letter from RMEF about wolves

Discussion in 'Politics Of Hunting And Guns (NOT General Politics' started by dogdinger, May 9, 2010.

  1. dogdinger

    dogdinger Writers Guild

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    April 8, 2010
    Mike Leahy
    Director, Rocky Mountain Region
    Defenders of Wildlife
    303 W Mendenhall
    Suite 3
    Bozeman, MT 59715
    Kirk Robinson
    Executive Director
    Western Wildlife Conservancy
    68 Main Street
    Suite 4
    Salt Lake City, UT 84101
    Dear Mr. Leahy & Mr. Robinson:
    I am in receipt of your letter of March 30, 2010. I will address your points factually and straightforward.
    We would be happy to meet with you to discuss conservation issues and the destruction of specific herds of
    elk in North America. We believe; however, that your organizations and others are contributing greatly to
    perhaps one of the worst wildlife management disasters since the destruction of bison herds in the 19​
    th

    century. Until the lawsuit relative to re-listing the wolves is settled or until you withdraw your support for
    such, there really isn’t much need to meet as we continue to be at opposite ends of this issue.
    Once again, I will state that elk are not flourishing where wolves are present. Contrary to what you have
    suggested many times to claim otherwise is disingenuous and “cherry picking” data. Elk populations are
    being exploited at a high rate by predators, primarily wolves and somewhat by grizzly bears. However,
    since the introduction of the Canadian gray wolf into Yellowstone this exploitation has become worse for
    elk numbers in the same areas. Yet, you would have the public believe otherwise.​
    The numbers and facts do not lie and they are as follows:​
    • ​
    The Northern Yellowstone herd, trend count has dropped from nearly 19,000 elk in 1995 before
    the introduction of the Canadian gray wolf to just over 6,000 elk in 2008. At the same time wolf
    numbers in this same area are on a steady increase. Nowhere can I find where a 60% reduction of
    this herd was a goal of the wolf introduction.
    (Source: 2009 Wolf-Ungulate Study Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks)

    • ​
    The Moose population in Yellowstone National Park trend count shows a decrease to almost zero.

    (Source: 2009 Wolf-Ungulate Study Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks)​
    2​
    • ​
    The Gallatin Canyon elk herd trend count between Bozeman and Big Sky has dropped from
    around 1,048 to 338 in 2008.

    (Source: Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks)​
    • ​
    The Madison Firehole elk herd trend count has dropped from 700 to 108 in 2008.

    (Source: Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks)​
    • ​
    The calf survival rate for those same elk herds mentioned above, where wolves (and bears) are
    present, is extremely low amounting to as little as 10% or less recruitment or survival rate. Nearly
    any wildlife professional will tell you this is an unacceptable recruitment or survival rate.
    Acceptable wildlife science tells us that a 25-40% survival rate is necessary for herd sustainability.
    Further, a recent MSU study shows those elk that remain in the Northern Yellowstone herd are in
    below standard health as they are not feeding where and how they normally do and the females are
    not getting pregnant as they should, due to hormonal imbalances. How and why did this behavior
    change?

    (See Montana State University Study by Professor Scott Creel in July 2009; funded by the
    National Science Foundation)​
    • ​
    Wolf numbers have far exceeded what sportsmen, ranchers, wildlife conservationists and the
    public at-large were told was a desirable goal. Specifically, 30 breeding pairs and 300 total wolves
    was the goal line when wolves were released in 1995. The minimum number of wolves is now
    over 1,700 according to Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks and a number of animal rights groups
    such as yours believe those numbers should be 2,000 to 5,000.
    This is the most disingenuous and deceiving issue relative to the entire Canadian gray wolf
    introduction and your groups and others perpetuate this every chance you get. We call it, “keep
    moving the goal line” politics. It is doubtful even you believe that 2,000-5,000 wolves in this area
    is sustainable. However, this allows you to keep saying “We haven’t reached the goal line yet”. It
    is sad wildlife management has to come such political posturing.
    Wolf population goals established at the introduction in 1995 have been surpassed by some 300-
    500%. Yet groups like yours continue to move the goal line and yes, continue to cherry pick your
    facts to push an agenda.

