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An Open Letter To Bass Pro Shops C.E.O. Johnny Morris

In this late 1980’s photo, LOBO WATCH founder Toby Bridges (far right), welcomes country music star Johnny Lee to Bass Pro Shops.  During the late 1980’s and early 1990’s, Bridges served as the Public Relations Manager for the retail giant.



Have you ever taken the time to sit down and read the legislation which established the Pittman-Robertson Act?

One line reads… “laws for the conservation of wildlife which shall include a prohibition against the diversion of license fees paid by hunters for any other purpose than the administration of said State fish and game department…”

The Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies is one of the “conservation organizations” which you are now strongly involved with – and an organization which no longer follows the intent of Pittman-Robertson, or for that matter the intent of sportsmen when state game and fish agencies were being established 75 to 100 years ago. The new agenda of AFWA is to heavily promote the non-consumptive use of non-hunted and non-fished wildlife, technically illegally using monies provided by sportsmen – such as monies provided through the sales of hunting and fishing licenses, and the excise taxes collected on hunting and fishing equipment for the sole purpose of improving GAME and FISH habitat, and building healthy populations of GAME and FISH for consumptive harvest.


The AFWA news release published at this link may appear to stick another “Feather for Conservation” in the Bass Pro Shops hat, but does it really? The sportsmen of this country are now feeling extremely used by organizations and agencies with a whole new agenda – to eliminate hunting and fishing. The Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies is one organization/association/band of thieves now in the crosshairs. Following is a link to another release of an entirely different color…


Is this the direction our “game departments” will continue to take? Following is a link to an article that emphatically says that it is…


This summer the Idaho Department of Fish and Game, against the wishes of the vast majority of those who hunt and fish in that state (and who are your customers), held a train wreck known as the “Wildlife Summit”. The intent of that three-days of manipulation (using the Delphi Technique) by professional moderators and carefully selected speakers, plus a number of plants in the audience, was to make the sportsmen of the state feel good about that agency seeking funding from non-hunting and non-fishing groups, and even the same anti-hunting organizations which have allowed a glut of predators to destroy the past 50 to 75 years of big game conservation in Idaho.

The very same Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies which you support, and which recently awarded you their “Citizen Conservationist of the Year” award, is very much behind this movement. Every time you look at the award handed you, I hope you take a minute to reflect on what it has and will continue to cost Bass Pro Shops – and what your support of using the money provided by hunters and fishermen to fund non-consumptive wildlife management will cost the sportsmen and sportswomen of this country.

Let’s get back to the practices and management which rewarded us with the bounty of wildlife we enjoyed through the 1980s and 1990s. It is time for a real division between “Game & Fish” and “Wildlife”. If the non-consumptive watchable wildlife crowd, bird watchers, nature photographers, hikers, etc. feel a need to support that area of outdoor recreation, then it is also time for every state to establish an entirely separate Department of Wildlife, which should be funded entirely with monies OTHER than what sportsmen spend on hunting and fishing licenses, or by the excise taxes collected on firearms, ammunition, archery gear or fishing tackle. Sportsman dollars should be used entirely and exclusively for improving habitat for harvestable fish and game, and to promote those consumptive outdoor sports.

The sportsmen of this country have tired of being used, and there will be an ever growing call for the elimination of Pittman-Robertson funds being distributed to any state agency that takes on a non-consumptive agenda.

Toby Bridges

Idaho Department of Fish and Game “Wildlife Summit” Creating Extreme Resentment From The State’s Sportsmen Groups

Two issues are now troubling the members of most all of Idaho’s sportsman organizations. One has been the extremely drastic loss of big game populations since the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service introduction of non-native Canadian wolves into the Northern Rockies during the mid 1990s. The other involves the Idaho Department of Fish and Game sponsored “Wildlife Summit”, which is to be held at the Riverside Hotel in Boise August 24 thru 26 – and at six other satellite locations around the state.

The purpose of this so-called summit is to look at changing the “Mission” of IDFG. The agency wants to stray from their legislated mission, which by law is to concentrate on maintaining healthy populations of “Fish” and “Game”…just as the agency’s name implies. One major concern to many sportsmen and most sportsman organizations in the state is that major environmental and animal rights groups have been invited to attend and participate – and that several of the keynote guest speakers IDFG is bringing in for the summit have strong ties with those same groups.

Those hunters and anglers who have financially supported the state’s wildlife agency since it was first established back in 1938 see the writing on the wall – and that IDFG has changed, and not necessarily to better the agency. A vast and growing number of these sportsmen now feel that the agency no longer represents them, and has an all new agenda. Many have felt that way ever since IDFG worked so readily hand-in-hand with the USFWS introduction of a larger, more aggressive and wider ranging non-indigenous wolf subspecies – and then watched elk herds that took 60 to 70 years to rebuild disappear right before their eyes.

With that loss of elk and other big game herds, which USFWS had promised wouldn’t happen, has also been a dramatic drop in hunting license sales. That means less funding for IDFG. Now the agency is selling out the sportsmen who have been there to keep them operating for more than seven decades. As much as they try to camouflage what the “Wildlife Summit” is really all about, it simply boils down to the agency turning to the arch enemies of hunting and fishing for funding – groups like The Alliance for the Wild Rockies, the Sierra Club, Defenders of Wildlife, and dozens of others. IDFG now wants to work along with the same anti-hunting groups which fought so hard to keep wolf management tied up in federal court, until the wolves had enough time to destroy past decades of big game conservation. Now, the sportsmen of Idaho are angry, and it is very likely IDFG will feel their wrath.

In an attempt to justify the agency’s reason for changing IDFG’s mission, Director Virgil Moore has stated that it all pretty much boils down to not enough funding. He pointed out that, with a changing society and the economic down turn, federal assistance is beginning to wane. He predicted that within just a few years it would flat line, then disappear altogether.

He said, “We’ve been aware of this change for some time.”

Perhaps the change began when the U.S. Department of the Interior began its reign of terror on the state’s rights to manage wildlife within its border. The two primary tools they’ve used have been the grizzly bear and the gray wolf. Under the facade of restoring “endangered species”, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service worked with state wildlife agencies in both Idaho and Montana to relocate and transplant these two species into new territory, then the U.S. Forest Service would close access into those areas – shutting out sportsmen. Without proper management of these apex predators within those vast closed areas, big game populations have taken a beating. Federal “biologists and wildlife managers”, in official Environmental Impact Statements, emphatically asserted that the predator impact would be minimal and acceptable – far from the 70- to 80-percent loss of many big game herds that has become reality since 1995.

