Let slip the dogs of war: Wolf slaughter is afoot


Click image for photo credit

Kathleen Stachowski   Other Nations

(NOTE: See my updates scattered throughout the text & comment section)

Cry “Havoc!” There will be blood…and it will be wolf blood.

Idaho Fish and Game (IDFG) has hired a killer to slaughter two wolf packs within the federally-protected Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness. This is congressionally-designated, captital-W wilderness, certainly the one place nature should be allowed to express itself without manipulation by and for humans. Said wolf biologist and PBS filmmaker (“River of No Return”) Isaac Babcock,

…when Fish and Game hires a bounty hunter to go live in designated wilderness in a Forest Service cabin with the goal of eliminating entire wolf packs — something seems terribly wrong with that.” ~ Idaho Statesman: “Idaho Fish and Game turns to hired hunter

Why must two wilderness wolf packs die? “The killing is necessary because wolves and other predators are eating too many elk calves, and the population has not recovered to the agency’s (IDFG’s) goals. …If you’re looking for cost benefits you remove an entire pack,” rather than just members of a pack, according to the state wildlife bureau chief. Keep in mind that wolves (who, according to nature’s plan, eat ungulates–hello?) are seen as competition by camo-clad Homo sapiens gunning for the same prey.

But at 2,366,907 acres, the Frank is vast, wild, and not easily-accessible, and “sport” wolf hunters aren’t effective at reducing population numbers on so large a landscape. Hence the hired gun, whose mission is to ensure that the remote, wild land encompassing the Middle Fork of the Salmon River (map) remains a productive elk factory serving special interest groups–hunters, outfitters, and the state management agency in their employ.

Animal advocates who are also public land advocates are baffled how this can not be a violation of the Wilderness Act. District Ranger Anthony Botello (Krassel Ranger District) told the Idaho Statesman,  “All of their (IDFG’s) management has to abide by wilderness management rules like we do.” Oh, really? We might ask Mr. Botello how wiping out native predators to manipulate elk numbers preserves wilderness character–the mandate of the Wilderness Act of 1964. According to its author, “The purpose of the Wilderness Act is to preserve the wilderness character of the areas to be included in the wilderness system, not to establish any particular use.” — Howard Zahniser, 1962

Because the Wilderness Act is the law of our land, the U.S. Forest Service needs to explain to taxpaying citizens how allowing Idaho state wildlife politics to trump federal law passes muster. Stay tuned.

UPDATES 1/8/14: Renewed motion for Temporary Restraining Order;  1/6/14: ComplaintMotion for TRO;  Memo in support of TRO & preliminary injunction

And now, for something completely different…

Now let’s check in with Idaho for Wildlife, whose mission is: “To protect Idaho’s hunting and fishing heritage. To fight against all legal and legislative attempts by the animal rights and anti-gun organizations who are attempting to take away our rights and freedoms under the Constitution of the United States of America. To hold all Government and State Agencies who are stewards of our Wildlife accountable and ensure that science is used as the primary role for our Wildlife management.”

These pursuers of truth, justice, and the American way plan to extend the peace and goodwill of the season by conducting a predator-killing derby (“quality time” for parents and kids) in the days following Christmas:

Salmon (ID) is hosting a coyote and wolf derby Dec. 28-29 offering cash and trophies for among other things, killing the largest wolf and the most female coyotes. Children 10 and older can compete in the youth division. ~ Idaho Statesman: “Salmon hosts wolf and coyote derby

Click image and scroll down

You can tell right away that Idaho for Wildlife is committed to “science” because the event organizer, a big-game outfitter (website), told a Reuters reporter that “media inquiries were not welcome.” Indeed, the last thing you want is some Nosy Nelly media-type attempting to report (and twist the facts) on the science behind your predator derby! Also, criteria like “largest” and “most” are well-established indicators of the scientific method. Then there’s the campaign of knowledge-based hysteria surrounding the parasites that canids carry–a tapeworm requiring both canids and ungulates for life cycle completion. Never mind that it’s commonly distributed worldwide–it can be transmitted to humans! Be afraid…be very afraid.

Following up on this pervasive and pestilent parasitic plague, Rocky Barker writes in the Idaho Statesman, ” …no recent reports of human infections have been made in Idaho. Three documented cases came before wolves were reintroduced.”

These examples of hubris from the state known for famous potatoes make my state–Montana–seem downright wolf-friendly despite a six-month rifle season and a 2-1/2 month trapping season. As I write, 106 have been killed by projectile and three in traps, with one companion malamute mistaken and slain for a wolf. Just this morning we learned that a protected grizzly bear was caught in a wolf trap on the Rocky Mountain Front. Rifle season is only half over, and trapping season has just begun.

Let’s close with a final thought from the organizer of the predator derby, whose words bode ill for both wolves and their defenders:

“It will backfire on the enviros for putting down our derby,” he said. “The harder they try to put down our derby the more we will spread the word about the deadly disease these wolves are carrying” (source).

He’s right about one thing–we are dealing with a serious disease. But it’s not the wolves who are carrying it. It’s a human disease, and it ain’t pretty.