    • ​
    Studies show that each wolf kills up to 23 elk from November through April; that equates to up to
    40,000 elk killed in six months. This number does not include those elk killed for food by wolves
    from May through October. While the number of elk killed per wolf from May through October is
    less than the number from November through April, it is still considerable; and that is just the elk
    killed for food. These numbers do not account for those elk simply killed by wolves (surplus
    killing) and yes, that does happen. Nowhere near the majority of these elk kills are simply the sick
    and the old.

    • ​
    The habitat loss that you cite in your letter is yet another critical reason why wolves must be
    properly managed and managed now. As elk ranges shrink and are encroached upon, the elk have
    less chance for survival in areas where wolves are concentrated. Elk become trapped with less
    habitat available. Your organization talks about elk and wolves coexisting on the same terms as if
    it were the Old West again. It clearly is not and that is why man must manage wildlife as we have
    for over a century.

    3​
    • ​
    Canadian gray wolves introduced in Yellowstone in 1995, simply are not endangered, it is quite
    the opposite. There are thousands of these wolves in North America. Remember this reintroduction
    was classified as an experimental, non-essential re-introduction in the first place.
    Your groups would have today’s public believe that it is essential. These wolves are not
    endangered.

    • ​
    You contradict yourself as you point out in your letter how there is a “legitimate federal role in
    ensuring states manage wildlife in the best interests of all Americans…”, yet you circumvent and
    disagree with the federal opinion (USFWS) that the wolves are recovered. Further, you disagree
    that these wolves should not be listed as endangered and be managed by the states at this time.
    You can’t have it both ways but you continue to try as long as you can get away with it. Do the
    federal authorities know what they are talking about or not?

    • ​
    It is likely that your groups have reaped large donations from your campaign to keep wolves on
    the endangered species list. This is a common tactic for animal rights groups. It is apparent that if
    the entire wolf controversy went away it would represent a considerable revenue loss for you.
    I don’t see what your costs are relative to the wolf recovery program as it is likely you are getting
    federal funds to pay some or all of your legal fees under the Judgment Fund or EAJA funds. Could
    you confirm for us and the public at large if you are receiving such federal funds (taxpayer funds)
    to offset your legal fees? Frankly, I don’t believe most of the public know about or understand the
    Judgment Fund or EAJA but they should. It sheds light on potential motives and tactics.
    Idaho’s elk numbers in units where wolves exist are far worse, with two units showing over 80% decline
    since wolves were introduced. If wildlife conservation was your true agenda you would not stand for such
    losses of any species. The facts are there – the numbers do not lie! Our elk herds cannot be sustained if
    wolf numbers continue to expand without proper management. What is happening now is not sound
    management, it is simply an assault. Re-listing wolves will worsen the issue dramatically.
    Your letter states, “(Defenders) position is not one of opposition to sustainable hunting practices or to the
    important role that hunting plays in conservation. Responsible hunters are some of the most knowledgeable
    wildlife conservationists and we seek and find common ground with them regularly. It is unfortunate we
    have not been able to do so with RMEF recently but would like to work together in the future.” You have
    never sought common ground with us once that I recall.
    Let’s consider those words a moment. We do not believe that your organizations subscribe to hunting as a
    viable conservation tool; in fact we believe you and other animal rights groups have an overriding agenda
    to decrease hunting until there is none. If you truly want to “work together” as your letter suggests, then
    you will step forward and show a sincere willingness to manage wildlife as they should be managed and
    not continue to promote a hidden agenda or continue to move the goal line.
    In fact, I invite you to come to
    my office and let’s resolve this issue for the sake of those responsible hunters and those responsible
    non-hunters you reference. Enough of the legal maneuvering and posturing, let’s resolve this now.