The residents of the Northern Rockies now fully realize they were outright lied to, and that the USFWS and IDFG both fully knew what the impact on wildlife resources would be before the release of the major predators. Now IDFG is looking to partner up with the same anti-hunting organizations which have fully supported the disaster of allowing wolf populations to explode, due to the lack of adequate management. Idaho’s sportsmen do not want those groups to have any say in the future of wildlife management in the state. They have already seen the damage their involvement causes.

Ever hear of the Delphi Technique? What it boils down to is manipulation of a consensus, whether it is a general consensus, a public consensus, or any other kind of consensus – after the outcome or direction the topic or issue will follow or take has already been determined by those conducting the consensus… meeting…or summit. It’s all based on bringing people together by inviting them to attend and “participate”. Then a very skilled facilitator and team of “experts” weave their spell, to oversell the benefits of being a part of the “team”, to instill the feeling among participants that they are in support of the issue or topic.

The technique was used back during the planning stages of the Northern Rockies Wolf Recovery Project, to make the residents feel good about dumping Canadian wolves into the mix of big game populations that had taken decades to rebuild. The USFWS and IDFG, along with Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks next door, used nothing more than smoke and mirrors, and outright false claims, predictions and forecasts to assure sportsmen and other residents that wolves would make big game populations stronger and healthier. In short, they were employing the Delphi Technique to bring a majority on board, even though it had already been predetermined that Canadian wolves would be transplanted into the area anyway. With major herds like the Northern Yellowstone elk herd torn down from 19,000 elk at the outset of the non-indigenous wolf introduction to only about 4,000 today, those sportsmen and residents realize they were sold a rotten bill of goods, that they have been victims of the grandest case of fraud ever perpetrated in the United States.

Is the IDFG “Wildlife Summit” a continuation of this fraud? All one has to do is look at the purpose of the summit, and that is to bring in non-hunting and non-fishing groups to decide the future of these outdoor sports in Idaho. Or to scrutinize several of the keynote speakers who are there to expound upon the benefits of forming what has been dubbed a new “Conservation Coalition”. Then the real purpose of the “Wildlife Summit” may become more clear.

One speaker, Toni Hardesty, is the former Director of the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality, who earlier this year became the Director of the Idaho chapter of The Nature Conservancy. That organization’s reputation has suffered greatly in recent years, due to the manner in which it has sold off lands that were either donated or sold to them at far less than market value, under the agreement that those lands would be preserved. While The Nature Conservancy claims to be a “land preservation” group, it continues to receive millions in government funds and uses tax dollars to forward its agenda of “nationalizing” private land in order to turn a very handsome profit. Now, Idaho’s sportsmen are asked to put trust in someone who heads the state chapter of that organization.

For another speaker, Tara Teel, being a career student has been a way of life. With a Ph.D. degree, an M.S. degree and a B.S. degree she is now an Associate Professor in the Department of Human Dimensions of Natural Resources at Colorado State University. She has been involved in a tremendous amount of research the past few years. In fact, since 2005 Teel has headed research teams (2 or 3 researchers) for 13 different projects, receiving more than $1.2-million in grants, and during the same time period she was an associate researcher with four other research studies that received nearly $1-million more in grants to study things such as “Improving Conservation Education and Connecting Families to Nature through Programs Targeting the Wildlife Values of the Public”. That study alone received $286,147 in grant money.

One of her students had this to say about her, “Unfortunately, she acts patronizing and self-righteous to cover up her many shortcomings, including a lack of any real non-academic work experience. Unfortunately most of us don’t live in the theoretical world where she does. The Ivory Tower will certainly protect her from every-day life.”

Now Tara Teel will be telling Idaho sportsmen and residents why they should welcome environmental and animal rights groups to help manage the state’s wildlife resources. Interesting enough, her Colorado State University faculty profile shares that one of her greatest research interests is “attitude-behavior change theory in psychology” – which kind of goes hand-in-hand with the Delphi Technique of manipulating public consensus.

Idaho sportsmen groups are seriously questioning the legality of IDFG sponsoring the “Wildlife Summit”, and their intent to change the agency’s core mission – and from where did the money come to finance the summit. They are also asking whether or not sportsman dollars were used, and who authorized the summit.

Scott Rockholm, president and c.e.o. of Save Western Wildlife, headquartered at Sandpoint, ID, states that the mission of the state’s wildlife agency reads, “IDFG will manage wildlife for future populations of wildlife, for the purpose of fishing, hunting , and trapping.”

He also points out their mandate does not compel them to do anything but grow edible wildlife. He feels this summit is the beginning of the end to hunting. Like many Idaho sportsmen, Rockholm is both disappointed and disgusted with the manner in which IDFG has pulled the rug from beneath those who have funded the agency, and especially about how IDFG is now preparing to stab them in the back by jumping into bed with the same organizations and groups which have worked so hard to destroy the quality of hunting in Idaho.

He says, “The ‘Summit’ is a disguise to end your hunting opportunities. This is a sham, plain and simple.”

Before the Northern Rockies Wolf Recovery Plan and before ongoing legal intervention from pro-wolf environmental groups, Idaho was home to one of the healthiest big game populations in the United States. And those herds had been built relying on the North American Model of Wildlife Conservation, which calls on hunter harvest to maintain a balance between game populations and quality habitat. Steve Alder, who heads the Clearwater Chapter of the statewide sportsman group Idaho for Wildlife says that IDFG has been moving away from that plan for almost 30 years – and that some IDFG biologists have long advocated non-hunting and non-consumptive practices of wildlife management – all the while using sportsman dollars.

Alder says a great example of that can be found in the agency’s 1991-1995 Elk Management Plan. It states, “The Department believes the greatest return to society from the wildlife resource occurs when the maximum variety of products is provided and that maximizing a single product (e.g., harvest) is not necessarily desirable. We will encourage and promote non-consumptive use of elk.”

While IDFG and environmental groups worked together to plan the “Wildlife Summit”, sportsmen and traditional sportsmen groups were left out in the dark. Recently replaced IDFG Commissioner Wayne Wright cautioned that this was a dangerous path – and that may prove far more true than anyone can imagine. It’s no wonder that the sportsmen of Idaho no longer put any trust in the Idaho Department of Fish and Game – and now likely have a whole new elevated level of animosity toward environmental groups.

