Introduction by Carol LaGrasse: Thank you. We're going to resume the afternoon with Dr. Charles Kay's talk, which so many of us are waiting for. It took three years of my hopeful petitioning to have it become possible for our property rights conference schedule and Dr. Charles Kay's schedule to coincide. And not only did it coincide but he made it coincide. I understand from what you said that you cancelled the hunt for which you had had just won the lotteryand you cancelled the first three days. Is that correct?
Dr. Kay: I actually gave up three days of my annual hunting to come to this conference. It took me six years to win, through this animal place is in Wyoming. The season opens September 10th and I haven't been there yet.
LaGrasse: Six years of drawing, for the right number! Well, we're already honored, but we're flabbergasted and honored. That's just wonderful.
Well, Dr. Charles Kay is truly famed and revered in the West of the United States, and Canada, especially. He's an Adjunct Associate Professor in Political Science and Senior Research Scientist with the Institute of Political Economy at Utah State University. He holds degrees in wildlife economy, environmental studies, and wildlife biology. He's admired for his insight concerning natural and human impacts on wildlife habitat. He received his Ph.D. in Wildlife Ecology from Utah State University, his M.S. in Environmental Studies from the University of Montana, and his B.S. in Wildlife Ecology from the University of Montana. Dr. Kay has conducted ecological research for Parks Canada, the U.S. Forest Service, the Bureau of Land Management, the Agricultural Research Service, and the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources, among others.
Dr. Kay has co-edited a book entitled Wilderness and Political Ecology: Aboriginal Influences and the Original State of Nature, published by the University of Utah Press and is the author of the forthcoming book on natural resource policy issues in the Yellowstone ecosystem entitled Yellowstone: Ecological Malpractice. Dr. Kay's aboriginal overkill book is under contract to Oxford University Press. Dr. Kay's research has appeared in Human Nature, the Journal of Range Management, Conservation Biology, the Canadian Field Naturalist, the Western Journal of Applied Forestry, the Wildlife Society Bulletin and the Journal of Forestry, among others.
Dr. Kay has contributed to the books The Great Yellowstone Ecosystem, Humans as Components of Ecosystems, Plants and Their Environment, and Ecology and Conservation of Wolves in a Changing World. Dr. Kay has also published a series of papers in various scientific synopses and proceedings. Dr. Kay's work on long-term ecosystem states and processes in the Central Canadian Rockies recently was published as an occasional paper by Parks Canada.
We asked for help in introducing Dr. Kay and received this kind paragraph from Valerius Geist of the University of Calgary. He said, "Charles Kay is much more than a wolf expert. He is a scholar who has studied predation comprehensively, which is why his work is so much more relevant and credible than that of the wolf experts, so called. His work is rigorous and he does not beat around the bush. He speaks plainly without recourse to diplomacy. He does his homework, which wolf experts normally do not do, at least not adequately. I am no wolf expert. By profession Charles is an historian, not just an animal behavioralist. Wolves happen to interest him."
And he sent his good wishes, "from you friend Valerius Geist." So it's our privilege to introduce Dr. Charles Kay of the John M. Huntsman School of Business, Utah State University. Thank you so much.
Dr. Charles Kay: Thank you. I certainly thank Carol for inviting me here to speak today. As you sort of indicated there in the introduction, where we're going back and forth, she's been after me for a number of years to come here and speak but unfortunately her conference dates always fall right during hunting season. I try to arrange my life when I work and do these research projects and stuff, so especially when we're out in the field it's twelve, fifteen hours a day, seven days a week and weekends and everything else. So I try to arrange my life (depending on which permits you're able to draw, in what states) so I have a month or two offlike large blocks of playtime. And then I just sort of disappear. I'm the last person in the world without a cell phone I don't want to be found.
So, my presentation today is basically what I know about wolves in the Northern Rockies and how this may be applicable back here in the East because I understand now why Carol wanted me here is because there's all this talk of putting wolves into Upstate New York. So maybe you can learn from our experience out in the West. My whole point about using this slide here is independent analysis. This is not part of my job description. OK? I don't take moneyhaven't taken money on the wolf issue from any side in this thing. I follow it as an academic interest. My primarily academic interest is to tell the truth.
One of the things that hasn't been alluded to here is the corruption of science. That's one of the things I deal with. Because science is sort of a new religion, especially when you deal with these environmental problems where everybody says, well, you know, the science is on our side. Well, you judge for yourself. I mean, I personally don't care if you have wolves in New York because I don't live here and I don't hunt here. But that's a decision that's up to you. What I object to is people not telling you the truth. On whatever level, the political level or anything else. Unfortunately, wolf recovery has been a scientific fraud from the very beginning.
The beginning. This is the figure from the 1987 Northern Rockies Wolf Recovery Plan that started it all. If you know anything about endangered species, once it's listed and all before the government can really do anything on it they have to come up with what's called a recovery plan. Then at the recovery plan what they want to do, they might have to do, is a full EIS [Environmental Impact Statement] This figure is actual recovery plans, not my figure. I just copied it out. And this is Montana here, this is Idaho here and this is Wyoming here and this is Yellowstone National Park. Now what I want you to watch is this stippled area right here which says, "potential dispersal corridors for wolves." Now, you don't know this particular area, but this is the Continental Divide. This is the crest of the Bitterroot Mountains that run to 10,000 feet. Wolves disperse in late winter-early spring. I mean if you're a wolf in a pack, and you're a young wolf and you want to have your own pack and do your own breeding, you have to leave your pack that you were born to and go find a mate and set up housekeeping someplace like that. So that happens late in the winter, early in the spring.
Well, the whole world thinks the Continental Divide is under 8, 10, 12 feet of snow in a normal year. Wolves don't disperse on mountain tops. This was all known when they did this back in '87. Where do your wolves disperse to? Well, down the big, flat, open valleys like anybody in his right mind would. Well, what's in the big, flat, open valleys? Well, it's all your private properties and your private livestock. The other thing with this thing I tend to notice is the recovery areas are unrealistically small. There is only supposed to be a hundred wolves here, hundred wolves here, hundred wolves here, and no requirement for genetic connectivity in the EIS that was done from all this kind of stuff, so I total 300 wolves. They were supposed to be delisted. There were a number of delisting lawsuits that I'll discuss in more detail later in my talk but the federal wolf expert Dr. David Mech said there was at least 3,000 wolves in this area instead of the 300 and this judge in Montana who was appointed by Bill Clinton on it put them back on the Endangered Species List twice. If I leave you with nothing else on it to emphasize, that's fine. I'll get to this one.
But it doesn't make any difference what I think about wolves, what David Mech or any other wolf expert thinks about wolves, in the final analysis it's going to be what some federal judge thinks about wolves. Well, let me tell you, federal judges are ecologically incompetent. They have gone to law school. They haven't spent twenty or thirty years studying these ecological relationships. And various cases I testified to and worked as an expert witness I do private consulting this wasn't a wolf case. It was an antelope and fences case and I won't get into details of it but before the hearing started in a Federal Court in Wyoming, the judge lectured both sides, "Please can't you come to some agreement on this," because the judge admitted he knew nothing about antelope, he knew nothing about fences and his exact words were, "But if you want me to cut the baby, I will," without knowing anything about it. It's referring to the Bible the Biblical reference.
In 1993 I wrote my first article explaining the problem with wolf recovery. I should say I don't talk to reporters because they get everything wrong. I'm not on a soapbox to change the world. I think scientists need to be independent and not really talk to the press because they get everything wrong all the time. But I've taken to writing popular articles on it because if I make a mistake in my own writing I deserve to get my behind, you know, tattooed. But I don't desire to get my behind tattooed because of what some reporter put in some paper. Then when you get on the witness stand as an expert witness they feed you the certified copy of the newspaper and say "Well, did you make all these, you know, erroneous statements?" on that stuff. So I wrote this in '93. It was published in a hunting magazine called Petersen's Hunting and immediately the Fish and Wildlife Service tried to have me removed from the university position. And they called up the president of the university, they called up my department chairman. My department chairman is, rather at that time, was in political science firm and is around the conservative side. Basically what the Fish and Wildlife Service told him, based on what I'd written was that I was actually threatening the lives of his people, the agents in the field because quote, "Those Neo-Nazis in Montana," based on what I had written, "were going to start shooting his field agents."
