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Wolves Re-Listed (Temporarily) by Judge

July 19th, 2008

According to an Associated Press Article, environmentalists have sued to get their way in a Montana court. A federal judge, Donald Molloy granted a temporary injunction to restore the wolves’ earlier classification as “endangered”, which will cancel the planned hunting seasons in 3 states this fall. He will be making a decision shortly as to whether the injunction will become permanent. Based on what he has already said, it seems likely that this judge will side with the environmentalists, and re-list the wolves, contrary to the recommendation of the federal and state biologists and wildlife agencies.

I don’t live in the west, and I don’t know first hand what is going on with the wolves. However, I am always leery when I hear that one group or another has to get its way by suing in the court system. The wildlife agencies are best equipped (at least in most cases) to make sound judgments concerning the populations of the various species, and they are equipped to decide what needs to be done to control the populations. There was plenty of evidence to support de-listing the wolves, but those who are against ALL hunting are having their way with this species by taking it to the courts.

The fear I have in all of this is that if they can gain such power to control what does or does not happen with the wolves, what will keep them from taking the next step and extending that power to other game species? The answer is: nothing! Anti-hunters have used the court systems to stop hunting for years, and they will continue to do it as long as they can find a sympathetic judge, who thinks that he (or she) knows better than the biologists on the ground.

This is another example of judges trying to legislate from the bench, and it is just plain wrong. This judge was not enforcing law, he was writing it.

Maybe those of you who are closer to the issue can chime in here, and let me know what you think of this decision. Those of you who are not affected by this particular decision, let me know how you would react if this judge allowed environmentalists to stand in the way of your hunting. I know this has happened recently in some norther states (with dove hunting), and I believe in New Jersey with bear hunting. That’s getting a little closer to home for me!

EDIT:  After publishing this, I found that Tom over at the Black Bear Blog has an excellent post on the same subject.  If you haven’t seen it, head over there and take a gander!

10 Responses to “Wolves Re-Listed (Temporarily) by Judge”

  1. It is amazing to me how a judge can look right at expert wildlife biologists-who are educated scientist in their field-and basically thumb his nose at them. Their expert opinion means nothing to him. I’m thinking this judge has agenda to fullfill and is going to stop at nothing to do it.

    Hopefully someone who lives in the area will chime in as well. I’m very curious to see what their opinion is.

  2. Well, what do you expect when we live in a country where movie stars are invited to Congress to testify about environmental and social issues for which they have no background or education upon which to base a reasonable opinion, let alone offer expert testimony?

  3. It’s a sad state of affairs when judges start to make decisions about wildlife conservation, a subject they have no clue about. When emotions count more in a court of law than scientific facts we have reason to start to worry.
    -ov-

  4. I saw this last night and figured the blog world would be aflame about it today – alas, this is the first time I’ve come across it (I bet Tom Remington will cover it, too though…I just haven’t gotten there, yet!) That in itself is sort of scary – there just aren’t enough of us making our voices heard, maybe?

    I can’t believe that one person can have so much authority. If that judge is so stubbornly going to ignore the professional advice of the game biologists that study this thing – not to mention, THE PERSON THAT SPEARHEADED THE WOLF RECOVERY!! All who say the wolf population can support hunting, I wonder if he’d like to try running sheep or cattle or take his dogs for a walk in wolf country. Ridiculous. This plain irritates me.

  5. I’m irritated and frustrated – judges didn’t go to school to be wildlife specialists they were supposed to learn to listen to experts and make their judgments based on facts… guess this one at least didn’t learn his lesson very well.

  6. I’ve lived in Idaho for 22 years in north Idaho at one time and now southern Idaho. One of the big problems is the Idaho Fish and Game. With all due respect their “official” position is that elk herds are doing fine with respect to wolves. I believe there are 2 reasons for this: First they don’t want to scare off elk hunters especially non-residents and the associated revenue. Second, they don’t want to be seen as antagonistic towards wolves. The problem with this is it played right into the hands of wolf advocates who point to the so called fact that Idaho’s elk herds “are not declining” due to wolf re-introduction. Of course those of us who hunt know different. I offer further proof, I know several shed hunters in north Idaho who found numerous elk carcasses this spring due to a nasty winter and just like the last time that happened in 96-97 the official position of the fish and game is “elk are fine”. Maybe a “few” died but nothing to be alarmed about. They simply will not admit to any decline in elk numbers whether it’s winter kill or wolves. It’s a scam that has already backfired and is getting ready to blow up in their face. When the truth gets out about the “actual” conditon of Idaho’s elk herds there’s going to be hell to pay. Wolves are decimating elk herds in Idaho. I’m not an alarmist wacko saying that wolves are going to kill ALL of the elk. But they will reduce numbers and are already doing so to the point where elk hunting will be very limited with few tags available even for residents. What a shame for a once great elk state. We are ground zero for an experiment can bad. That’s my two cents

  7. It cannot imagine that it will be very long before wolves make their way across the Snake River into Eastern Oregon in more substantial numbers. I sincerely hope that game managment here goes to school on what is going on in Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming. The hunting is regulated enough without having to compete with an over-population of wolves who eat deer and elk on an unrestricted basis.

  8. There are more wolves in Montana hunting district 250 alone than the biologists say there are in the entire state. Our elk herds have been decimated. Last season the Montana FW&P dropped the open cow season from 125 harvested to 25 in mid-season when they realized how low populations had dropped. This season there is no open cow season in district 250.
    The biologists are saying the drop may not be due to wolves alone. They are trying to pass off this huge population drop to mountain lions, which have been here forever but now, all the sudden, are causing huge drops in elk numbers. Get real! What is the new factor in the equation? Wolves. They are so thick in district 250 that you can’t walk 10 yards without seeing wolf tracks and scat.
    The Bitterroot elk herd was estimated at 7100 last year and had been growing for several years. This year the elk estimate is 5800. We had a normal winter and a decrease in hunting tags last season. What happened? Wolves happened.
    Another thing you don’t see in the liberal news are the wolves killing and harrassing livestock. You also don’t see the sheer number of wolves that have been killed in the Bitterroot alone. Why isn’t this making the news?

  9. Bob, Thanks for stopping by. You are right, those are things that have been ignored by the general media. It is good for those who know the truth about these issues to make it known to those of us who are far away from the situation!

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