  • PBS Nature: “River of No Return” – 30-second preview here;  entire episode here.
  • Find the Wilderness Act text here. Find the nation’s wilderness areas here.
  • Contact Krassel District Ranger Botello: abotello@fs.fed.us; copy your message to the Payette National Forest supervisor: klannom@fs.fed.us

14 Responses

  1. no wolves should be killed at all. it not right you need to stop killing things that may not live other two centuries.

  2. NAPA Auto Parts, the only national sponsor (see poster above) of the coyote & wolf killing derby, has pulled their sponsorship. The following is from their Facebook page (look for the Dec. 17th entry here
    https://www.facebook.com/NAPAKNOWHOW )

    All, The Idaho wolf / coyote sponsorship was brought to our attention over the past weekend, and upon hearing about it, we investigated. Through multiple discussions here at NAPA Headquarters as well as locally in Idaho, we found that this sponsorship was initiated by an independent NAPA store owner. The store owner sponsored the event without knowing all of the details involved. This was not an initiative supported by NAPA nationally. That being said, the sponsorship was pulled immediately, and the store owner requested that NAPA’s name be pulled off all materials. That being said, we cannot ensure that the NAPA name has been pulled off 100% of the materials. We can ensure you, though, that NAPA is not in support of this event. We sincerely apologize for any concern this has caused you and appreciate you reaching out. Thanks, NAPA

  3. Reblogged this on Exposing the Big Game and commented:
    Fortunately the mental disease the Salmon Idaho derby hunters have, psychopathy, is not communicable, but it seems to be spreading, due to the contagious intolerant attitudes of hunters and wolf haters across the country.

  4. I just called the Governor’s office in Idaho re the derby and their crazy bounty hunter, and protested on both counts…Flood his office with calls.
    His number is (208) 334-2100
    There is also a website to leave an email if you check online.
    I said I was against a bounty hunter killing America’s wolves ..they are not Idaho’s wolves according to the Public Trust Doctrine, yet they are making policy and paying a fellow to go into the wilderness to kill them.
    DON’T Support IDAHO!

  5. Well said! Hunters SUCK!

  6. ” … [T]he more we will spread the word about the deadly disease these wolves are carrying.”

    So, there is a deadly disease afoot in the land, and the Idaho hunters know about it, but they will allow their fellow citizens to remain unawares and potentially suffer from it, unless the hunters’ contest suffers continued persecution from anti-derby people? That certainly sounds like motivation for people to oppose the derby, to get the word about the dreadful tapeworm that detritivores may contract. In fact, as it seems the wolf-hunters are the main consumers of canid feces, it’s their ilk that will suffer if the ‘enviros’ do not press on. Bon appetite!

  7. Idaho blissfully remains in the 18th century while the rest of the world moves into the 21st.

    Personally, I try to avoid places where Barbarians live.

    Idaho Division of Tourism Development
    700 West State Street
    P.O. Box 83720
    Boise, ID 83720-0093
    Phone: (208) 334-2470
    Toll free: (800) 847-4843
    Fax: (208) 334-2631

  8. There are sometimes polarized, vocal opinions regarding wolves — one trying to claim they have no place here, and another trying to claim they should remain forever under the ESA, and be untouched. Neither of those is ever going to get what it wants. Those arguments have already been had — going on 20 years ago now — and those ships have sailed. Wolves are here to stay. And as long as they’re here, some of them are going to be hunted, either by the public, or goverment agents.

    As to the other matter, even as a Western native and a hunter myself, I never thought much of whole “predator derby” thing. And this one seems particularly silly. If you supposedly don’t like coyotes, then the smart thing to do would be to leave the wolves alone, and let them take care of the coyotes for you, because they’re far better at that than you’ll ever be.

    Oddly enough, my pickup truck needs a new fuel pump. I guess I’ll be buying it at NAPA.

  9. Lawsuit aims to stop Salmon, ID killing derby; organizer says it will go forward regardless:


  10. “Judge won’t block Idaho wolf, coyote-killing competition”

    Excerpt: “(The judge) likened the contest to other noncommercial recreational activities such as camping and picnicking that take place on national forests and do not require a special permit.”


    Memorandum decision and order

    Click to access TRO-denial.pdf

  11. From Facebook:
    Idaho For Wildlife Predator Derby results

    “ZERO wolves were harvested during this predator derby! 21 Coyotes were taken.

    Let this be an educational moment for the radical anti-hunter environmental groups. Sport hunting for wolves is not a very effective tool to manage wolves. This is why IDFG has implemented trapping and other control methods to better manage wolves. …”

    You’ll need to be signed in to a FB account to see it:

  12. I’m hardly a “radical anti-hunter” — and I say, oh well, cry me a river, the wolves proved to crafty for you. Wolves are difficult to hunt. Deal with it.

    Also, once again, if one of your supposed goals really is coyote control, then just leave the wolves alone. They’re the best coyote-controllers out there.

  13. From the court filing (please scroll up to middle of post for update with links to legal actions):

    “Plaintiffs learned from counsel for defendant…that, as of January 2, 2014, IDFG’s hired hunter-trapper had killed seven wolves within the targeted wolf packs, six by trapping and one by hunting, and that more wolves may have been killed as of today.”

  14. […] animals–and possibly humans–at risk, which subsequently adds fuel to the fire of predator hatred already burning brightly here in the […]

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