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Old 08-15-2008, 10:53 PM
 
Location: Kamiah Idaho
35 posts, read 214,707 times
Reputation: 42

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I spend more time than the average individual in the wilds of Idaho, well over 100 days per year. I have seen 28 wolves now in the last 8 years, with a noticeable increase in encounters over the last 3 years due to their population increase. I have enjoyed hearing wolves at night, and have taken delight in getting to view them in the wild.
There are several things I have also noticed during this period that are not as positive. The number of prey species such as elk and moose especially have declined in our area by a large amount. While their population and that of the wolves may naturally even out, there are several factors that may make this not at all possible without some control of the wolf population through hunting. The elk in our area in the winter simply cannot escape a wolf pack in deep snow, and even the most healthy animals fall easy prey to them. It is simple biology, the elk were originally more of an open plains animal, and are unable to escape the canadian wolves with their large snowshoe like feet in deep snow in forested areas. Now this isn't just something I think or have been told, I have seen the results with my own eyes, up to 20 elk all dead in a small area with very little eaten off from any of them.
I am all for having a balanced population of wolves and other species and believe it can be achieved, but now control of this matter has been hijacked from the biologist and experts by enviro groups and politicians who operate based on passion instead of science. Everyone wants to bash the hunters and the fish and game departments over the wolf, but they forget that the reason Idaho was such a prime place for wolf introduction is due to hunters and the money and hard work they have provided over the years to have a healthy wildlife population that is larger than when Lewis and Clark came through Idaho. I believe the best bet for the wolf is to turn over their control to the Fish and game departments who have managed with success the populations of Idaho's other big game animals. I have seen what politics and passion can do to an ecosystem when science and common sense is replaced, and it is bad for even the animal they are trying to protect.
Is it better to let the wolf population go unchecked until they eat themselves out of prey, get diseased, or breed themselves out of habitat causing not only the wiping out of the prey species but the starvation and crash of the wolves themselves? With the current unchecked population growth of the wolves we are already seeing the warning signs in our area, with more attacks on pets and livestock, and wolves spreading into populated areas. It is easy to think this is not a problem when you are not living with the problem, but I believe people in rural areas have a right to not have to worry about the safety of their kids and pets around their own homes because an introduced predators numbers have been allowed to explode 5 times beyond the point that was initially agreed upon and planned by the biologist and scientific studies.
How can local citizens trust any future animal reintroduction plan, such as for grizzly Bears when they see that promises are broken, lies are told, and local people's rights and way of life's are trampled upon.
Agree or disagree, this is my 2 cents.
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Old 08-15-2008, 11:59 PM
 
130 posts, read 372,247 times
Reputation: 73
Millagerobert, I agree with your post 100 percent. Well done.
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Old 08-16-2008, 12:53 AM
 
Location: FINALLY in N. Idaho
1,043 posts, read 2,912,639 times
Reputation: 300
Anytime man tries to interfere with nature things usually go wrong with a very few exceptions.
This subject has a ton of facets to it, but I agree with what Millagerobert posted, it gives alot more perspective to the issue for sure.
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Old 09-03-2008, 01:48 PM
 
2 posts, read 7,102 times
Reputation: 13
Default Luck

Quote:
Originally Posted by mistyriverranch View Post
We raise sheep here in north Idaho and have horses and chickens as well. We also have a small wolf pack whose territory extends to just across the small river we live on.
We've never had a problem with the wolves or the occasional grizzly that wanders through and we've never lost a lamb even to cats. We do keep 2 livestock guardian dogs (Great Pyrenees) to protect our stock and they do a great job.
I love living in a place where we still have high end predators roaming free. If we do lose livestock we chalk it up to the cost of doing business and living in this incredibly beautiful place.
The wolves belong here and have an important place in the ecosystem. If it is an inconvenience to ranchers....so be it.
While I agree that loss to predation is the cost of doing business I'd have to guess that you haven't been in business very long and are new to Idaho. I think it has been pure luck that a pack of wolves hasn't passed through while your sheep have been out to graze. Two Great Pyrenees will not keep wolves away. In fact it is more likely to bring them in to simply kill the dogs as the wolves will view them as a territorial threat. They will kill not only dogs but coyotes and and any other predator that has the misfortune to run into them. There have been reports of wolves killing pets on the outskirts of places like Wallace and Mullan.
Regardless of how you feel about this issue, it really comes down to state's rights. Idaho was promised when the wolves were introduced that once their numbers reached 100, Idaho could begin depredation. Now that their numbers are approaching 400 that promise has been revoked and the case will likely be tied up in court until their numbers reach 600-800. By then it will probably be too late for your little sheep ranch experiment and It will be back to California for you.
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Old 09-03-2008, 07:43 PM
 
