Judge appears to tip his hand in wolf lawsuit

U.S. District Judge Donald Molloy appeared to show his hand when he rejected the federal government’s motion Wednesday to delay a hearing on a suit to reverse wolf delisting.

The hearing is set for May 29 in Missoula and Molloy’s main argument for not delaying it was that the federal government knew as far back as February that environmentalists were going to challenge the decision in March to remove wolves from the endangered species list.

But since March 28 at least 39 of the more than 1,500 wolves have been killed, which environmentalists say bolsters their argument that wolves should remain federally protected. Molloy also expressed concern.

"The court is unwilling to risk more deaths by delaying its decision on plaintiffs' motion for preliminary injunction," Molloy wrote in his court order.

Federal officials argue that most of the wolves would have been killed even had they still been under federal control. Wolves have been growing at a rate of 20 percent or more since they were reintroduced in 1995 in the face of 20 percent annual mortalities, supporters of delisting argue.

But Molloy seemed to side with environmentalists when he pointed out the federal lawyers acknowledge that as many as 10 of the wolves killed would not have died if federal protection remained.

I wouldn’t be surprised if Molloy read the story of wolf b253 written by environmentalist Louisa Willcox, who also happens to be the wife of the lead attorney for environmentalists in the lawsuit Doug Honnold. B253 was a former member of the well-known Druid Pack in Yellowstone National Park who was shot the day after delisting by gunners on snowmobilers near an elk feeding ground. It was not hunting’s finest hour.

Just for full disclosure, I’ve known Louisa since 1986, stayed at her home a few times and she has stayed at mine. My wife Tina and I went with her and Doug to Kamchatka in 1992 along with a group of scientists.

No matter what the science or even the law determines, the actions of people who have gone out of their way to kill wolves can’t help but influence the situation. Their impatience could keep they and their hunting buddies from hunting wolves this fall.

impartial

I was under the naive assumtion that a judge's job was to objectively listen to evidence and make a decision based upon impartial logic. Silly me.

Judge Donald Molloy has seemingly made his decision already. Why waste money on a hearing?

It's very difficult for me to see how a decision as controversial as this one could be made without fairly weighing research brought forth from both sides of the issue. Is there not some merit in noting the reproductive rate wolves have enjoyed? Is there not some merit in looking at state's predator management records (i.e. cougar and bear management successes)? Is there not some merit in weighing strong evidence of substantial injury to ungulate populations in areas of higher wolf density?

True, the hearing has not taken place yet, but is there really any doubt how a judge that spins his statement as blatantly as "... don't want to risk anymore (wolf) deaths..." is going to rule? Especially if, as Mr.Barker has alluded, he pays attention to one-sided accounts like Mr. Barker's good friend, Ms. Wilcox's?

In order to maintain some semblance of a working judicial system, Judge Donald Molloy had best take into account the large number of stakeholders on both sides of this issue and rule objectively based upon solid research and ethics, rather than base his decision upon emotion, politics, or financial result.

Yeah, right.

Nijimasu

Don't jump to conclusions about Judge Molloy. This guy doesn't take crap off of anyone. He will be fair and impartial. He is a Butte, Montana native. He has a history of not being intimated and in fact publicly chewed out the US Attorney in court. I am chuckling at your post, you certainly don't know the Judge. Do a "google" on him. I don't know which way this case may go, but I do know that Molloy will look at the facts and not be swayed by anyone. If they even hint trying to cross him (either side) he may just throw them out of his court.

What's Butte got to do, got to do with it?

What's Butte but some town out in Montana?

And Tina Turner STILL looks better.

Wolf Delisting Reversed?

It appears that the extremist pro-wolf crowd will be successful in getting their injunction and forcing wolves to be reinstated as endangered. This is a huge disappointment for Idaho outdoor enthusiasts whether you are a hunter or simply enjoy camping in the wilderness. The environmentalist extremists are insisting that a 5000 minimum wolf population needs to exist in the 3 state area of Idaho, Montana and Wyoming. We can kiss our hunting and recreational opportunities goodbye as the wolves will now be king of the wilderness.

http://www.saveourelk.com/

Get a grip

You folks at SaveOurElk are the extremists. You can't even get a ballot initiative using all of the lies and other garbage on your lame website. You obviously don't know anything about the biology of elk or wolves. Since when did elk calve in March?

I think the wolves are gonna be toast no matter...

Not that I'm getting anything from it one way or another. At least nobody has shot humans over it.

Idaho Fish and Game Proposal for Wolf Management

Next week, Idaho Fish and Game will hold public comment meetings on its wolf hunting plan, including proposals that could allow hunters to kill young pups in summer and wolves during denning season, and use aerial radio telemetry devices to track and kill wolves.

Can you spare a couple of hours to attend one of these meetings and speak out for a more responsible, balanced approach to managing wolves in Idaho?

Meeting May 15, 2008 in Nampa

Many of the proposals are…

Extreme. Under the proposed plan, hunters are not prohibited from using aerial telemetry tracking devices to track and kill wolves.

Unfair. One of the proposed hunting seasons is 7 months long, much longer then for any other big game species in the state. This could result in four month old pups being shot, or else left without adult wolves to feed and protect them.