    Plain and simple, wolves are predators, nothing more and nothing less. They need to be managed like other
    predators by the folks who manage the rest of our wildlife, the state wildlife agencies. This wolf amnesty
    program is poor wildlife management. The American sportsmen deserve better respect for all they have
    contributed to wildlife while groups like yours play games with the system.
    Your letter states you have called for a scientific review of the wolf recovery program. Who are your
    scientists conducting the review? We have never heard of this scientific review? We can find no
    announcement of such nor can we confirm it. Why isn’t the wildlife science of three of the leading western
    states (Wyoming, Montana and Idaho) and the USFWS credible? Is it that you are not getting the answers
    you are looking for? If so, that is not subscribing to science that is manipulating it to get a desired answer.​
    4​
    We live within the rules and game management policies of all the state agencies and when we have
    differences of opinion we go to them and work it out like adults. The United States has the best system of
    wildlife management in the world, yet you reject the system of states managing their wildlife. Among your
    tactics are filing lawsuits to stall and extend the process and then point fingers at others like RMEF and say
    we are polarizing the conflict! Managing wildlife in court is a recipe for disaster.
    Again, you seem to contradict yourselves in your letter; on one hand you trumpet the success of the overall
    elk populations in these three states (which are managed by those states, I might add); and on the other
    hand you reject those same three states’ ability to manage wolves. That is a curious contradiction. Either
    these states know what they are doing or they don’t.
    No one is promoting an annihilation of wolves, so let’s stop pretending such exists. However, there is a
    great need for sensible balance and the current wolf numbers have long since crossed over the tipping
    point. If your organizations do not begin to subscribe to sound wildlife management soon, this disaster will
    lay squarely on your hands for history and the public to judge. Feel free to use the date enclosed in this
    letter when talking to media and legislatures in the future. As I said at the beginning, the numbers and the
    facts do not lie.
    Respectfully submitted,
    M. David Allen
    President & CEO​
    Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation
     
  2. winmag

    winmag Well-Known Member

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    Great letter. I belive it is also posted in the ''pollitics of guns and hunting'' thread.
    Its about time the RMEF decided to ''call the hippies on thier bluff''.


    OK, The moderators moved it to here now. Dis reguard earlier response as this was origionaly posted in General discussion.
     
    Last edited: May 10, 2010

  3. bigngreen

    bigngreen Well-Known Member

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    I have a copy sitting on my table as we speak, very excellent letter with more facts in it than we have heard from most organizations.
    Reading this has actually made me think about joining RMEF.
     
  4. ilscungilli

    ilscungilli Well-Known Member

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    I think we need to start managing the "Defenders of Wildlife" herd, their numbers are clearly way beyond the carrying capacity of the land.
     
  5. D.A.T.

    D.A.T. Well-Known Member

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    you hit the nail on the head.wolves are just like yotes,something to hunt and no more.i remember oregon saying like yotes they dont kill cattle.gun)
     
  6. Chas1

    Chas1 Well-Known Member

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    Read this letter a while ago on an earlier post. Read it again and it gets better each time I read it. It really does a good job of laying out the facts.
     
  7. RockyMtnMT

    RockyMtnMT Official LRH Sponsor

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    It is about time the RMEF took a stand with the sportsman. They should have done it years ago. Their policy of staying neutral in political issues was to the detriment of the wildlife they say they are trying to help. They have made a living off the backs of hunters since their inception, yet never once before this have they stood up for us. (Someone correct me if I'm wrong.) They have always directed their magazine and memberships toward hunters but not used our money to help us in any sort of hunter access, gun rights, or hunting rights. They are too little too late as far as I am concerned. They may have stepped to the plate in this situation, but I am not convinced that they are actually swinging at the ball.

    Again correct me if I am wrong. I would like to be wrong on this one.

    Steve
     
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2010
  8. tpichevy

    tpichevy Well-Known Member

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    old i knwo but good read!gun)
     
  9. HARPERC

    HARPERC Well-Known Member

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    I'd like you to be wrong, but unfortunately you aren't. That letter is now a year and a half old, and other than a change in rhetoric/marketing what have they done?They haven't even issued a new letter for us to talk about. My favorite part of the Crying Wolf video is the head of the RMEF talking about the blank look you get when you speak with state officials-it's the same look I got from RMEF officials when I asked them if they thought the locked gates they are so proud of was going to stop the wolves. I've been present when they refused to even discuss wolves, not politically correct you know.
     