Location: Emmett Idaho
993 posts, read 2,746,099 times
Reputation: 420
Chicken Chicken Chicken...
Take is easy on her.
The sky is not falling on her part of Idaho and she regularly contributes usefull information to this website.

Lets be civil to each other and remember if we all had the same thoughts it wouldn't be any fun..
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Old 09-03-2008, 08:51 PM
 
Location: Sandpoint, ID
3,109 posts, read 8,951,874 times
Reputation: 2463
Chicken,

Maybe you meant to sound like a complete smug jerk, and maybe you didn't. Either way, it's coming across that way...maybe not the most prudent content for your first post here on CDF...

Mistyriverranch certainly doesn't deserve to get smacked upside the head for holding a different opinion than you...and if you had established some credibility as an active contributor here, we'd be more inclined to give you some more leeway...

But you see...using your first post to make a pretty poor first impression may not be your best course of action...ya know?
__________________
Regards,

Sage
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Old 09-04-2008, 10:38 AM
 
4,296 posts, read 5,893,420 times
Reputation: 3649
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChcknLttle_Skyisfalling View Post
While I agree that loss to predation is the cost of doing business I'd have to guess that you haven't been in business very long and are new to Idaho. I think it has been pure luck that a pack of wolves hasn't passed through while your sheep have been out to graze. Two Great Pyrenees will not keep wolves away. In fact it is more likely to bring them in to simply kill the dogs as the wolves will view them as a territorial threat. They will kill not only dogs but coyotes and and any other predator that has the misfortune to run into them. There have been reports of wolves killing pets on the outskirts of places like Wallace and Mullan.
Regardless of how you feel about this issue, it really comes down to state's rights. Idaho was promised when the wolves were introduced that once their numbers reached 100, Idaho could begin depredation. Now that their numbers are approaching 400 that promise has been revoked and the case will likely be tied up in court until their numbers reach 600-800. By then it will probably be too late for your little sheep ranch experiment and It will be back to California for you.
Well bless your cowardly little heart for working up the testosterone for such a great post. I've given my experience from the last 6 years...what's yours?
And not that it matters much since there are clearly very nice people here in Idaho who are from California, but I'm not.
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Old 09-04-2008, 08:44 PM
 
Location: Idaho
873 posts, read 1,397,530 times
Reputation: 257
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChcknLttle_Skyisfalling View Post
While I agree that loss to predation is the cost of doing business I'd have to guess that you haven't been in business very long and are new to Idaho. I think it has been pure luck that a pack of wolves hasn't passed through while your sheep have been out to graze. Two Great Pyrenees will not keep wolves away. In fact it is more likely to bring them in to simply kill the dogs as the wolves will view them as a territorial threat. They will kill not only dogs but coyotes and and any other predator that has the misfortune to run into them. There have been reports of wolves killing pets on the outskirts of places like Wallace and Mullan.
Regardless of how you feel about this issue, it really comes down to state's rights. Idaho was promised when the wolves were introduced that once their numbers reached 100, Idaho could begin depredation. Now that their numbers are approaching 400 that promise has been revoked and the case will likely be tied up in court until their numbers reach 600-800. By then it will probably be too late for your little sheep ranch experiment and It will be back to California for you.