Indiscriminate. Some in the state are pushing for hunting during the denning season, when wolves and packs are especially vulnerable. Allowing females to be killed when they are about to give birth at their den sites is going too far.

Overkill. Idaho Fish and Game plans to reduce the Idaho wolf population by 25% or more. Such aggressive targets threaten the long-term

For more information visit http://www.defenders.org/index.php

ckoff - What are you really defending

The name of your website suggests that you care about wildlife - Right? However your organizations support of the proliferation of this non-native Canadian gray wolf actually places you in the category of promoting the brutal and savage killing of wildlife. This particular breed of wolf is extremely aggressive and has a propensity for binge killing and to kill for killing sake. Just take a look at some of the pictures on www.saveourelk.com website. How can you turn a blind eye and watch as elk and deer are savagely ripped apart. You chalk this up to numb comments like "this is as nature at its best" and the way nature is supposed to be. My feeling is that individuals and groups who enjoy and promote this kind of behavior are no better than the Romans who got their thrill out of watching slaves being fed to the lions.

With your organization support of the unconstrained and explosive growth of this wolf you are demonstrating that you have no compassion for other animals. You would rather turn a blind eye to the reality of the devastation and carnage this Gray wolf is inflicting upon our Idaho mountain ungulate. What about the rights of the native animals who pre-existed and were here before introduction of this wolf? Don't they have any rights? Do you expect the rest of us to sit back and watch as these non-native wolves methodically exterminate our other native wildlife because you and your pro-wolf extremist groups can't stomach the thought of any of your beloved wolves be killed?

With this plan the IDF&G wants to be allowed its mission to enforce sensible management of this wolf, so that the balance of our wilderness eco-system is not turned upside down and changed forever with the unconstrained growth of this top-tier predator. But allowing the IDF&G to do their job isn't good enough for you or for your group. Please let the rest of us know your real intentions, as I many others believe your agenda is to drive sportsman and recreationalists out of our wilderness and turn the clock back 500 years.

You obviously don't have a

You obviously don't have a clue. So what if wolves eat elk. Your fearless leader Ron Gillett is full of insults, threats and actual assaults on real people. He has single-handedly proven that Idaho anti-wolf activists are more dangerous than any wolf in Idaho.

It's not black and white like you say it is. Besides, your group doesn't even want IDFG to manage wolves anyway. Your arguments are totally incoherent and you have to totally make stuff up in an attempt to convince that wolves are bad.

They are! I've got indigestion and haven't eaten a single one!

Nuke them or something. Go find something else to gripe about folks.

gillett is a women beater i

gillett is a women beater i hate women beaters. no wonder his wife left him. those anti wolf folks are the hypocrites not the pro wolf crowd.

Defending Wildlife

Thank you for your view. You are right, I do care about wildlife. In response to your commentary: I believe that man is the only savage and brutal killer of wildlife. I feel that nature should take care of it's own, without intervention from man. I do not feel that there would be a over population problem if we left nature alone. I can not sit back and watch man cause the extinction of yet another species.

ergo

you wish the planet to think that Humankind is not a part of nature?

What, exactly, is the definition of "brutal and savage" you propose?

Myth & Honesty

I am sort of an agnostic about the delisting issue. Since wolves were reintroduced, I have been weighing the arguments and keeping an eye out for wolves. I confess that I like to see them in the wild. And I prefer to hunt elk that are tuned into wolves.

I find Saveelk's arguments bewildering. There is simply no evidence that the "Canadian Wolves" are any different from the wolves that historically lived in the Western & Central US. I would love to see the peer reviewed evidence underlying this claim. Wolves have frequently wandered accross the US/Canada border.

But this "cruel wolf" argument is a doozy. Someone has watched Bambi too many times. Elk and other ungulates evolved with predators. Predators made them what they are. They need each other. Predation ain't pretty. To die of disease and starvation is not pretty either. How do these folks think animals die in the wild......check into the squirrel clinic...the mule deer rest home? These anti wolf extremists would not like Africa. To see the vast elegant interplay between predator and prey would really hurt their feelings. Those savage lions!

Finally, if you care about wildlife - care about habitat. Now that is an issue we all should be concerned about - the continuing loss of habitat.

More STEW!

Please?

You're pretty slow, aren't you?

eatwhatyoukill and other fence-sitters

You may want to rethink your position, if indeed you truly wish to continue hunting lawfully. Tags are already harder to get in areas where wolf predation has impacted elk recruitment. This is not news; check your regulations.

From reading saveelk's post, I think the jist of his statement was to point out the inherent hypocrisy of ckoff's "defending wildlife" credo.

Anyone who genuinely cares about wildlife and is sitting on the fence like yourself, should read the following, and research further whatever concerns they may have. If you enjoy the Idaho outdoors, you owe it to yourself to become properly educated and take proper action. Wolf "agnosticism" is not tolerable if you care about the wildlife of North America.

http://westinstenv.org/wp-content/Outdoorsman_No_26_Januarv_2008.pdf

That is an excellent

That is an excellent article. Here's is Dr Kay's article from 1996 http://www.independent.org/publications/policy_reports/detail.asp?type=full&id=6

After reading his article it's almost prophetic what he wrote

Nijimasu & Nitrodan

Thanks for your comments and I appreciate your perspective.

