidding.

    Idaho is particularly depraved, touting wolf-killing contests as fun for the kids, too. I’m shaking my head how hateful they’ve become, even more than in the past. Yes, Idaho has gotten much worse since wolves have been delisted — another reason why they need federal protections.

    Those hunters and trappers and shooters are killing their own souls, whether they know it or not. I’m glad we have good people working to protect the very symbol of the American West. Teddy Roosevelt would come back and kick their Idaho asses if he could.

    • Pete Braun

      We’d need a cyborg of him to do that now. Which, by the way, I am in favor of myself.

    • Levi

      You’re making this all too easy. Do your homework. Educate yourself before you preach to others. Teddy Roosevelt was an avid wolf hunter himself. Haha.: “Knowledge without mileage equals bullshit”

      Theodore Roosevelt, a man widely known for his environmental activism, declared the wolf as “the beast of waste and destruction” and called for its eradication.-Mission: Wolf

      A letter to his children April 14,1905

      – Then came the five days wolf hunting in Oklahoma, and this was unalloyed pleasure, except for my uneasiness about Auntie Bye and poor little Sheffield. General Young, Dr. Lambert and Roly Fortescue were each in his own way just the nicest companions imaginable, my Texas hosts were too kind and friendly and open-hearted for anything. I want to have the whole party up at Washington next winter. The party got seventeen wolves, three coons, and any number of rattlesnakes. I was in at the death of eleven wolves. The other six wolves were killed by members of the party who were off with bunches of dogs in some place where I was not. I never took part in a run which ended in the death of a wolf without getting through the run in time to see the death. It was tremendous galloping over cut banks, prairie dog towns, flats, creek bottoms, everything. One run was nine miles long and I was the only man in at the finish except the professional wolf hunter Abernethy, who is a really wonderful fellow, catching the wolves alive by thrusting his gloved hands down between their jaws so that they cannot bite. He caught one wolf alive, tied up this wolf, and then held it on the saddle, followed his dogs in a seven-mile run and helped kill another wolf. -Theodore Roosevelt

  • Thank you all for your comments! There are several very good conversations going here … that said, we have deleted several comments that were not relevant to the article and read as threats. We have not needed a commenting policy at The Blue Review to date because our comment section has maintained a higher level of discussion. We aim to keep it that way and will establish a comment policy in short order. In the meantime, carry on and thanks for all of your thoughts! —eds.

  • Jeremy Bruskotter

    Thanks to John Freemuth for posting the information about the Boise State poll. I was dismayed to see so much of the typical name-calling that accompanies stories about wolves. Currently, both hunters and environmentalists are in danger of being marginalized, politically. You all need each other. Ultimately, the rift between these groups does not serve either side well.

  • Sean Gould

    Following qualitative interviews conducted in central Idaho by Morgan Zedalis through the University of Kent (2009), she and I found that central Idaho hunters tended to discuss their approval or disapproval in terms of hunting ethics and the degree to which wolves met similar ethical criterion. Ranchers, on the other hand, tended to frame the issue in terms of state’s versus federal rights. . .

  • somsai

    Maybe eradicate them all except Yellowstone. People who like to go watch can watch, others who don’t want them don’t’ have to put up with them. Time for legislation.

    • Bobalee

      Somsai
      In what way do you “put up with” wolves?
      I like watching wildlife out my window or while outdoors as do many others in this country; I’ve seen “my” resident coyote twice in the past week – always a treat; deer almost daily, bobcats a few times a year; lots of ducks and geese in vernal pools.
      I prefer not to drive over 1000 miles to get a glimpse of a wolf. Why do you think that millions of USA citizens should be required to do so to satisfy what seems to be the opinion of a vocal minority?