Then in 1996 I published a longer monograph on wolf recovery. Unlike everyone else, I accurately predicted what mess we would be in today. I'm the only ecologist in the country who got it right aside from Dr. Valerius Geist and he was at the University of Calgary, in Calgary, and he's since retired and lives out in Vancouver Island and got involved in the wolf thing because the wolves have recolonized Vancouver Island. That's a whole other story in itself as far as what they did. OK. The hunting opportunities and peace of mind and dogs and all sorts of stuff.
And since then I've written a number of articles on wolves and predation. Today I only have time for short summary statements, but if you'll send me an email, I'll be happy to send you pdf files of all this. Predation: Lies, Myth and Scientific Fraud, Are Predators Killing Your Hunting Opportunities?, The High Cost of Predation, Wolf Recovery: is Delisting Rigged? Wolf Predation: More Bad News, The Kaibab Deer Incident [, Myths, Lies and Scientific Fraud] which deals specifically with Aldo Leopold and predation and wolves and what's called predator-mediated competition, which I'll talk about in a minute. Predation and the Ecology of Fear these are two emerging, major issues in predation ecology and Do Predators Always Kill the Weak, the Sick or the Infirmed? The short answer is "No." Man-eating Wolves, which I'll discuss and then Wolf Delisting: The Legal Battle in Montana and Idaho. That's a two-part thing. So I have pdf files of all of those and if you send me an email or send Carol an email she can get it to me and I'll send you copies of that after my antelope hunt.
Predation. One of the questions on everyone's mind is, do wolves and other predators limit the number of game animals? Limit means reduce the population or control the population and the answer is: Absolutely. As I noted back in 1993, wolves and other predators and I stress other predators routinely keep ungulate populations at ten percent or less than what the habitat would otherwise support. It's amazing the photos you get nowadays that you can pull of the internet. A lot of these aren't my own photos. This was taken by wolf researchers. There's a pack of wolves trying to bring down a moose.
Again, so it's not just wolves. It's wolves on top of grizzly bears. You can tell grizzly bears from black bears, the story is, you know, bear bells. You look at the bear droppings, the bear bells are on the grizzly bear droppings, not the black bear's. That's sort of a side issue. You note the long claws on the grizzlies and they have a hump on the back. So it's wolves on top of grizzly bears.
On top of black bear predation, you have predation by mountain lions. This was a photo taken by a cell phone. It's not a very good photo, but this is the mountain lion here trying to take down a six-point bull elk. How these lions kill? Their canines are about this long. They're not enough to kill instantaneously. And on a big animal they can't break its neck, so what they do is they crush the windpipe, like African lions do. They actually suffocate the animal. So that's why they're just grabbing it at the neck. And once it gets a hold like that in that deep a snow the bull's basically dead. And that's probably a bull, alive and in good health probably, 1,000 pounds.
Anacapa Coyote predation. One of the things all predators do, especially wolves and canids, is they go for the rear end of the animal. It's the hardest to defend. People say they hamstring them. They don't really try to hamstring them they just try to do massive tissue damage. And they actually try to get at the soft underbelly which is your part right here where there's no bones and stuff and just rip that open and the guts fall out and then basically the animal's dead sooner and not later. And they basically, in a lot of cases, eat them alive. OK on that stuff.
And all this predation is what's called additive. OK, additive means, you know it's the wolves kill one, and the mountain lions kill one that's two. It's not as if the wolves kill one and the mountain lions don't kill one; that's what's called compensatory. A lot of these biologists will tell you that predation is compensatory and that's not true. It's actually additive. For those of you I know that you're not biologists but this is the difference in size that we're talking about. This is the photo that came out of eastern Montana. This is a coyote that was shot. I guess you have coyotes here back East. This is a wolf that was shot.
When they first turned the wolves loose in Yellowstone and they had an elk population that hadn't seen a wolf in a hundred years, or eighty years, it was just a "Hi" if you're a wolf. You don't have to chase them because they don't run. They don't know what you are. And so the wolves were going to 150-160 pounds. They significantly dropped the elk population in the park. The wolves are now down to an average 100-pound size in the park. So they can get quite large. They're not like little coyotes and things.
Canada. A great deal of research on wolves has been done in Canada. This is a photograph I took from the top of Sulfur Mountain in Banff National Park in the Canadian Rockies. The Canadians have done their parks differently than we have ours. There's a park of Banff, there's a town of Banff in the park on it and they also have the Canadian Pacific Railroad. The Trans-Canada Highway is twin. There are very few good passes through the Canadian Rockies, fortunately one of them is in the park. So this is to give you some idea of what the Canadian Rockies look like. Parks Canada killed out their wolves a number of times in the park. The last time was in the 1950's under a rabies scare and rabies got into the populations all through southern BC and Alberta and they just poisoned them out. But starting in the late eighties they didn't worry about the northern part of Canada because there aren't enough people up there to worry about and so wolves have naturally re-colonized the Canadian Rockies starting in the 1980's.
Prior to the build-up of wolves, eight hundred to a thousand elk were routinely counted from the air in the Bow Valley. This is Banff here, the mountain it's a tramway that's up there. I didn't do all that climbing up there the earlier photo was taken looking out this way. The important point, the reason I used this stuff from Parks Canada, is this is their research. I didn't make these numbers up. These slides are all coming from the Parks Canada people. This is all in peer-reviewed scientific journals, none of which are ever cited. None of this stuff is ever cited in the lower 48 here or discussed. There's also the boundary here, the park boundaries here. This elk herd does not come out of the park and these elk are not hunted. That's why I use this example because if they can blame it on anything else besides wolves or grizzly bears and things, they do. They blame it on hunters. But there's a town right here on it and the elk don't come out. So this is where they started here in the late '80's. On it there's about eight hundred, a thousand wolves.
In this photo, notice how they're concentrated in here.
Why are the elk all there in town? The elk moved into town to avoid the predators. The wolves were more sensitive to human disturbance because the wolf packs actually go outside the park. And in Canada there's no ESA (Endangered Species Act) protection, there's no federal protection of them. They're under provincial control; so they get shot, in some cases legally poisoned outside the park. The Canadian government still does that in rare cases when you have a lot of livestock depredation and stuff like that. So they wound up living inside the park, inside the town, which gave them all sorts of public safety problems and all sorts of things. Put Cliff White, retired as Parks Canada manager after 37 years with the organization, on it and he can talk about this for hours, all the stuff that went on in the Canadian Rockies. Today the elk population has declined by 80 or 90 percent and most of the animals left alive now live in the town year-round.
This is also a Parks Canada... Here's the town of Banff. The purple are the elk, the radio-collared elk that they have. There's a wolf pack to the east here. This is Lake Minnewanka. Canmore in the yellow here. Well the yellow about here is the park boundary on it. So you can see there's a wolf pack here and there's a wolf pack here and all the elk are sitting right in town. I don't think you have this here yet.
We'll talk about mountain lions a little bit. These mountain lions are moving into the towns in the West. And the standard line is, well, people build houses in the wildlife habitat. Well, some of that is true, OK. But a lot of it is, you know, the deer moved into town to avoid the mountain lions. And this is common. There's all sorts of ecological reasons for this but this is to show you what happens. And unlike our parks here with the Fish and Wildlife Service, Parks Canada fully acknowledges what the wolves have done to the Park's inland ranks. In addition to reducing the elk eighty to ninety percent they've wiped out the moosethey've exterminated the mooseand they've exterminated the mountain or woodland caribou. OK. All in published, peer reviewed scientific journals and none of which is ever discussed down here. You'll never see any discussion. You betcha the greens don't talk about this.
Elk in central Yellowstone Park: Since at least 1950 when this herd was first studied, six to seven hundred food-limited elk have wintered in the thermal areas along the Firehole, Gibbon, and Madison Rivers In the west central portion of Yellowstone National Park. So this is not the big elk herd of the north and I don't use that as an example, even though that count has dropped from 19,000 to just over 4,000, because they go outside and they get hunted. The point about this herd here is that this herd is like the one in Banff: This herd in the central Yellowstone Park does not come out of the park and is not hunted. So hunting's not a part of this thing at all.
This is all Yellowstone Park here. This is the Madison River and when you go out the town of West Yellowstone would be here on it. This is the Gibbon River here. And this is the Firehole here and if you've ever been to the Park, this is Old Faithful down here. And this comes from again from somebody else's research, I didn't invent these. I didn't make these graphs on it. This is in the published scientific peer-reviewed literature. Great big thick book like this on the ecology of central Yellowstone. This is a high area, deep snowfall. But there's some winter range here because of all the thermal areas. The ground is warm, melts the snow on it, and so it could maintain six or seven hundred elk. They were basically what's called "food limited." They're just limited by the amount of available food supply. There wasn't any predation in this herd until they put wolves in. So you can tell that the elk were statistically drawn through this area. And the warmer the colors, the denser the population.