The “Wildlife Summit” headquarters in Boise and the gatherings at the six satellite locations may see far more sportsman participation than IDFG or their new environmental partners expect. A large number of sportsmen are likely to show up at each location – not to participate, but in protest and to let Idaho Governor Butch Otter, IDFG Commission members and upper management at IDFG know that an extremely heated battle lies ahead. A number of Idaho legislators are expected to be on hand as well – some also in protest of how IDFG is violating its legislated mission. – Toby Bridges, LOBO WATCH

Updated…Of Wolves and Junk Science


This LOBO WATCH Release was first circulated in July 2011.  Here is an updated version, sharing some new population guesstimations…and taking a look at how the two 2012 gubernatorial candidates in Montana differ in their views of MT Fish, Wildlife and Parks…and managing wolves.


It is now very apparent that when plans were first being made to bring wolves back into the Northern Rockies, knowledgeable “wolf scientists” must have been extremely rare – and extremely far and few in between.   When one takes the time to mull over the so-called Northern Rockies Wolf Recovery Plan, and especially the long and drawn out 1994 Environmental Impact Statement filed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, drafted before the first wolves were released into the Greater Yellowstone Area in 1995, and compares the “facts” within those two documents with what we now know has happened and continues to happen, it becomes very clear that the chosen experts knew little if anything about wolves.

In those days, the team of wildlife biologists, managers, ecologists and environmentalists pushing to “reintroduce” wolves into the Yellowstone ecosystem and throughout the Northern Rockies definitively established that to achieve a recovered wolf population it would take 100 wolves, with a minimum of 10 breeding pairs, in each of three states –  Montana, Idaho and Wyoming.   And that goal was achieved in 2002.  At that time, according to the “Recovery Plan” and the 1994 EIS, management was supposed to have been turned over to the state wildlife agencies.  But, it was not.

Although the team of “scientists” and “wildlife biologists” who drafted both of these official documents signed off on the recovery goal numbers well before the first wolves were released, intervening environmental groups, including the Defenders of Wildlife and the Center for Biological Diversity, began filing lawsuits to prevent wolf management hunts.  And this is even though the wildlife agencies of these states had voluntarily planned to insure a minimum of at least 15 breeding pairs in each state.  And that battle continues to this very day.

By the time wolves had reached the agreed upon recovery goal in 2002, it was already evident that those scientists who drafted the plan and EIS had missed their predictions, their claims and their promises to a concerned public by a country mile.  Hunting is not just a recreation in the Northern Rockies, it is a way of life, with many families relying heavily on the harvest of elk, deer and other big game to supplement how they keep their family fed.  It is also big business.  In fact, in Montana alone hunting is an annual $230-million-plus boost to the state’s economy.  And well before the first 17 wolves were released into Yellowstone National Park in 1995, Congress proclaimed that the planned project was to “not hurt hunting”, to “not hurt ranching”, and that the release of wolves in the Northern Rockies was not to threaten any other endangered species – i.e. the grizzly bear.

Wolf impact on other wildlife resources was realized by 2002.  One of the first elk herds to be severely impacted by wolf depredation was the Northern Yellowstone elk herd.  In 1995-96, when the first wolves were released, that herd numbered between 19,000 and 20,000 – and as wolf numbers quickly grew in and around the park, elk numbers dwindled quickly.   That summer when wolves reached their recovery numbers, this herd was already down to 12,000.  Currently, the Northern Yellowstone elk herd numbers right at 4,000 animals.

The so-called wolf experts who contrived the Recovery Plan claimed that the average wolf would kill around 14 big game animals yearly.  Subsequent research, observing what was actually happening once the wolves had far surpassed the recovery goals, established that the average wolf was killing between 20 and 30 big game animals annually – for sustenance.  Likewise, they were killing nearly the same number – simply for the sport of killing, eating nothing.  That meant the average wolf was killing between 40 and 60 animals each and every year.  The “scientists” who drafted the plan failed to even address what is now referred to as “sport killing” or “surplus killing”.

These same wolf specialists also failed to address other aspects of wolf impact that just may prove to have an even greater impact on elk, moose, deer and other big game populations – and that is the stress the wolves put on pregnant females.  With the reintroduction of the wolf into the northern U.S. Rocky Mountains, the spring calf to cow ratio has nose dived.  In many areas where the survival rate was once 30 to 50 calves per 100 cows, it is now down into the single digits – 6 to 9 per 100 cows.  Elk biologists realize that it takes at least 30 to 35 calves per 100 cows to sustain a hunted elk herd.  Just to sustain itself without being hunted, a herd must realize an 18- to 20-percent calf survival.

Wolves, mountain lions and grizzlies all account for a high rate of calf loss during late spring and early summer calving.  However, where wolves very likely make the biggest impact on the calf-to-cow ratio is through the winter,  prior to calving time.  Wolves put continual pressure on its prey base during the lean months of December, January, February and March.  Constantly kept on the move, there is little time for elk to fatten up for the harshest weather of the year.  And as cow elk become heavier with a calf fetus inside, the stress of that constant pursuit is now causing a high number to abort the fetus.  And this is an impact factor that our wolf “scientists” either purposely ignored, or were not knowledgeable enough about wolves to even realize.

Another oversight was just how this would affect the overall health of big game herds, especially elk.  When USFWS brought in the first Canadian wolves into the Yellowstone area, the Northern Yellowstone elk herd averaged 4 to 5 years of age.  Due to the excessive loss of calf recruitment, the herd has gotten much older on the average – now between 8 and 9 years of age.  Many cows are now reaching an age where reproduction becomes biologically impossible.

Math is an integral part of science, the part which can be most easily manipulated.  That can now be witnessed with the “guesstimated” wolf populations that now roam the upper two-thirds of Idaho, all along the western half of Montana and in the northwest quadrant of Wyoming – and which are now moving into Washington, Oregon and Utah.  Our experts claim the region is now home to around 1,700 wolves – even though the wildlife agencies in these states do not have the technology or the manpower to accurately assess.  The hundreds of thousands of sportsmen who spend most of the year in the outdoors say that number wouldn’t even account for half the wolves in the Northern Rockies.  And one of the most respected wolf scientists in the world, Dr. L. David Mech, of Minnesota, tends to agree with them.