We hear of some stories like yours. They seem to come from "sport" enthusiasts. I don't consider killing animals a "sport". I hope the issue is tied up in court much longer than your prediction of 600-800 wolves. If Idaho Fish and Game and the Federal Government had any sense, they wouldn't have been put in an area where food supply was so low to begin with. If all of the studies that the so-called experts had done were remotely accurate, we wouldn't have seen such multiplication of the wolves. It doesn't take rocket science to figure out how fast a dog can multiply. So let them figure out a humane way to take care of the problem that they created.
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Old 09-08-2008, 08:57 PM
 
Location: Boise, Idaho by way of Iowa City, Iowa
310 posts, read 1,127,789 times
Reputation: 95
How anyone can be against a natural predator in the wild is beyond me, and I'm not even an environmentalist. And whoever said they saw 20 dead elk with little meat being eaten is either lying or in denial, wolves do not kill just to kill, and they will only kill what they intend to eat. Wolves won't attack a dog unless it is very hungry and will stay away, not only that but humans shouldn't be afraid of their kids being eaten, that is absolutely ridiculous, wolves stay away from humans. That is just laughable to think that your children are in danger.

And for hunters, get over yourselves, I hunt deer and elk and to think a few hundred wolves are destroying the deer and elk populations that are in the hundreds of thousands is also laughable. If anything they are strengthening the populations and allowing stronger, healthier animals to reproduce. When I lived in Iowa we prayed for cougars to keep returning to the state, our deer populations are out of control and not healthy, some people have even thought of re-introducing timberwolves into the ecosystem.

here is a great article from a hunting site that deals with both Iowa and Idaho and the impacts of apex predators on deer and elk populations: Can Predators Threaten Iowa’s Deer Herd?
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Old 09-22-2008, 11:03 PM
 
2 posts, read 7,102 times
Reputation: 13
Default Correction

Let me be the first appologize to Misty for coming off a bit smug and angry but let me say that I am angry. I would also like to point out that Perkins flat out called a man a lier and is excused from deride, but me having a different opinion gets me mocked and ridiculed. So I wish her the best of luck coexisting with the wolves and I would never intentionally wish ill will upon a rancher which I believe to be a dieing profession in North America. Let us just call me a skeptic that long term success can be achieved.
Now, on to my correction.
Idaho's wolf population is already estimated to be over 700. This is absolutely indefensible when you consider that the original number that was promised to the people of Idaho was 100 when the wolves were misintroduced in 1995. The spin that they were reintroduced is a lie as the timber wolf was native to Idaho, not the Canadian gray wolf. I have heard that the timber wolf is now extinct in Idaho.
I don't think most people fully understand the rage that this issue incites in so many people. Its no longer about the wolf or our opinions on the issue, but instead it has become about the right of a state to control its territory and hold federal agencies and independent interests accountable and live up to what their agreements stated when the gray wolf was introduced. Here is a link to the gray wolf delisting final ruling.

http://www.fws.gov/home/feature/2008...fdelisting.pdf

I'm sure well educated persons such as you all have read the ruling. In case you haven't it states that wolves reached the recovery goal in 2002, that is "30 breeding pairs of wolves well distributed throughout the 3 states of Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming for 3 consecutive years". Idaho alone now has 45 breeding pairs and at least 25 packs. Fifteen packs were agreed upon initially.
I am very angry about what I've seen happen. First it was the Forest Service bowing to the environmental movement in the 90s and essentially shifting from a profitable self sustaining agency to a 4 billion dollar a year fire fighting department. Now it is the wolf. I left Idaho in 1998 to see the world and get an education. I returned to find I've been priced out of some of my favorite haunts and to find my friendly quiet neighbors replaced by untrusting, nervous native Idahoans and rude, unneighborly suburbanites. The price of progress I suppose. Maybe my views are archaic or maybe I was just born in the wrong century, but I can assure you that no wolf will be safe until a more reasonable policy is adopted and promises are kept. I've met men who have told me that they would shoot until they are out of ammo and fight with their bare hands until their last breath if they had the chance against a pack. Youll barely find that kind of passion outside the Middle East and by alienating its citizens our government is breading this kind of radicalism right here in our own country. Personally, I would never shoot a wolf, but I also wouldn't try to avoid one in the highway either. People are actively hunting wolves in Idaho, you dont have to watch many evening news reports to realize that, whether it is under a managed or unmanaged hunt is up to the courts I suppose.
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