So that's pre-wolf. That's the colonizing wolves. You see they've already dropped out of the Gibbon here.
And this photo shows the way they are today. There's less than a hundred elk left and the researchers are predicting extinction. And the elk are all concentrated along the Madison River here.
Why are the elk concentrated along the Madison River? In fact, if it had not been for the deep waters of the Madison River the elk would already be extinct. One of the things all these predators do, especially when they're hunted by wolves, is to flee into deep water. They flee into water because their legs are longer than the wolves legs so you get to a certain water depth and the elk can maneuver but the wolves have to swim. And it's easy then, especially for moose or elk, to actually kill wolves. Because most of the danger... if you see especially with cows the females when they really fight, they stand up on their hind legs and use their paws. And the bulls do that when they don't have antlers on. So the front legs are the dangerous part. These are on some island in the middle of the Madison River and this was a photo out of the book. You can see it's grainy but that's because I had the secretary scan it out of the book.
Now the elk do flee into the Firehole and Gibbon Rivers, but these are rather shallow rivers for their general length, with just a couple of deep, deep pools in them. And so the wolves just wade right out there and kill them.
Wolves are taking these elk to extinction even though the wolves also prey on bison. There are a large number of bison in this area. This is what's called in the predator literature apparent competition or predator-mediated competition. If you've got just one species in an area, wolves preying on elk, and you put a second species in there like bison for them to prey on, a lot of people think this would buffer or reduce the predation pressure on elk. That's not how it works. When the elk numbers start to drop, which they normally would, the wolf population will just switch to killing the bison because the elk are not enough food for them. This is called prey switch. The bison are more difficult for them to kill. Still, whenever the wolves run across a more vulnerable elk they just nail it and kill it. And take the population ever, ever down.
Scientific Studies. Even though you have probably taken note of this, you're not ecologists, so I know you haven't ever talked about predator-mediated competition. It is the rule, rather than the norm. And no one ever talked about this. This isn't in any of the green literature. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service doesn't talk about this. The state agencies, which in Montana, Idaho, and Wyoming are even worse than the feds, don't. But I'll try and tell you the truth, based on what they publish in their in-house publications. Which, of course, I readeverything. And I tell people. I was telling a gentleman here today that when I started my research on elk in Yellowstone as my Ph.D. at Utah State, on the other side of campus from the natural resource I had three apple boxes full of files. I have an office at home that's now 2,200 square feet. I have eighty-five file cabinets of all sorts of scientific reports. So I'm just not up here waving my arms. You want to see the scientific studies, I've got them all boxed up or file cabineted up.
All of these things are written in various publications, over the years, and I've talked at various venues where I'm invited to speak. Remember, I only speak where I'm invited to speak. I don't talk to reporters. I've never gotten as much as one nasty email from any of the green people, any of the pro-wolf people. They know enough not to get into a debate with me and to leave me alone because I'm not up here making a political statement. I'm telling you what the science actually is. And I can prove it by digging out the scientific studies, most of which all of which I haven't done myself. I mean I've done all sorts of research but I've never actually done any research on wolves. There is good research on wolves. In order to do research on wolves you have to have a federal permit. The idea of the federal permitizers giving me a permit to work on wolves, I mean, the snowball has a better chance in proverbial you-know-where.
Mule Deer Decline in Elk Ridge. So we're talking about predator-mediated competition here. These are the pair of mountains, the Bears Ears. They're just over 9,000 feet. This is Navajo Mountain, In the distance between them is the Colorado River down here. So this is a place called Elk Ridge in southeast Utah. This is in San Juan County. San Juan County is the third largest county in the United States and it's eleven from the bottom in population. And if you don't count Navajos, it's on the bottom of the population. So this is a very remote area.
This photo of Elk Ridge shows that it's an extremely rugged area. There's virtually no private land in this area. The number of private sections a section is 640 acres and we do things a little different out in the West we don't count acres, we count sections. You can count them on one or two hands on it. All the upper elevations is owned by the Forest Service or managed by the Forest Service (it is actually owned by all of us). It's their public lands. The lower stuff is managed by the Bureau of Land Management. There's been no oil or gas development since the '50's. No logging since the '50's, when it was shut down. And there have been no roads in the last sixty years.
In short, there is nothing on Elk Ridge that western game departments habitually blame for the on-going decline of mule deer. Our mule deer populations in the western states have been on a decline for a long time. There are all sorts of these reasons and excuses of why it's declining. And, in fact, no people live in this area. There are no full-time residents that live in the areaElk Ridge. A large ranch in the north is owned by The Nature Conservancy. The allotments on the south are owned by the Southern Ute tribe. They haven't had cattle on the allotments in twenty years. So if you want, in as far as a remote place that you could find, nothing to put the blame on for the decline that's going on in mule deer.
This is data from our state fish and game agency which in Utah is called the Division of Wildlife Resources. This is Elk Ridge. This is from their actual published reports. This is how many mule deer were killed off the Elk Ridge. The data only go back to 1950. So this is 1950 going up to, I think, 2005. This is the number of deer, total deer, harvested. So you can see from 1950 to about 1970 they killed an average of 2,500 deer a year off this unit, a thousand of which were does.
And then they made mountain lions a game animal, and Nixon banned 1080. You all know what 1080 is? It's a poison, that's really an acetate with fluoride attached to it. Fluoride really makes the stuff poisonous and it works really good on canids coyotes and wolves. It also kills other animals but you have to have a real high dose of this stuff. So Nixon outlawed that, in fact, he outlawed all poisons on the federal land including strychnine and other kinds of this stuff on it. And the deer numbers just dropped and dropped. As a matter of fact, they dropped so low the fish and game agency closed the season for four years. I don't know how it is out here in the East but in the West, I mean, because they're interested in revenue coming in, they never close a hunting season. Even if there's nothing there to hunt.
Then it reopened as what we in the West call a limited entry draw only unit, bucks only. And they started out with, you know, two or three hundred permits and over the years it's dropped down to forty permits.
Also interesting, Elk Ridge isn't Elk Ridge. It's E period, L period, K period named after an early cattle outfit from Texas that first ran cattle in this part of Utah. Elk didn't show up 'til about right here. And according to the locals it was an illegal transplant by the state game agency. So this is an example, basically, of your predator-mediated competition.
This is mainly mountain lions on it. And there are also black bears and coyotes on this. But there are no wolves in this area yet. Of the federal government there's certain people, that's another story, but they have plans to put them there. But this is just, you know, with the mountain lions and the black bears and the coyotes that we have today. But this is a prime example of predator-mediated competition. Because actually when mule deer numbers would go down, just mule deer and mountain lions, the mountain lions have to wink out the system there's nothing left for them to eat and they starve to death. On this. But because you have elk in the system, they just prey switch to killing elks, mostly calves, because their smaller size and this kind of stuff. And whenever more vulnerable mule deer comes along, they just nail them. So it's not logging, it's not oil and gas, it's mountain lions. But, you know, people don't want to talk about that.
Landscape of fear: In addition, all predators create what's called a "landscape of fear." This is a hot, emerging topic in ecology. And studies have shown that these indirect effects of predation can have a serious negative effect on prey numbers and distribution. You know, the animals don't like it. We all live in a landscape of fear. It's probably worse out here. I don't know anything about this part of the country, but, you know, they don't let my .357 on the airplane or my .44 mag and this kind of stuff on it. Utah's comparatively safe, except for one little place in Salt Lake City called Pioneer Park where all the homeless people and the drug addicts hang out. From what you read from the news accounts, it's a relatively safe place. From the stuff that you read about back East here like thatyou all live in a landscape of fear. There are places you don't walk out at night, right? You know, especially if you're a woman, you don't walk out in certain places and do different things. So you don't think about it but you live in landscapes of fear. And especially our military people. They live in a landscape of fear 24-7 for however long they're over there. So this affects you psychologically. There's a lot written on it.
And so you can have the best habitat in the world. And the prey animals won't use it because they're afraid of getting killed or having their young killed. So this is a hot, emerging topic and these indirect effects of this are greater in some cases than the direct mortality effects. No one talks about this much either.