Mech was deposed as an expert witness for the 2008 wolf delisting hearings, and in his declaration he established that even with natural death losses, and wolves culled by hunters and animal control officers, the Northern Rockies wolf population was, then, more than 3,000.  Today, the number is more like 4,000 to 4,500 – with as many as 1,600 to 1,800 in just Montana.  Still, the wolf specialists with Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks continued to downplay the wolf numbers, claiming in early 2011 there were “at least” 566 wolves in the state.  As the agency got closer to the 2011 wolf season, they admitted that the population could be around 800.  Next door in Idaho, wildlife managers also touted a number far below the real number, claiming  around 900 as the state went into the fall 2011 wolf hunting season.  Sportsmen in these two states say that combined there are “at least” 3,000 to 3,500 wolves in Montana and Idaho.

The “science” Dr. Mech presents that scares the daylights out of those who continually push for more wolves is the level of reduction it’s going to take in order to stop the destruction of other wildlife populations.  In that same declaration, he stated that to just stop the growth rate of depredation could mean eliminating upwards of 50-percent of all wolves in the Northern Rockies.  To pull big game populations out of what is referred to as a “predator pit” situation would require culling 70-percent or more of existing wolves.

Plaguing the science of the Northern Rockies Wolf Recovery Project even more is the wolf which USFWS chose to transplant from north-central Alberta, Canada as the replacement wolf for the “reintroduction”.  It is not the same subspecies as the wolf that was native to the region.  Prior to the importation of those non-indigenous Canadian wolves (Canis lupus occidentalis) , the native wolf of Montana, Idaho and Wyoming was a smaller subspecies (Canis lupus irremotus) .  Many residents of the region have stated there were still several small pockets of the native wolf in remote areas when USFWS began bringing in the larger and more aggressive non-native Canadian wolves – and that those native wolves were soon eliminated  by the invasive species.

Sportsmen are now seriously questioning how USFWS chose to bring in an entirely different wolf to repopulate one of the richest wildlife ecosystems in the U.S.  They tend to feel that bringing in that subspecies would be no different than if the agency arbitrarily chose to truck a few thousand pronghorns from the plains of Wyoming down to Mexico to supplement the endangered Sonoran pronghorn, or to help out the endangered Florida Keys Deer by transplanting noticeably larger whitetails from the Midwest.  Then there’s Idaho’s extremely endangered woodland caribou (Rangifer tarandus caribou), will USFWS come to their rescue and transplant Central barren ground caribou (Rangifer tarandus groenlandicus) from the Canadian Arctic?  Is this science…or playing God?

More and more, people who live in the Northern Rockies are accusing USFWS of actually violating the Endangered Species Act by introducing, not reintroducing, a wolf subspecies that never lived in the region.  And that those non-endangered Canadian wolves have destroyed any chances of ever truly re-establishing a population of the native wolf.  The manner in which USFWS, with the encouragement of environmental organizations, including the Sierra Club, the Center for Biological Diversity, and Defenders of Wildlife, pushed for such an accelerated recovery project of wolves in and around Yellowstone National Park has many residents suspecting their agenda has much more to it than re-establishing a wolf population.  More now claim it is all a part of the spurious “Wildlands Project” (now called the Wildlands Network) and the United Nation’s “Agenda 21” – with goals to greatly reduce human utilization of rural lands.

Last year, one prominent NASA scientist,  James Hansen, was accused of illegally accepting more than $1.2-million from well funded environmental groups to support their “Stop Global Warming” agendas.  The manner in which some state wildlife agency biologists now seem to be favoring the “let nature balance itself agenda” has many sportsmen, who are the primary financial supporters of these agencies, wondering if the “selling out” problem has now come much closer to home.  In the same light, many overly radical environmental professors who are teaching our future wildlife scientists are now under public scrutiny.

A new area of wolf-related science that is just now surfacing is the threat of the Echinococcus granulosus tapeworm – which close to 70-percent of all wolves tested in the Northern Rockies now carry – and spread widely during their long ranging hunts.  Every pile of scat left by these wolves could deposit thousands of the tapeworm eggs, which can result in cystic hydatid disease in elk, moose, deer, livestock – and even humans.  The eggs of this parasite can cause health and life threatening cysts on the lungs, the liver and on the brain.  Once contracted, detection of hydatid disease could take years.  Having the cysts surgically removed presents a new danger.  They are filled with a cloudy liquid, filled with tiny tapeworm heads, and should one burst, either during surgery or on its own, leads to a severe allergic reaction, called anaphylatic shock – and possibly death.  When a cyst does burst, it can spawn the growth of multiple new cysts, making surgery a tricky procedure.

As wolf numbers continue to grow in the Northern Rockies, so will the chances of contracting the disease.  It already has many outdoor oriented people afraid to enjoy harvesting and eating wild berries and mushrooms, which could be covered with microscopic tapeworm eggs.  Several cases in humans have now been reported, and a growing number of hunters are finding the cysts on the lungs and livers of elk, deer and moose harvested.

In Montana, the junk science that severely taints the Northern Rockies Wolf Recovery Project is now under full attack from those who are disgusted with the 70- to 80-percent loss of elk herds and other big game populations in the western regions of the state.  Democratic 2012 gubernatorial candidate Steve Bullock feels MT FWP’s “more aggressive” 2012 wolf season, which also allows trapping, is definitely a step in the right direction to bring down wolf numbers in the state.  Several hundred thousand sportsmen disagree, claiming it is not enough – and so does Bullock’s opponent in the race for the governor’s office.  Republican candidate Rick Hill has his own idea of wolf management, which would treat the wolf as a non-protected predator across the eastern half of the state, and would more aggressively manage wolf numbers up and down the western side of the state.  Hill also says that, as the Governor, he would push hard for a complete overhaul of the state’s wildlife agency.

Science is a wonderful tool when it is used for the right reasons.  But when it is used to lie and deceive, to cover up what’s really happening, and to support a radical agenda, perhaps it should be handled as a criminal offense.  Montana resident Robert Fanning, the founder and C.E.O. of  the group known as the Friends of the Northern Yellowstone Elk Herd refers to the science used throughout the Northern Rockies Wolf Recovery Project as “scientific fraud!”

The evidence says he’s right. – Toby Bridges, LOBO WATCH

Phony Montana Sportsmen Groups Try To Disrupt 2012 Elections!


Montanan’s have long been admired for their straight forward honesty, and being who they are – saying what they have to say without sugar coating a damned thing.