  10. dook

    dook Well-Known Member

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    The RMEF is part of the problem, not part of the solution. They are supposed to be the "final word" on Elk.
    Yet they have long taken a wishy washy stand on wolves, never exposing the lies. Try searching their site for the word "hydatid" and nothing comes up...ever. They have not told their members the ugly truth about USFWS and how they deceived us.

    I was a member years ago. Never again. They are controlled opposition.
     
  11. dogmantrainer

    dogmantrainer New Member

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    Good one,
    Well written, right directly to the source. But they don’t have to do anything, they have an out.

    Their position is “No upper limit for wolf populations”, regardless of impact or cost. It is indefensible as far as wildlife or wolves are concerned, but it makes perfect political and financial sense for them. Because, by not specifying or supporting maximum acceptable numbers they maintain the "right of first refusal" in the perpetually outraged environmentalist circles.

    Marx had a concept (well Trotsky and some others) called "permanent revolution" and our progressive/socialist environmentalists have planned into every reintroduction program, an un-resolvable point of contention. They have a predictable stage in every wolf plan that will allow them to perpetually argue against killing any wolves.

    Regardless of what they agreed to pre-reintroduction. Regardless of the arguments they made based upon “their scientists research”, it is in their interest to react sensationally when wolves are killed. Every wolf killed is a propaganda bonanza. It feeds their revenues, and keeps their leadership funded; it also serves as a highly visible marker issue in anti-hunting and anti-trapping efforts.

    They have somehow convinced their followers that if they can drive the free and independent hunters, trappers, farmers, ranchers, or anybody they disagree with, out of business, or legislate them out of existence, or regulate them beyond recovery, that their "no liberty, no private property ownership, "we tell you and you don't count" version of socialist utopia can be a reality.

    The trouble with Marxism and the like is that the plan is always to keep the bottom, on the bottom; it is the only way that system works. All they want is a change of leadership and a redistribution of power and wealth. They need a massive moody mob that they can mobilize by waving meat over their heads, ostensibly so that when they get what they want.... well they can never allow that, because that’s when they have to prove true and make the utopia reality. They would have to deliver on all their promises, and they can’t, they never really thought they would be able to. Socialism has never worked, it can't, it has a self limiting set screw on the carburetor throttle cable labeled "running out of other people’s money". Socialism ONLY works in the revolution stage, they can't allow the revolution to end, and it means they end.

    They need constant turmoil, revolution, and wild points of contention to keep the "stir" going. The mob is willing and useful idiots will rise to serve with enthusiasm. Wolves are a great issue for them. Wild horses are a great issue for them. People who kill wolves or slaughter horses are heaven sent gifts.

    I don't think it was ever about wolves; it was (and is) about what wolves can get them. Resolution of the issues is not in their interest. For them to define the upper limit of the wolf population, is to side with the wolf killers and in the eyes of the mob, that makes them wolf killers to. They would have no solid base of support left to manipulate, they would be a target of their own mob.

    I think our concerted efforts should be to force the wolf advocates hand somehow to get them to nail down the upper limit. If we do that we take away their open ended, movable goal line, bonanza.

    Every hunting season debate or trapping season debate or livestock predation debate should have a focused public information and involvement component. Every meeting with the government should somehow direct the government to move for specificity on population indicators when lethal action is to be taken. For example: “The wolf population can exceed X# and lethal management methods can be employed”. As it is now, government won’t specify upper limits of any animal they are responsible for managing. Perhaps it can be legislated that the government is required to have the upper limit before finalizing any plan or proposal. Any wolf advocate proposal would have to include specificity in this area BEFORE government could even accept their proposal for review. Wolf advocates would have to pin themselves down, or they won’t get the wolf reintroductions they want. It is not workable now, and it feeds the attack on our liberty.
     
  12. Topgun 30-06

    Topgun 30-06 Well-Known Member

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    Say what, LOL? I hope you know more about dog training that you showed in that post on the RMEF and wolves!
     
  13. mtntrapper1

    mtntrapper1 Well-Known Member

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    Too little, way toooooooooo late! RMEF!