Importance of habitat: Habitat is irrelevant. Everything biologists have told you about habitat being the overriding consideration is totally and absolutely wrong. Remember those two examples I showed earlier Banff National Park and Yellowstone National Park. And they're national parks. The habitat's still there. Nobody's driven any oil wells or gas wells there. No one's ripped them up for tar sands or done anything else like that but, you know, the elk are no longer there because of predation.
The photo shows the size of the wolves that we're talking about.
But what about habitat improvements? Won't that save the day?
Turns out the answer is absolutely not. Remember, I talked about
Banff National Park Banff before and I talked about the Bow Valley.
But there are other valleys. There's the Clearwater, and Panther
and other places. Over the years they've prescribed burned eighty
square miles. It turns out that long before the Canadians met
me they figured out that lightning fires had nothing to do with
anything. It was all aboriginal burning that created the biodiversity
that created their ecological integrity.
Parks Canada is charged with maintaining the ecological integrity in their park system; so they're trying to maintain that. If you know anything about parks, the people here in the states talk about the natural processes. People today sure don't have an idea what a natural process is. A natural process is an Indian with a firestick. And an Indian with a bow and arrow, and so on. Hunting is a natural process; it's been in all the areas for at least twelve thousand years here in the Americas and maybe before that. So they burned eighty square miles. They weren't doing this to create elk habitat but the fire frequency was higher in the low valleys than mountain areas because that's where the natives traveled.
The natives weren't migrating on the mountain tops either, just like the wolves weren't. They're in the big open valleys. And where they were kept open historically was because the natives either purposely or accidentally burned them off and so on. So they burned eighty square miles and what happened? Well, actually, the elk population declined faster because it made the elk easier to find. Wolves could find the elk easier. The elk couldn't hide in the timber. Totally contrary to what people tell you. And yet this is all in the published peer-reviewed scientific literature that no one talks about, especially here in the lower forty-eight.
Caribou: Wolves are now in the process of wiping out woodland and mountain caribou across the length and breadth of Canada. This is another example of predator-mediated competition. Historically, there were no moose in these systems. And the reason there were no moose I wrote a paper on this Biogeography of Moose in Western North America is because the natives just wiped out the moose. But since the natives are no longer there doing the hunting the way they did, the moose population has increased. This has led to an increase in the number of wolves and whenever the wolves run across more vulnerable caribou they just nail it, and kill it.
This editorial appeared in one of Canada's leading newspapers I believe it's the Edmonton Journal, by writer Dick Dekker about how to save the woodland caribou and the mountain caribou in Canada. His idea is we need to create a new national park for caribou. He's totally right. But his view is you need to high gate and fence it, electrify the fence, catch all the predators throw them out. Then put the caribou back in. So it's the only way the caribou are going to survive. And the importance about this is the author, Dr. Dick Dekker. Dr. Dick Dekker ran the Canadian Wolf Defenders for fifteen years. Dick Dekker and I are friends. He's the only rational wolf advocate I've ever met. Now, we have different value systems. But we're still friends because he's not misleading, he's telling that "the wolves did it." And in Canada they're trying to blame it on oil and gas and logging and tar sands and roads and everything else except wolves. You know, wolves did it. Again, habitat is irrelevant.
The other thing they say is that these caribou need this old-growth forest. The reason the caribou are in the old-growth forest because it's in these god-awful inaccessible places. They prefer to be down in the valley where the good food is. But if they're down there, the moose are down there and the wolves are down there and they get killed. Turned out the biologists have had it all wrong and a man named Byrd who's a friend of Dr. Val Geist has written all sorts of papers and books on this and he's ignored about like I'm ignored, too. Because it's a message that people don't want to hear. It's like the previous gentleman said, there are all these messages that these people don't want to talk about because it's a difficult problem and it doesn't fit with their world view of how things work and don't confuse me with the data. You know, and I'm a scientist and this is all supposed to be science. This is not supposed to be politics.
Big game hunting reductions: Another question on many people's minds is: "Do wolves and other predators limit big game hunting opportunities?" Big game hunting not only is a well-established cultural condition out in the West, it's also important for economic activity with guides and outfitters and other kinds of things like that.
And the answer is, absolutely. Again, as I noted back in 1993, hunting opportunities are commonly reduced by ninety percent or more. In Idaho a lot of guides and outfitters have gone out of business since the wolves have been reintroduced. I talked about the elk population in the Bow Valley. Consider the elk population as it was in the Clearwater and Panther. Those herds came out. At one time there were thirteen outfitters operating outside of the park in the Clearwater and Panther. It's down to two now. You heard about economic opportunity in lost things. Is this a taking or is it not a taking? This the sort of effect.
Alaska and British Columbia have a combined population of around four hundred thousand moose. The same as Sweden and Finland. Each fall, hunters in Alaska and B.C. kill twenty thousand moose, while hunters in Sweden and Finland kill two hundred and forty thousand moose a year. Which do you think generates the bigger, the larger economic opportunities? OK. Twenty thousand versus two hundred and forty thousand.
Why the difference? Well, Alaska and B.C. are full of wolves, bears, in some cases mountain lions, while the Scandinavian countries have virtually no predators. Now, unfortunately, this is starting to change because the Scandinavian countries are now part of the economic union or European Union, whatever they want to call that. It's controlled by socialists and other green groups like that. They force legislation on all these countries that belong to it on account of animals on the land. And so wolves and grizzly bears they call them brown bears over thereare starting to make a recovery and they're starting to have some of the same problems that we're having out in the West with wolf recovery. It's similar to the federal government forcing wolves on the western states.
Lawsuits, wolf counts: Another point of concern is, how many wolves are there in Montana, Idaho, and Wyoming? Well, the official count before the states assumed partial management was about sixteen hundred wolves. There have been three different delisting lawsuits. Two in a Montana court, a Judge Donald Malloy and Dr. David Mech, who's the federal government's leading wolf expert, I mean he's studied and all for a number of years, they filed what are called "declarations." The lawyers know what this kind of stuff it is. It's basically you're swearing that this is true. According to David Mech in his declaration in the first delisting lawsuit in Judge Malloy's court: "Whatever the federal number is, double it." It had to do with how they count wolves. You can't find them all So, if the government is admitting to sixteen hundred wolves there are probably thirty-two hundred wolves out there. And despite that fact, Molloy put them back on the Endangered Species List twice as I mentioned.
Return of partial state wolf management: Wolf management was returned partial wolf management was returned to the states of Montana and Idaho under a rider that was a congressional rider which was attached to an appropriation bill which I'll discuss in more detail in a minute. So Idaho and Montana held seasons last year on wolves. And according to news accounts of the wolves killed in Idaho first, they never reached their quota. Despite a six-week hunting season or six-month hunting season. With deep snow on the ground, they never reached their quota. Turns out you cannot, which was known back in '87 when the wolf recovery plan was first written, you cannot control wolf population by hunting or trapping. If you want to control it, you need to poison them and get in there with helicopters and use helicopter gunships on them. Neither of which are popular with certain groups, if you can imagine. So the hunt in Idaho they had, half the wolves that were killed were in places the state fish and game agency had no idea there were any wolves.
This is what they do [photo of carcass]. Remember, I said they go for the rear end? They went and do all this tissue damage. I forget whether it's eight hundred pounds of courage or twelve hundred pounds per square inch, but the wolf's jaws are beautifully muscular. And they can exert this tremendous pressure and we'll talk about this later with livestock depredations. But you can find a dead animal like a cow or a calf and there's no mark on it from the outside, didn't break the hide. But you peel that hide back and there's this huge tissue damage where they basically destroyed the muscles by grabbing on and just crushing them. And this is what they did. This is done by wolves. You'll never see an image like this in local news people or TV because the media is incompetent, biased and corrupt.
Hey, it's the truth. It turns out to be the truth. I'm not a politician. I don't deal with that kind of stuff. I'm just dealing with the science. That's what it is.
In 2005 an organization called the Wyoming Animal Damage Management Board held a two-day wolf symposium in Sheridan, Wyoming, which is in the north-central part of the state, actually not too far from Billings, but across the border. The speakers included biologists that they paid to bring down from the Alaska Department of Fish and Game. I could tell you about all the problems Alaska's had with predators and I don't have time to discuss all that but the point about Alaska is there is no Endangered Species Act. The state has always had full authority, but whenever they've gone to do any management, aerial control, and they don't even talk about poisoning, they've gotten sued, blued, and tattooed by Defenders of Wildlife and the other groups. There've been initiates to ban this management, ban leg hold traps, ban airborne hunting and all sorts of other practices. And the state's still in court on this.