Unfortunately, we now have a new element among us, who live a lie…and continue to prosper using nothing more than lies.

Following is a link to a LOBO WATCH release that takes a look at far less than honest individuals and organizations that try their darndest to represent themselves as “Montana Sportsmen”…when their one and only goal or agenda is to destroy the Montana way of life – and to disrupt the 2012 elections by confusing the sportsman voter…and spreading more lies.


Choose very wisely who you vote for on November 6th – the future of this state is very much in your hands.

Toby Bridges


Is There More To Yellowstone Wolf Attack Than Park Officials Are Admitting?

Above – Yellowstone wolves have severely hamstrung this moose…and now await it to bleed out and go down.  Then, in normal wolf fashion, the pack will feed on the still alive moose, often eating out the meaty rear portions – and leaving the animal to suffer a lingering death.  To bring down a sizeable animal such as this can take several days, and the hungry pack will aggressively defend their food source.


It’s no secret among the residents of the Greater Yellowstone Area that the National Park Service and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service have been less than honest about the impact wolves have had on the park and the area in general, or how those involved with the Northern Rockies Wolf Recovery Project have manipulated science to achieve a fast track to a successful wolf recovery.  Likewise, from the very start of the project, the likes of former project coordinator Ed Bangs and Yellowstone wolf biologist Doug Smith have thumbed their noses at any claims in regard to the health or safety threats wolves pose humans, especially when it comes to an outright attack on a human.

So, are wolves a threat to humans, will they attack a person?

One Yellowstone National Park tourist can probably answer that question better than anyone working at the park.  The man was hiking in the Hayden Valley, along the Yellowstone River, in early June (2012) when he encountered wolves, or a wolf, which he claimed became aggressive and threatening.  And this is where the story goes in two directions.

One story is that, to ward off the attack, the hiker sprayed the wolves with pepper spray bear repellant, but they did not back off.  The man then ran to the river and jumped in, while the pack of five wolves continued to pursue him, running along the bank, for nearly a mile.  The other story, being told by Yellowstone National Park officials, is that the hiker encountered a lone female wolf, which was guarding its den, and that there was not an attack, so there was no reason for the man to jump into the Yellowstone River.

Park spokesman Al Nash said, “There was no wolf attack, however, a visitor apparently had some sort of encounter with a wolf. The wolf did not attack him.   This gentleman encountered a wolf, just as many visitors encounter bears, elk or sheep.  I don’t know what his decision-making process was. He chose to get away from the animal. Why he chose to go into the Yellowstone River, I just don’t know.”

            When rumors of the “encounter” began to circulate a week after the incident took place, Scott Rockholm, the founder of Save Western Wildlife, called the Yellowstone offices and spoke with the head of the park’s wolf project, biologist Doug Smith.  Smith also stressed that the man was not attacked by the wolf.  Rather, he had gotten too close to the wolf’s den, and the wolf was simply doing what it took to get him away from the area.

According to Rockholm, Smith commented, “The female wolf escorted the man away from the den, and the man overreacted”.

A short story on the incident that ran in the Billings Gazette on June 12 shared – “The wolf allegedly gave a warning bark, which the man interpreted as a growl. He sprayed the wolf with pepper spray — a deterrent most often used in bear encounters. The hiker heard the wolf yipping as a result of the spray as he fled.  Park officials said the man jumped into the Yellowstone River, believing the wolf might pursue him. He apparently lost his backpack as he was washed downriver and was treated by park rangers for hypothermia.”

            Dr. Valerius Geist, a professor of wildlife ecology with the University of Calgary, in Alberta, Canada says, “The position taken by the park is a classical one:  Blame the victim!    No wolf gets within pepper-spray distance without intent.  On the positive side, the wolf sprayed is unlikely to try getting close    again. This is good negative conditioning.”

During the month of June, the Yellowstone River typically sees its highest water mark as the mountain snowpack recedes quickly.  The runoff is swift, and the stretch of river where the hiker took the plunge is at just over 7,000 feet elevation, and the water runs cold.  Mid day water temperatures in early to mid June run around 47 or 48 degrees, accounting for the hiker’s case of hypothermia.

Will Graves, the author of the book “Wolves in Russia – Anxiety Through the Ages”, doesn’t buy YNP’s claim that the frightened hiker jumped into the river for no reason at all.  He points out,  “Anyone who jumps into the Yellowstone River in June, during high water, must be under a great deal of stress.”

Yellowstone National Park did not release the man’s name, but has stated that an investigation would continue to learn more.  Until then, they’re likely sticking with their story, and claim that there was not an attack.  Still, the other story, claiming that it was a pack of wolves, not a single female wolf, that pursued the hiker supposedly has a witness.  Looks like the best of either story could be yet to come.  –  Toby Bridges, LOBO WATCH

Phony Montana Sportsman Organizations Taint 2012 Elections!

Per capita, Montana has more hunters and fishermen than any other Lower 48 state.

Last November, LOBO WATCH exposed a very phony “sportsman based” organization – a group that called itself “Montana Hunters and Anglers Action”. See release published at…


Simply put, it was the goal of this “organization” to discredit those elected officials who are fighting the continued spread of wolves in this state, or who stand tall against the closure of public lands or access to those public lands (i.e. road closures). The efforts of Montana Hunters and Anglers Action were financed by radical environmental groups. In fact, according to one source of information, some $250,000 was spent on tv commercials that vehemently attacked Denny Rehberg. Surely many of you remember those…which went off the air later the same week we circulated the release to the media of Montana…and to real sportsmen and sportsmen groups/organizations.

Well, it seems we have another equally phony sportsman group in our midst again, calling itself the Montana Sportsman Alliance. And it’s pretty much made up of the same folks who ran or financially supported Montana Hunters and Anglers Action.

Montana Sportsman Alliance is equally lame, and has the same radical environmental purpose – and that is to disrupt the 2012 election in an attempt to prevent a few burrs under their saddle from being re-elected…or elected. Their sorry excuse for a website shares exactly who they are…if one takes the time to scrutinize the information they have published. One post is an all out attack against one true statewide sportsman-based organization – Montana Sportsmen for Fish and Wildlife. That Editorial Opinion which appeared in the Missoulian was written by Montana Sportsman Alliance co-founder Vito Quatraro, and attacks MT SFW for one reason and one reason only – the staunch stand SFW has on achieving more stringent control of wolves in this state. I know for a fact that MT SFW president Keith Kubista wrote a rebutal to that piece, but to the best of my knowledge, the Missoulian has never published it. But, that newspaper is now gaining an extremely bad reputation for publishing one-sided journalism.