But I am very uncomfortable with your sources. The Outdoorsman article was a barely coherent, rambling diatribe. They were throwing everything up to see what stuck. I certainly don't buy the conspiratorial arguments. I trust the numbers coming from the state's; all of which show good elk numbers and hunter success. Here is Idaho's:
https://research.idfg.idaho.gov/wildlife/Wildlife%20Technical%20Reports/Elk%20PR07.pdf

Here is a summary:
http://www.mtexpress.com/index2.php?ID=2005113772

Sorry guys, the facts aren't there. Read the elk population assessments from Idaho, Wyoming & Montana. Most state populations exceed the optimum management target. Populations in different mangement areas are going different directions for different reasons - the wolf is definitely part of the story, but nothing even close to the apocolyptic cries of the folks like "Save Our Elk".

But what amazes me is that hunters are up in arms over the wolf, but are silent about the permanent destruction of wildlife habitat. Real estate and oil & gas development and logging are destroying critical winter habitat. When the house is on fire, don't worry if you left your toaster on. I am much more worried about Wyoming's elk feedlots and CWD and brucellosis than I am about the wolf. This is our land and our game. I like my game and my hunting experiences wild.

Enviros need to foot the bill for wolf killings

A wolf eats 37 pounds of meat a day or 1100 pounds of meat a month.

The enviros haven't offered to pay a penny for the deer, elk, salmon, etc. the wolves eat.

In the Fish and Game Code the value of these critters is set BY LAW.

Idaho F&G has not done anything to collect the food bill from the enviros.

It's the same thing as stealling State owned personal property.

The enviros behave at the meetings like KKK members at a cross burning.

Just go to watch the enviro crazees at work.

Where are your facts? Can

Where are your facts? Can you give a reference please? Have you or someone just made this up?

Yes, a wolf CAN eat 37 pounds of meat in a sitting but can they do it every day? NO! You have just multiplied 37 times 30 and come up with 1100. A wolf can, and often does, go days without eating. The success rate of a hunt by wolves varies greatly throughout the year and is a massively limiting factor in wolf densities. The most successful time of year for hunting is during late winter but during late summer, fall, and early winter when prey is at its prime the success of a wolf declines significantly. One of the main factors that impacts wolf nutrition during the fall is the gut piles and large numbers or injured elk and deer left by hunters.

You don't know what you are talking about.

Give the stupid wolves Food Stamps and stop harping.

Nobody cares unless they poop on the Foothills and you don't clean after them and put them on leashes.

Big deal, Tom Paine. Flag until your strength is gone, I can still edit for a while.

Hey, "Speedy"

you failed to mention the wolf's role in the sub prime mortgage crisis and global worming. The cross burnings you attended must have been pretty sedate affairs.

The punch they served was "kicky" though...

The punch they served was "kicky" though...

savewatyourkill - Canadian Wolf not native

If you are looking documentation about this non-native Canadian Gray wolf not being our native wolf - go to http://www.saveourelk.com and look under "facts", The Smithsonian Institute has a mount of the smaller timber wolf that previously existed in Idaho.
In the study the Scientists indicate that the proposed Canadian Gray Wolf was on average 100 pounds heavier than the native timber wolf. They further recommended against introduction and indicated doing so would violate the intent of the Endangered Species Act because a closer founder stock was available.
The USF&W ignored their concerns and science and want ahead anyway.

Well, Saveelk

I read the entire "study" on the "facts" section on saveourelk. Have you read it....in it's entirety? It ain't no study! The quotes are from a legal petition or brief and the quotes are highly selective and out of context. The petition is very poorly written and compares several academic studies about the historical ranges of various canus lupus subspecies. In spite of all that, It is clear that cl occidentalis was on it's way to the N Rockies and that the zoologists / mammologists thought occidentalis was an approprite wolf to introduce to Wyoming & Idaho.

I wonder if the folks at saveourelk read the brief that they quoted from. It really is a joke.

PS Saveelk

By the way.......The quote from saveourelk said occidentalis at 100 lbs was 30% heavier that the "wisconsin wolf"......not 100 lbs heavier. Come on!!! Besides the so called wisconsin wolf (nubilus) is a plains wolf and is not 30% smaller that occidentalis, although it is smaller.

Do you know how FAT and SLUGGISH a +100 lb wolf would be?

Get them Jazzercise tapes on eBay!

Do you know how FAT and sluggish an idiot flagging would be?

Wolf poop!

Lots of wolf poop! The Statesman will die with glee!

Wolf poop h8ers gone wild!

When self-rightwous bloggersn take the meds they think I require and am not prescribed, will the world right itself for madness?

C'mon son, you're setting yourself up for no reason and I feel pity for your tantrums.

saveelk is the scum of nature and

gillett is a women beater i hate women beaters. no wonder his wife left him. those anti wolf folks are the hypocrites not the pro wolf crowd