So they brought what they figured out in the Alaska Department of Fish and Game. There are a number of speakers there from wildlife services who especially talked about this non-lethal methods to reduce livestock depredations and how it doesn't work. And now I was there, too, and I spoke on "Predation: Lies, Myth and Scientific Fraud" and I named names, as far as who's done all this stuff. It's not libel if you can prove it. And I haven't been sued, yet. None of this was reported by the media. There was a reporter there from the Casper Star-Tribune, which is basically the state newspaper on this area of news. She'd hang out with the pro-wolf and the green groups and Defenders of Wildlife for the two-day conference. Never even mentioned my name and I have a short, simple name. It's K A Y.
Then in the next year, 2006, I was an invited keynote speaker at a Wyoming Farm Bureau meeting. Again I spoke on "Predation: Lies, Myths and Scientific Fraud" and again I was naming names and calling it scientific fraud. OK? Although a reporter from the Casper Star-Tribune was in the audience he'd identified himself because I put the earlier stuff first OK, was present, neither I nor my talk was ever mentioned in the paper. Not a word of it ever appeared in the paper.
This is a wolf kill of a mule deer. And when killing is really easy, like deep snow on this situation, they don't eat the whole thing. That idea that they eat everything is not true, either. Depends on how much food is available, how easy it is for them to kill, and they go for the good stuff first. The good stuff is not the stuff we eat, which is the large muscle masses. The good stuff is the internal organs. That's where the fat is. That's where the minerals and vitamins are. So the wolf went inside the doe, ate some stuff, pulled out the two fawns that she was carrying. I'm sure these were decrepit fawns. They must have had some kind of thing wrong with them. And they just ate the good stuff and left the rest to the bott flies. This is what in the literature is called "surplus killing."
A lot of hunters and a lot of anti-wolf people in those three states like to talk a lot about surplus killing. Surplus killing is a rather rare thing. And that's not how predators limit ungulate populations. What they do is they mainly prey on the young of the year, so they raise the mortality rate and they lower the recruitment rate. You know. And so the two don't match up. And so there's a slow decline in the population, maybe two or five percent a year. Census techniques are so inaccurate, even though you're flying in a helicopter, trust me, you don't see them all, I've done it. It's all in the literature, with citable stuff on it. So it might take you five, ten years, you wake up and, you know, where's our deer gone to? So it's a slow, gradual decline.
Livestock losses: As you can imagine, livestock losses are a major concern to the ranching community. And there are several key points, too, you need to remember in all this. I'm really not so into private property rights as Carol is, or into takings. I know what this is. But this is basically a taking in the worst sense of the word. In the federal government, these were all ESA-protected wolves. The federal government claims they own the wolves. You kill a wolf? You cannot even kill a wolf inside your private property. You kill a wolf, a hundred thousand bucks, and it's a felony offense, you lose your voting rights, and your gun rights and everything else.
And when they do this there's never been any federal compensation for livestock losses. None. Now, Defenders of Wildlife, for a number of years, had a compensation program. They've since discontinued the program. They did have a compensation fund but it turns out that was nothing but a public relations gambit and basically a fraud on this because they never paid the full cost for anything.
So I'd like to tell you what the greens tell you is, "Well, what's the problem? There's like four million cows in Montana and the wolves only kill three hundred. What's the problem?"
Well, the problem is, as the Wildlife Service explained at that 2005 conference in Wyoming: Not all the livestock in Montana is subject to wolves. Most of the livestock are in the eastern part of the state where there's the most private land the open prairies and spaces and good range lands on it while the wolves are on the public land in the western part of the state. So no one knows what the actual true depredation rate is from wolves on the livestock.
But I looked at this another way. And the question I asked is, "What proportion of the wolf packs in Montana, Idaho, and Wyoming have have livestock in their territory?" So we're not talking about Yellowstone Park where there are no livestock, or central Idaho wilderness where there are no livestock, but every place else what proportion of wolf packs that have livestock in their territory sooner or later have turned to killing livestock? And what do you think the answer is? A hundred percent. And I have this in writing.
I have this in writing both from the Fish and Wildlife Service and Wildlife Services. Wildlife Services is a federal agency that actually does the wolf killing. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service does the depredation study. They will authorize that the wolves be killed but Wildlife Services does the actual killing. It used to be called "animal damage control" and before that it was called "the biological survey." That's what Wildlife Services is. Do you have Wildlife Services out here? It's mainly a federal program to help the ranchers. This is another fact: Every one of these wolf packs has turned to killing livestock and that has never appeared in any of the media.
To get at this idea, a comparison of predators was made. That's photograph of a dead cow, if you haven't figured it out. That's three wolves. They come in different colors. The ones that are black actually have a bunch of dog genes in them. White wolves, mostly they're gray wolves, grayish things and look like a coyote. So Wildlife Services looked at this question in another way as far as how prone these different predators are to killing livestock. What they did is they took the number of reports that they had of livestock that were killed and then they compared that with population of wolves, mountain lions, bears. etc. And what they found is that individual wolves are twenty times more likely to kill livestock than individual mountain lions. So as far as the livestock community is concerned, wolves are twenty times more likely to kill livestock.
Individual wolves are also one hundred and seventy times more likely to kill livestock than either individual black bears or individual coyotes.
Moreover, research has shown that only one in eight calves actually killed by wolves are ever verified by government agencies, to get compensated by Defenders when they were running that fund. Now the states have taken it over Montana and Idaho and they do pay some compensation on this stuff.
You have to have what's called a "verified kill." You come there and all that's there is the red spot and the head and the foot of the calf and a zillion wolf tracks and wolf scat. That's not a verified kill. I mean, the calf could have died of, you know, could have been struck by lightning, could have died of another type of thing.
So what you have to do, and what they tell you to do if you're a rancher, you almost have to run the wolves off the kill, then cover it with a canvas or a blue tarp. Okay, assume you have blue tarps out there, so you keep the scavengers off of it. This sort of thing on the spot out in the West, you know.
Then you have to call the federal guy and if you're lucky in a day or two he'll show up. And then he's got to go through an evaluation, and there's a whole system. An ex-Wildlife Services person has actually published a book with a lot of photos on how to tell a wolf kill from a mountain lion kill, from a bear kill, from a coyote kill, because each one of those animals have different ways that they kill. So if you have enough of the carcass left you can figure out who killed. Enough on that. And so that's what you have to do to get a verified kill.
And so what we wildlife biologistswhy I've done this a little bit, not a whole lotdid to get this number of "one in eight"was to put radio collars on these animals. And now you put the GPS collars on them. So for this one study, the GPS collared a bunch of moo-cow calves. And then the rancher just went about his normal business. He didn't have any receivers and know where the calves were, and at the end of the season he rounded up all the calves and cows and so many calves were missing but the guy with the GPS stuff knew as far as who killed what.
Only one in eight losses were even recognized as being killed by a wolf. We have large areas, if you've ever been out West, we don't keep them in small pastures. They're especially out there in the public land in the summertime large and blocks of private land that are rough and mountainous.
And there's another point. Remember I talked about the landscape of fear and how this effects elk and other prey animals. Well, this also affects livestock. And nobody likes to talk about it, at all. Remember the wolves have been there since '95. And no state wildlife or game agency has done any research on this because they don't want to know what the hell the answer is. There's actually been some research done on this by Oregon State University, the range extension people, not the wildlife people or the state game agency, but by range extension. Because their ranchers are having problems about this many wolf packs in Oregon and they're all killing cattle already.
So what the Greens said, "Well, you need to put a rider out there." That's one of the things... you need to put a rider out there during the day and he scares the wolves off. Well, yeah, that works. The wolves stopped killing calves during the day. But you watch the rancher and he has, they had GPS-collared wolves and they had GPS-collared cows, calves. And you can watch this little presentation, you push the button and you can watch the GPS-collared wolves chase the GPS-collared cows around the pasture all night.
You can't use your herding dogs anymore. They're not only worthless, they're a negative. Because instead of using the herding dogs if you've ever seen good herding dogs you know, you whistle and do things, they just move the cows for you. One cowboy can move five hundred cows. It's not like high chaparral or something else when you're out there and you have to rodeo and run them done and stuff like that. Herding dogs are no good because the cows turn to fight them.
Your rest rotation systems go to hell 'cause your cows won't use certain parts of the pasture or anything else like that. It destroys your whole system.