At the May 2012 MT FWP Commission meeting, MT Sportsman Alliance had several representatives comment – all of which stood in favor of the proposed wolf season presented by the commission – which would extend the season, allow electronic calls, and would allow trapping…without the use of more effective snares. The vast majority of sportsmen who commented at that meeting told the FWP Commission that the proposed season and methods of take DID NOT go far enough.

The truth is, Montana Sportsman Alliance is too closely associated with the Montana Wildlife Federation to truly represent the real sportsmen of Montana. As much as MWF tries to paint itself as a “sportsman friendly” organization…they are still a State Chapter of the National Wildlife Federation…which favors having MORE WOLVESMORE GRIZZLY BEARS…and MORE PREDATORS in general on the Montana landscape. And these are the very reason why our big game populations are now in serious decline.

Today, with the primary elections underway, seemed a fitting day to write and circulate this. Beginning tomorrow, the heat will really be on those who carry the ball all the way to November 6. Starting tomorrow morning, it’s time for the sportsmen of this state to unite and fight together…and the Montana Sportsmen Alliance banner IS NOT the battle flag we need to be waving.

Toby Bridges



Voodoo Math Still Haunts Montana Wolf Control

The Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks Commission will discuss proposed 2012-2013 “wolf hunting” regulations, wolf management units, the number of wolves a hunter can harvest, and other issues surrounding this extremely volatile issue at its monthly meeting on Thursday, May 10th.  Making these new proposals even more controversial is the likelihood that trapping will be added as a new tool in the effort to manage or control a growing wolf population, which has already decimated big game populations in a majority of western Montana.

When one takes a long and hard look at the proposal the FWP Commission will be considering, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to realize that, once again, FWP is throwing up smoke and mirrors to try hiding that, in reality, the commission and the agency are “managing” to insure there are more of the destructive predators on the landscape come this time next year.  In protest, a number of extremely angered sportsmen are expected to show up at the commission meeting – and they will be there to say what they have to say.  And if the commission denies them that opportunity, as it did at one meeting earlier this year, there is a very good chance that tempers will flair.

The biggest discrepancy in the current proposal centers on the number of wolves FWP acknowledges in the state.  The agency is now saying that the statewide wolf population is in the neighborhood of “at least” 686 wolves.  In the 2012-2013 wolf hunting proposal, FWP says this is just an “assumption”, and that has many who have grown tired of the state’s wildlife agency managing by “guessing” more than just a little upset.  A growing number of Montana hunters who have watched the elk herds and other big game populations in the western half of the state dramatically decline, primarily due to wolf depredation, are now saying enough is enough – and get rid of wolves!

The proposal repeatedly refers to the “species biology”, when in fact the proposal is based on nothing more than “modeling”, rather than on the ground hard numbers.  Other well respected wolf biologists have claimed that, using real “wolf biology” and real “wolf reproductive rates”, and allowing for natural and man induced mortality, puts the current wolf population somewhere much closer to the 2,000 mark.   The sportsmen of this state, based on the degree of damage done to elk and other big game populations, say it’s even higher – maybe as many as 3,000 wolves.

FWP’s goal, as outlined in the proposal they will discuss on May 10th, is to bring the statewide wolf population down to around 425 – and the proposal authorizes FWP to end hunting if and when “they” feel the harvest has been sufficient to bring the population to that level.  The question is… “From what number will they be subtracting the harvest…from their ‘at least’ 686 wolf population…or from the more likely number of wolves, based on wolf biology?”

No where else in the world have wolves ever been controlled, or managed, through sport hunting.  And that approach has been a miserable failure here as well.  In Russia, where wolves have been a major concern for centuries, real wolf scientists have concluded that the only way to maintain control of the wolf population is to aerial gun them from a helicopter, using fully automatic firearms – and by trapping.

Several anti-trapping and anti-hunting organizations are expected to protest at the May FWP Commission meeting.  Their goal is to not only halt plans to allow trapping to be used as a control/management tool for reducing the wolf population, but to put an end to trapping altogether.

One such group is Footloose Montana, which states on its website…  Traps and snares put the public at risk: We already have to deal with traps-infested drainages. Many people are not using public lands anymore especially during the winter out of fear for the safety of their children and pets. It is unacceptable that trappers, the minority, comprising less than half of one percent of the Montana population, hold public lands hostage for the majority of the public! It is intolerable for the public to now have to deal with even more traps and snares of a much more powerful and deadly magnitude that already endanger us, our children and pets. Every trapping season, over reported 25 incidents occur where companion animals are being trapped, i.e., during the last season (2011-12), 23 dogs were injured and 2 dogs killed in traps; two cats each lost their leg as a result from being trapped. It is unacceptable that the public now has to deal with even more traps!”

          This organization fails to share how many dogs, cats, horses, sheep and head of cattle were killed by wolves during that same period.  The total number would be in the hundreds.

Another group which has sent out an “Activist Alert” to its members to protest the proposed wolf trapping season is the Montana chapter of the Sierra Club.  This is one of the “Dirty Bakers Dozen” radical environmental groups which kept wolf management tied up in federal court just long enough for the wolves to destroy the past 75 years of wildlife conservation in western Montana, northern Idaho, and much of northwestern Wyoming.

Their website states,  The strongest elk are not killed by wolves. Wolves take the easiest meal. They eat weaker and slower elk. In contrast, human hunters prefer to take the most impressive looking, robust individuals. Wolves help insure that the healthiest elk thrive and reproduce just as surely as the competitive marketplace helps the best produces to succeed and the best opponents draw the most spectacular performances from the top athletes. Generations of elk have suffered functional decline during the decades that wolves have been missing from Montana.”

This reads as if it comes directly out of Farley Mowat’s pro-wolf activists handbook, “Never Cry Wolf”.  While published as “The Amazing True Story of Life Among Arctic Wolves” (and still sold as such by Barnes & Noble), the author confessed that the entire book was pretty much fiction – after more than 13-million copies had been sold.