And there's been some recent modeling though I'm not a fan of modeling that suggests an indirect cause, where you have open cows you lose fifteen percent of your calf crop because they don't even conceive. They're stressed so much. And also your weight loss. You lose a hundred pounds or more per calf that you're trying to sell. All right. And the selling point is not based per animal, it's pounds per animal. Those indirect causes are greater loss to the ranchers than the actual direct mortality. And, of course, none of this is ever compensated for. It's never discussed by Defenders and it's never even considered in the state compensation programs.
So at best, in my opinion, and this is just an opinion, but it's a professional opinion, at best, the state program and there's no federal programs if you're lucky you recover five percent of the true cost, because in a lot of states they don't have a blank check. They put the hundred thousand dollars, or whatever, into the account on it and if there's three hundred thousand dollars' worth of claims. You're only getting thirty cents on the dollar. Even for stuff that's verified, let alone for the stuff that's not verified or all these indirect losses.
Non-lethal methods. The pro-wolf people talk about is these non-lethal methods, that you should always try these non-lethal methods. There's a thing called "flaggery," a thing called a "radio-activated guard box," and I don't have time to explain all this stuff, but the thing is this stuff never works. [Radio-activated guard boxes pick up signals from radio collars on wolves and set off strobe lights and sounds such as helicopters and gunfire. Flaggery (red flags on a rope) is another device that is used and is sometimes electrified. In both cases the flags and the guard boxes have to be where the cows are. This seems impractical on large grazing areas. And the boxes only work for collared wolves, so the young would have to be found and collared every year.] It's not a permanent solution.
There are only two permanent solutions to livestock depredation by wolves. One is you get rid of the livestock.
Or you get rid of the wolves. OK. There is no other permanent solution. Again, Wildlife Services spoke to this at that 2005 conference because they have all the data on this. They're the ones that collect the data on this. This is not just me making this stuff up. And, again, not a word of that has ever been reported in the public media out west. The Greens always go to some green guy, put a microphone in front of his place a hundred reporters doand write it up. Well, you know, if the rancher only did this. If the rancher only did that. Doesn't make any difference. Turns out, Everything else is smoke and mirrors.
And as I predicted back in 1993 when I wrote my first article on wolf delisting, the federal government has set up the various delisting lawsuits to lose. I'm not sure the federal government has ever won a wolf delisting lawsuit. For that matter, they hardly win any ESA lawsuits at all. They set them up to lose in both the West and in the Mid-West. All these lawsuits are simply an elaborate ruse to deceive the American public.
As wolves' numbers and depredation mount there is increased political pressure to cut the U.S. Fish and Wildlife budget and/or to repeal the Endangered Species Act.
To relieve this political pressure, the feds moved to delist, wolf advocates sue and win on some legal technicalities, such as whether or not what's called the distinct population segment can be split, this according to the second delisting a lawsuit. Again, I don't have time to discuss all that.
Hunting dogs: I should say wolves are hell on hunting dogs. Those are two on a picture with hunting dogs. So one of the aspects of the wolf no one talks about, the Greens are just happy as clams, on the fact is, mountain lion hunting has dropped off significantly in Idaho. So the only way you can really kill mountain lions from running with dogs and they tree them and then you shoot them. Well, those hunting dogs are very valuable animals aside from being pets. That's what the wolves do to them in the pictures when they catch them. Or if you run in various states I don't know how it is here. You can't do it in Montana but other states they run black bears with dogs, too. And that's all fallen off, too, because in Oregon if you've got a beagle and you're out hunting rabbits, you know the wolves come across and they'll just kill them. Right.
Greens in court: But by allowing federal judges to make locally unpopular decisions the courts have provided critical cover for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service all the time while new wolf numbers grow and grow and grow. Then there's a thing called "equal opportunity justicide." You heard about that back East? Yeah. And so, basically when these green groups sue and they win, they go to the judge and say, "We want our legal expenses." So in this one lawsuit alone, what's called the U.S. Humane Society, which has nothing to do with your local humane societies, in one of the two lawsuits before the Molloy court, Malloy awarded the U.S. Humane Society two hundred and thirty-five thousand dollars. And there were thirteen litigants in that lawsuit. There are various bills before Congress to revise or change the equal opportunity justicide.
It's amazing these pictures you get now with the trail cameras that the hunters put out. Turns out this is a previous mountain lion kill right here and a trail camera set up and he caught these one, two, three wolves trying to kill this elk.
Congressional action. The wolf issue became such a heated battle out in the West, with the judge putting these wolves back on the Endangered Species list twice that the sportsmen finally got their heads straight and got together and started flexing their muscles. The one thing that hunters do is they vote. So what they were able to get attached to an appropriation bill is the congressional rider. Now a lot of people say that that the Congress delisted the wolves. That's not true.
The rider is two sentences. The first sentence says, "The 2009 delisting regulations that Judge Molloy said were illegal are now legal and the law of the land." And then they said in the second sentence, "There will be no more legal challenges to this decision." So that's what Congress did.
Now that was challenged for our being illegal under the Separation of Powers clause of the Constitution and Judge Molloy ruled that it was illegal but precedent told him that he had to rule the other way that it was legal. We can talk about the lawyer stuff later. But they took it to the Ninth Circuit and they lost at the Ninth Circuit and they didn't file it before the Supreme Court. The 209 delisting regulations is the law of the land. The 209 delisting regulations run to sixty-six pages of fine print in the Federal Register.
Basically the states are under a five-year probationary period. They have to have approved state management plans. The federal government had to approve this. And If they don't follow the regulation and all that they agreed to, the feds can take jurisdiction back just like that. So there will be no lawsuits as far as federal lawsuits for three more years after this hunting season. Three more years. But then after that the feds will then, if everything goes right, will give full authority back to the states and then, yeah, they'll get sued like hell.
Deadly wolves: Back in 2000, a respected Canadian wolf biologist, who I know, named Dr. Lu Carbyn [Ludwig N. Carbyn] was asked, "What do you expect you will see in the next century?" This was from a pro-wolf group. Dr. Carbyn shocked the pro-wolf community by predicting that wolves would kill and eat people. Well, as you probably know, that prediction it turned out to be all too true. The first to die was Kenton Carnegie [Kenton Joel Carnegie was killed by wolves in Saskatchewan, November 8, 2005] in Canada and more recently, Candice Berner [Killed by wolves in March 2010] in Alaska.
What killed Kenton Carnegie? This happened in Saskatchewan lying, corrupt wolf barkers who sold the public on the idea that wolves are harmless. And this started back in the 1960's when these various "scientists" launched a concerted effort to rehabilitate wolves. That they're no longer dangerous, they don't kill livestock, they're warm and soft and furry. You know, Defenders takes the idea of "tame" wolves in the schools.
Basically, you look at the European literature and there's thousands of reports of wolves killing and eating people, especially in Russia. But you look here in the Americas and there are hardly any reports of that. So where they erred was not looking at the larger picture. But what I've done is I've done intercontinental study of man-eating by terrestrial carnivores. This includes lions and African lions, mountain lions, grizzly bears, wolves, tigers. And what you find is man-eating is extremely rare. Why is it rare? Five million years of evolution. Ever since our distant ancestors, and I mean our distant ancestors, climbed down out of the trees, they've been killing those damn things. Either that or they've been food. So this is why predators normally avoid humans. It has nothing to do the way nature made stuff or God made stuff. It's the fact that our ancestors did it.
But these predators are all highly adaptive. This has to be reinforced every generation. And so, what are the number one and two things that explain man-eating around the world? The populace is poor and they're unarmed. Did the Russian tsars want the peasants armed? Did the communists want the peasants armed? Does the current Russian oligarchy want the peasants armed? Did the king of France want the peasants armed? In Africa they even stole the people's spears except for the Masai. Masai don't get eaten by lions. They kill them with spears.
The second thing was the provincial government that listened to all this green propaganda and banned wolf hunting.
And then the third thing is there's no Second Amendment in Canada. If Kenton had a Glock or Smith and Wesson, chances are he'd still be alive. But the general public does not have pistols especially outdoors. You can have them in your home and you need a right to dissolve this sort of thing.
Moreover, it took the government two years to rig the inquest. It didn't allow any of these questions any these questions to be answered, to be asked, even. The only question the inquest could address was, "Who or what killed Kenton Carnegie?" And they also allowed Kenton's parents to only present one expert witness. They had a whole number of expert witnesses lined up to discuss all this other political stuff. The Province didn't want to hear any of this.
And now what can only be described as bizarre, was the wolf biologist in Canada, who's actually Val Geist's student but Val has disowned him, named Paul Paquette. Paul was not there. He was not at the crime scene. He looked at the crime scene photos and said, "Ha, wolves didn't do it. A bear did it." I'm sure that there was snow on the ground at the time. There were native people and others there all the time, you know. There's no difference to distinguish the type of tracks. Yeah, if you can't tell a wolf track from a bear track, I mean, you need to go someplace else. And this was picked up by the national media, especially the National Geographic. If you haven't figured out National Geographic is way, way far on the left, okay. It was picked up by the National Wildlife Federation then. Once one group of people pick it up it's, you know, out there in the media they can all cite back to those people and this "wolf expert," who obviously can't tell a wolf track from a bear track. The inquest ruled, killed by wolves, okay. And certain green people are still denying this. They say the bear did it.
Unlike the case in Canada where the victims were unarmed, in Alaska this lady [photographed in front of a very large, dead wolf] shot this wolf with a pistol in self-defense when she was bow hunting. If you're killing wolves with a pistol you're either a really, really good shot with a pistol, which I am not, or the wolf is way, way, way too close.
Wolves killing wolves. Wolves also spend a great deal of time killing other wolves. This is called "intraspecific aggression." "Intra" is within a species. As reported by David Mech for unhunted wolf population in Alaska, each year thirty-five percent of the wolf population is killed by other wolves. This is an unhunted population of wolves. It's not usually food. It's territorial. And again, I don't have time to get into all this.
In the U.S. the human murder rate is seven per hundred thousand people per year. This is the way the F.B.I. reports crime statistics. Looked at in the same manner, wolves kill wolves in Alaska at a rate of thirty-five thousand per hundred thousand per year, or five thousand times the human murder rate. So this idea that these green people who are pro-wolf have, that wolves are soft and furry and we can learn something about social interaction from these wolves that they're a loving family unit has no basis. Basically if you don't submit you get ripped. Wolves have no morals. And they are not warm and fuzzy. Taking wolves or wolf pups into schools is the height of stupidity and hypocrisy, and it's only going to get people killed.
A mountain lion right there. Similarly, there's been a long term Mexico study of an unhunted mountain lion population. This is on the White Sands Missile Range. This is where the first atomic bomb went off and where we used to shoot rockets, and still do. There's no public access. There's a mountain range that's included in there and there's an unhunted mountain lion population and mule deer. The cats kill cats at a rate of eighteen thousand per hundred thousand per year or twenty-five hundred times the human murder rate. I don't like to use anthropomorphic terms but basically all these predators hate each other and it's just competition. In most cases they don't eat each other.
Interspecific killing. Interspecific refers to killing between different species.
Mountain lions kill wolves every chance they have. Mountain lions you don't have them back East here, yet OK, they're coming. [From the floor: We have a few.] They normally cover their kill. This shows what a hunter found.
You can see they just ripped him up. They didn't eat much of the wolf. It's just competition.
And wolves return the favor whenever they can. They catch them out in the open. This mountain lion was killed and ripped by wolves. This was in Sun Valley, Idaho. You can see the homes right in here. Well, the wolves were unhunted until the State of Idaho got your partial management authority. There's not that much mountain lion hunting going on. It's mainly with dogs, so they don't fear people. The deer moved into town up there just like, remember, the elk moved into town. So where are the predators supposed to go? In Banff, eventually they got into town. They were killing wolves on Main Street, you know, with thirty thousand tourists in there in the summertime. Well, Parks Canada had to stop that. They did that by getting rid of the elk. But that's another story.
There's been a lot of talk recently, especially in the scientific literature, about wolves being what are called "keystone predators." And, again, I don't have time to explain what that term means. Any such claims are nothing but white racist biology. Or white racist theology.
Pre-Colonial America. Native Americans were the ultimate keystone predator and I've written papers on this. If you want a really interesting, more entertaining talk, invite me back next year, Carol. Not during hunting season! But I have this talk on "Aboriginal Influences and the Original State of Nature." Next time, please. Most ecologists and biologists don't have a clue how things were in 1491. You don't have a clue how things were in 1491. There were no flocks of passenger pigeons to darken the sky. There were never sixty million bison. There were never a hundred thousand wolves. There were never ten million elk. What existed then were ten of millions if not hundreds of millions, of native people.
Well, I use the term "Native American." And the reason I do that is not that I'm being politically correct. I did that when I moved to Alaska in the seventies and worked for Alaska Fish and Game for two years. In Alaska you have Indians, which is mostly what the groups were in here in North America but you also have Aleuts and what we call Eskimos, which is a derogatory term. They prefer Inuit, now. To a white guy, an uneducated white person who just moved to Alaska, not to use any racial slurs, but I couldn't tell the three groups apart. Those groups all hate each other. I mean, you read the history, what the Indians did to the Inuits and what the Inuits did to the Indians and they still hate each other. So, I mean, it's a thousand times worse than using the "N" word to describe our present president than if you call an Indian an Inuit or an Inuit an Indian.
So that's where I started using the term Native American. I'm not trying to be politically correct because in Canada they call them First Nations. But that is political correctness. They weren't nations and that's why we took the country from them. OK. I mean Aztecs and Incas were a nation and some other groups maybe the Iroquois were nations, but, you know, what I use for my standard is the level of social complexity at the time of contact. For what the European was, not today, and what the most civilizations were when the Europeans first ran into them.
And if you want a book on this topic, I mean I didn't write the book, it's written by Charles Mann. He wrote a book called 1491. It's a very interesting book. And I have some great slides that I'll show you here as far as the Amazon and some other places. That forest is all second and third growth. There were tens of millions of people there. They made the soils. They made the soils over an area at least an area the size of France and Spain put together, that maintained permanent agriculture. But that's another story. What about Yellowstone? Again, there's not enough time to address the issues in the detail that's required.
But the short answer is that natural regulationI did my Ph.D. on thisis a scientific fraud. Natural regulation is a food-limited model and if the wolves have any impact on the population at all it means natural regulation's incorrect.
This is a figure from my dissertation. This is before you had PowerPoint and you had to draw all this stuff by hand and I'm not a very good drawer. The solid line here is the boundary of Yellowstone National Park 2.2 million acres. Most of the park is in Wyoming but a little sliver here is in Montana and this little sliver is in Montana and this little sliver is in Idaho. The other spaghetti lines are the routes of the early explorers who left us the first pertinent written account. In all, there were twenty different expeditions. That's seven hundred and sixty-five days on foot or horseback in the old ecosystem between 1835 and 1876.
During that time, guess how many people saw or killed a wolf. Again, this is all when it was a pristine wilderness untouched by the hand of man. No one saw or killed a single wolf in seven hundred and sixty-five days, foot or horseback. Bison, of which there are now over five thousand in the park, bison were only seen three times during this time, none of which were in the park. Elk, of which there were a hundred thousand in the ecosystem in twelve different herds until they turned wolves loose. Elk were seen only once every eighteen days and there were no moose. But we've got the data. Everything else is scientific fraud. One of the things that I've done in my research is used detailed analysis of all first-person historical accounts.
Next question: Why was wildlife so rare? Because there was no wilderness.
The real reasons for wolf recovery. Moreover, as various studies have noted, wolf recovery has anything to do with basically social engineering and actually nothing to do with wolves. These were the identified wolf packs remember I told you Molloy put them back on the Endangered Species list. These are the number of wolf packs, I think, about three years ago. And this is just what they were owning up to. Again, you can see that most of the wolves are in western Montana. They're not in the eastern part of the state and this, well, it gets more complicated, but these wolves actually came down from Canada. These wolves were caught in Canada, turned loose here in central Idaho, a big wilderness area, and they were turned loose in Yellowstone Park.
Instead, it's all about eliminating livestock grazing. And banning hunting.
Now all you need to do is look at the groups that sued to keep wolves on the Endangered Species list. And simple, you can go right to their website I'm not making this stuff up. One of the thirteen groups that sued is called the Western Watershed Project. Their stated objective is they want all the livestock off of all the public lands in the West. Not only federal land but state land.
They also want your private land. They don't talk about that up front. But with these ranches, most of them lost their grazing permit on the federal land and so the ranches become uneconomical.