The reality of living with wolves is that wolves are extremely non-discriminating predators, killing just about anything that gets in front of them – the young, the healthy, the pregnant, and the prime…as well as the sick and weak.  The radical environmentalists and organizations, and especially the agenda driven new-wave biologists these groups now have implanted within our state wildlife agencies and teaching at our universities, purposely avoid sharing that the “average” wolf accounts for the loss of some 25 or so big game animals (or head of livestock) annually, just for sustenance – and that the “average” wolf also kills just about as much game, known as “surplus killing”, without eating anything.  Or, that wolves are the primary carrier of the Echinococcus granulosus tapeworm, which infects game, pets and even humans with Hydatid cysts – which in turn makes these living things “sick and weak”.

In his book, “Wolves in Russia”, author Will Graves does an excellent job of portraying wolves as they really are, and the damage they cause to wildlife populations and to ranching.  This book documents the past 150 years of wolf problems in what was once the U.S.S.R. – and the drastic measures it has taken on a number of occasions to bring wolf populations low enough to allow other wildlife to flourish, and for rural residents to raise livestock.  Most of what is in this book shares official research conducted by top Russian scientists and wildlife biologists.  Here is the “wolf biology” and the “wolf science” that was totally ignored by the extremely questionable “wolf experts” who drafted the Northern Rockies Wolf Recovery Project and the 1994 Environmental Impact Statement filed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for that project.

A majority of the 2012 Montana Gubernatorial candidates have made the wolf issue one of their primary campaign issues, and for good reason – taking care of this problem has become a priority among residents of this state.  If elected, most candidates are now saying that one of their first tasks will be to give Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks an extreme overhaul – and to see that the wolf is treated the same as a coyote, keeping the predator in the crosshairs 365-days a year.  They realize that before wolves can be managed, they first must be controlled by dramatically reducing their present numbers.

The 2012-2013 season proposal drafted by FWP biologists and wildlife managers, which the FWP Commission will be considering, certainly cannot accomplish that.

The FWP Commission is seeking comments, which must be submitted by June 18.  Send them your thoughts today.  E-mail them at fwpcomm@mt.gov .  –  Toby Bridges, LOBO WATCH

MT Gubernatorial Candidate Announces His Wolf Management Plan

Where wolves have decimated Montana’s big game herds, the aggressive predators are now making an ever greater impact on livestock – and the ability of the state’s ranchers to operate profitably.



March 28, 2012

Rick Hill Announces Wolf Management Plan

Helena, MT – Today, Republican gubernatorial candidate Rick Hill joined sportsmen, landowners, ranchers, legislators and other stakeholders to discuss his plan for the management of Montana’s wolf population.

“Right now we are at a tipping point with wolves, the point where we won’t be able to manage the population any more because there are too many of them. The number of wolves in Montana continues to grow and the population is spreading,” said Hill.

According to the mandates of the wolf de-listing from the Endangered Species Act, Montana needs to maintain 150 wolves, including ten breeding pairs. Today the minimum wolf count is 650, but most experts acknowledge the actual number is likely 10-30% higher than that, with 715-845 wolves in Montana.  With birth litters on the horizon, the number of wolves could reach 1000.  Some fish and game experts worry that if wolf numbers continue to expand it will be difficult for conventional management tactics to bring the numbers back to manageable levels—and that could have a catastrophic impact on Montana’s elk and other big game herds, and increase pressure on livestock producers.

“Our current control methods are not adequate. If we don’t approach this problem head on—our ranchers, landowners, and sportsmen will be negatively impacted. If we don’t act now it will be too late.”

“I believe FWP needs an aggressive series of steps immediately to control the wolf populations.  It’s critical that we make an immediate and dramatic reduction in wolf numbers,” said Hill.

Hill’s plan includes splitting the state into two separate zones for wolf management: a Wolf Aggressive Management Zone, to control the population in Western Montana, and a Wolf No Tolerance Zone that does not permit wolves to spread to Central or Eastern Montana.

“We will work with the experts and the counties to establish the line for the no tolerance zone.  No wolves will be allowed east of that line.  When they cross that line they will be considered predators, and any person with a gun can legally shoot them at any time of day, on any day of the year.”

Hill’s proposal also includes: a lengthening of the wolf-hunting season, the use of trapping, the ability for hunters to shoot more than one wolf, and more aggressive pack removal from livestock depredations.

“We will immediately introduce these changes upon being sworn in as Governor. Working with a new Fish and Wildlife Commission, I will make it a priority for the legislature to pass any needed statutory changes within the first two weeks of the 2013 session so we can immediately cut down the predator numbers.”

In addition, Hill pledged a change in the culture and leadership at the Department of Fish, Wildlife, and Parks.

“Restoring the trust and cooperation between sportsmen and landowners will be the top priority of the new leadership at FWP.  It’s time we start listening and partnering with landowners, counties and sportsmen and women to address their concerns and needs,” said Hill.


This now makes three Montana gubernatorial candidates which have openly shared their feelings about regaining control of wolves through more stringent wolf management.  The other two are Robert Fanning, the founder and c.e.o. of Friends of the Northern Yellowstone Elk Herd…and Jim Lynch, former Director of the Montana Department of Transportation.  Before mid April, LOBO WATCH will issue a News Release sharing what these candidates, and hopefully a few others have to say about wolf management or wolf control. – Toby Bridges, LOBO WATCH

Fears…And Echinococcus Granulosus Are Now Spreading…

Photo Above Shows The Lungs Of A Hunter Harvested Elk That Is Infected With Hydatid Cysts – Formed From The Eggs Of The Echinococcus Granulosus Tapeworm That Were Ingested By The Elk.  The Eggs Of This Parasite Can Infect Humans As Well.  Wolves Are The Primary Carrier Of The Tapeworm In The Northern Rockies.


Recently, a resident of Sweeden sent an e-mail to two friends of LOBO WATCH – to Dr. Val Geist (University of Calgary) and author Will Graves (“Wolves in Russia – Anxiety Through the Ages”).  Following is that e-mail…

“Dear friends,

We just overheard a  conversation where one of the speakers claimed that the American authorities failed to successfully treat all the imported wolves from Echinococcus before implanting them in the northern states of the US. Furthermore, the speaker claimed that as many as 80% of the Idaho wolves are now infected – a serious health hazard for people and live stock.

Your input here would be very much appreciated. We are facing a situation where the government wants to import pups from Russia and apart from the risks of getting aggressive and giant supporting genes, Echinococcus is a serious issue. So if you have details on the above, don’t hesitate to send me a note.

If it’s a fact that the authorities failed to disinfect these wolves, we must inform the public of these possible and negative consequences.