Another group that sued, which I mentioned earlier, was the Humane Society of the United States. The first point to remember is that this group has no connection with your local Humane Society that does good work. This is an animal rights group. One of their stated goals is to ban hunting and another one of their totally stated goals just go to their website they want to ban all uses of wildlife and animals. You have a dog or a cat? Not if these people have their way. Your kids have got guppies or goldfish or you fish? That's all verboten, too. You want bacon and eggs for breakfast or a good steak? Move to another country if these people have their way. And remember, just in one lawsuit, Judge Molloy gave this group two hundred and thirty-five thousand dollars. And I think they have a budget of sixty-five million a year or something like that. They're an anti-hunting, animal rights group which is basically anti all uses of animals. I'm not making this up. You just go to the website.
In addition, this is everyone's problem. A federal judge in Oregon in a different lawsuit ruled that wolves and all other native species had to be restored to what's called their "full historic range." This is based mostly on the United States. So there's this groupCenter for Biological Diversityone of these groups that sues and sues and sues on that. This is right off their website. They're going to file a lawsuit where they want the federal government to come up with a wolf recovery plan for the entire United States. They want wolves in every state of the nation.
And because of a lawsuit brought by the Center for Biological Diversity, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife is under a court order to develop a recovery plan for the Mexican wolf. This became a hot issue in Utah. This is about the twentieth talk that I've given on this wolf stuff. And this just blew up last spring because someone leaked a copy of the draft plan. I don't know who sent it to me but it came across my computer and I sent it out to everybody else. And that basically the Mexican wolf hasn't done well for various reasons we I don't have time to get into. But on the new recovery plan they were talking about three recovery areas, one of which is in southern Utah. And they want at least three hundred wolves by their count in each one of those three different areas. Interbreeding and all genetically connected. So I got to speak to the sheep people in Utah and all sorts of other groups. And so we're all waiting for the plan. It's supposed to have been out by now. But, of course, it's not going to come out until after the election. Right?
All you need to do to get wolves every place is stop killing livestock-depredating wolves. A judge fromI don't know which state it washas already stopped the Fish and Wildlife Service from killing wolves and the states from killing livestock depredating wolves in Arizona and New Mexico. An Oregon judge did this, because they have a state endangered species act. I hate to say "the idiots," but they were idiots in Oregon they have a state endangered species act, which their wolves are covered under, even though they had all this hand-holding stuff for three years and came up with a wolf recovery plan that everybody agreed to.
They got two wolf packs there in Oregon and they both start killing cows. So according to the approved plan they were supposed to go over there and eliminate the wolves. Well, the greens went to court and sued. Some judge stopped them. So one wolf pack has killed at least twenty-seven cows in the last couple of months. No compensation. No anything. This is a very interesting thing. These GPS collars you all know what GPS is, I'm assuming. This is a lot more accurate than the old radio collar where you had to take fixes from an airplane. You can set it to take your read, a location every five minutes if you want or once a day or twice a day. So happened is the GPS tracking thing of a young female wolf that was caught here. [Pointing to the map] This is Yellowstone Park, and this is Montana, Idaho. This is Wyoming. This is Utah here. This is Colorado.
So this is what the wolf did. This is just in a couple of months, she made three thousand miles. This is why I don't believe in wolf subspecies or wolf species or in all this stuff. You just have to look at this, the way they disperse. I mean, in order to get subspecies you have to have reproductive isolation. How do you get reproductive isolation with this? And then there was one wolf that was radio-collared on the Finland western border. That wolf made ten thousand miles in two months. Well, yeah, this is just shocking, but do you see this on your national media? No. Do the pro-wolf people ever show you this? So if they turn wolves loose in northern Maine, you know, they might make it to Central Park.
Wolf recovery often has nothing to do with conservation. Hunters and ranchers do conservation, but what wolf advocates do is called preservation. And this is the old debate going back to John to Muir and Gifford Pinchot between preservation and, for instance, conservation. But these Green groups have done all their focus stuff and things. And if you use the word "preservation," the publics not for it. But if you use the word "conservation," well, it's like being against motherhood and apple pie. That's why they call it the "conservation." There's nothing to do with conservation.
Moreover, the pro-wolf advocates have told so many lies that even they cannot keep them straight.
Oh. I kid you, not. I can prove everything I'm saying. This is right here. You can go on to the Defenders web site. Defenders of Wildlife and they also publish a magazine. This was in the magazine. It's called The Lost Frontier. This is about wolf management in Alaska. According to this article and Defenders, there's no evidence that wolves have any impact on any other populations, they don't lower hunting opportunities, and science is on their side. And there's absolutely no reason to kill wolves. Then in the next breath, in the next paragraph, the article goes on to claim that there are now too many moose. In what's called Unit 20A, which is south of Fairbanks, those moose are destroying the habitat. There's just so many moose.
Why are there so many moose in Unit 20A? Because that's where the Alaska Department of Fish and Game has done predator control. This is one of their experimental study areas where they've been doing research for twenty years. So what they're telling you, one thing is predators can go better work, oops. In all this. And then, next paragraph they're telling you just the exact opposite and the writer and the editors weren't smart enough to figure this out, and most of the readers never would be either. Because you don't know what Unit 20A is, but I've lived and worked in Alaska.
According to wolf advocates predators keep game herds healthy by eliminating diseased animals. This turns out, too, not to be true.
In Canada, Wood Buffalo National Park, which is in way north of Alberta and in the Northwest what used to be Northwest Territoriesthey've given it back to the natives nowsixty years of wolf predation have not lowered incidents of either bovine tuberculosis or brucellosis in the park bison.
While in South Africa's Kruger National Park, I learned that predation by African lions and spotted hyenas has not stopped the spread of bovine tuberculosis in the park's cape buffalo herd.
In addition, predation has neither lowered the incidence of or stopped the spread of chronic wasting disease in deer or elk in the West or in the East.
Then it turns out, too, that wolves actually spread a great number of diseases, such as this nasty little tape worm [Echinococcus granulosis] that exists here that in game animals, livestock and humans. Never discussed in the EIS. The federal government still ignores this stuff. The state agencies all ignore this stuff. You get this and these eggs that come out, they're light in the air. You can just inhale them or your dog get them. They can kill you. One lady already had two-thirds of her liver removed, cost her sixty-five thousand bucks, which, of course, is another taking and the government never paid anything for it.
These are what the cysts look like in the elk lung. [Audience: That's big, wow.] Well, they're a little smaller organism but then they reproduce they become different. I don't have time to explain all this. But there's probably a hundred thousand little things in there. No more gutting them with bare hands. You don't ever want to do, because you puncture one of these, you got a cut in your hand and this kind of stuff in there. It's all blood and you're trying to cut stuff out. Little things get in there. You could be in really bad trouble.
Fraud from the beginning. I will close now with one of the lies that started all this back in 1960. This is Farley Mowat's book, Never Cry Wolf. And if you don't know about this book: Farley Mowat worked one summer for what was called at that time the Canadian Wildlife Service. He worked on wolves, and then he wrote this book which said, "Wolves don't eat caribou, they eat mice."
It's physiologically impossible for them to eat enough mice to survive. That's a whole other story. At the time that the book came out, a noted wolf biologist and others wrote reviews in scientific journals that said he got wolf biology all wrong. It turns out that Mowat here recently or Canadian Wildlife put a bunch of their records. You know, it's a good thing the government doesn't throw everything away. They put a bunch of their records in the archives. And some reporter got a hold of these and he figured out that Mowat was not at the places, according to his time cards, where he said he was at the the times in the book. The reporter confronted him with this. Well what could Mowat do? Well, he owned up to it. And then basically he said he'd do the same thing againlying because basically the end, protecting wolves, justifies the means.
It turns out, this becomes important today. I've got these props here. I bought these, drug them all the way from Utah. He wrote this book. This is right off the Amazon website and what is it being sold as? The book is being sold asyou see it here Amazing True Story of Life Among Arctic Wolves. It's still being sold as a true story. Though it's been known since this news account came out in '87 that they fabricated the stuff then. And, of course, they made a movie out of all this. It was seen by millions of people. What is it being sold as?I haven't viewed this and I'm not going to.I mean, see, it's being sold as a true story. And it's all lies. It is all lies.
People tell me that I'm too negative. So I try to finish on a more positive note.
Well, this slide pretty sums up future hunting opportunities in the northern Rockies.
But this photo shows that hunting is great in Namibia. It's even better in South Africa. That's a forty-one inch gemsbok, number thirty-three.
Thank you for your time and consideration.
Words in brackets are editorial additions for clarity only.