All the best,


Since the issue concerned wolves in the U.S., Canadian wildlife ecologist Dr. Geist passed on answering…and Will Graves turned to one Montanan who has pretty much devoted his life to studying the Echinococcus granulosus tapeworm…and the dangers it presents all other living things in the Northern Rockies…including humans.  That person was Clay Dethlefsen, Chairman and Executive Director of the Western Predator Control Association.

“Dear Jan,

Will has asked me to reply so I will try to synopsize a very extensive and multifaceted topic.

The short answer is that the wolves in Montana, Idaho and Wyoming have Echinococcus granulosus (E.g.) tape worms in over 68% of the wolves with the major portion of infected wolves being less than 2 years old.  In some areas as we have over 84% of the wolf population infected.  Also, the wolves introduced were not properly treated for this tape worm or any of its sister species.  About 36% of the Wolves have worm loads of less than 100,  17 % have loads between 100 and 1,000 and the 47% have worm loads over 1,000 with the average of these wolves having about 5,000 worms in their small intestines.

Hence, if your Government is going to inject wolves (wild canines) or hybrid wolf dogs from Russia or any other part of the world which harbors Echinococcus granulosus, multilocularis, vogeli, etc. (there are 7 species of Echinococcus), you in a Nutshell are faced with a very serious situation.  By the way the wolves we had injected are identical to the wolves in eastern Russia, it sounds like you are about to get a similar wolf.

In 1947 wolves were classified by taxonomy and it wasn’t until the 1980’s when DNA designations were created that this changed .  This transition took us from having over 27 different species of wolf to having only 5, and this realignment consolidated the Canus Lupus Occidentalis, Columbianus and Irremotus into one grouping now called the ”Gray Wolf.”  This is like grouping different pain treatment medicines into one group simply because they all treat pain.

These wolves as you mentioned are a great deal more aggressive, hunt as full teams and often kill excessive numbers of ungulates as sport or in frenzy killing sprees.  This a great deal different than what the wolves we had here (which were nearly eliminated in our areas by the 1930’s) did.

These wolves have become a great deal more reproductive than the US Fish and Wildlife Service and our State Fish and Game Departments said they would.  These statements they made when they knew they were not generally true.  Yet they have been able to convince the uneducated that they were/are factual. This is what we call “value Added Science” which is diametrically opposite of objective Scientific Method base research.

The Fact that these allegations by our program staffs’ were not completely true but were accepted as the whole truth was partly due to L. David Mech’s statements made after he published his doctorial Dissertation at Purdue University, after he completed his research in late 1950’s and early 1960’s.  Note: He was directly involved at the beginning of an 18 year (1958 to 1976) study, the “Wolves of Minong” headed by Durward Allen, at that time Professor at Purdue, on the wolves on Isle Royale, Lake Superior, Minnesota.

During the 1980’s and early 1990’s our US Fish and Wildlife Service developed and had approved a plan to inject wolves captured in Canada into our three State area (i.e. Montana, Wyoming and Idaho).  They contended that the wolves WOULD NOT DO many things that historical research and scientific investigations, including Allen’s and Mech’s, had already substantiated that they would do.  Yet because our Program Leaders had already decided that no matter what the objections they were going to force these wolves, in 1995 and 1996, upon us; hence, the plan was executed.  The program is still being executed under full Government protection and we now have a situation that is, and can easily be characterized, as completely out of control.

Bottom-line is that instead of having a population of not more that 450 wolves with 45 breeding packs, which was their second guarantee, we now have in our three plus state area over 245 packs and over, 4,000 Canadian Gray Wolves.  We, also, are now faced with a severe expansion of these numbers, into surrounding States, simply because of the migration habits of wolves (including habits as “loner wolves” and as “mating pairs”).

The devastation brought by these wolf numbers is extremely serious not only from the depredation of our Wild Ungulate populations (i.e. Moose, Elk, Deer, etc.) but from the ever increasing habituation and acclimatization of the new generations of wolves which have caused serious livestock depredation and a disease-vector explosion.

We are now in the 10 to 20 year post introduction bracket for these wolves.  This is the period when we find that our urban and residential areas are being routinely invaded by these extreme carnivores.  Numerous people have had very close physical encounters with these wolves with some close interactions showing that  we will shortly see human attacks and physical injuries, not just backyard pet killings and casual pursuits of humans.

The wolves we now have are very infected with Echinococcus granulosus (E.g.).  In 2008-2009 a laboratory evaluation of 123 wolf carcasses was done.  The results were that 63% of the wolves had the disease.  In addition we have determined that a large percentage of our wild ungulate population has come down with Hydatid Cysts, and as you may know you have to have both of these elements to establish and maintain an E. g. life cycle.  From the interface of these two host, definitive (canine) and intermediate (ungulate), we get the real problem—the fully established, wide spread and maintained Life Cycles.

Recently, two additional and separate evaluations were done and in several areas we are finding that 84 plus % of our wolves now have the tapeworm and the Cyst phase is becoming more prevalent in our wild ungulates.  Next we will discover the Cyst in Domestic Livestock and hybrid wolf-coyote and wolf-dog canines.

The original wolf injection consisted of 66 wolves which were placed in our Yellowstone National Park (32) and in a Wilderness area (34) in Central Idaho.  These original 66 are now most likely dead (in the wild wolves rarely live past 9 years and are definitely dead in 13 to 15 years).  So what we are currently dealing with is their offspring.

When the wolf “Recovery Plan” was about to be enacted, Will sent a letter to Edward Bangs, who was the program manager, of the US Fish and Wildlife Service, warning him of the problem of bring wolves into a new area before evaluating fully the potential for zoonotic diseases, which leads to health and safety emergencies.  Bangs sent a copy of Will’s letter to a Russian Wolf Scientist in Russia.  I have examined very constructively both Will’s letter and the response.

The reply letter was a very generic Country to Country response and it noted that the Russian’s could not find support documentation for all the facts that had been cited in the book “Wolves in Russia; Anxiety Through the Ages,” even though Russian points of contact had help extensively with the background research.

As an indirect result of this letter and a direct result of incessant other wolf-introduction-supporters from the United States and Canada, Ed Bangs stated that the wolves would be treated for diseases before they were released and that these wolves would not cause any increase in the spread of diseases carried by wolves including Rabies.  Of course this statement was subjectively founded not objectively based and done in a hurry.

In fact what the Environmental Impact Statement, released by the US Fish and Wildlife Service stated was: “a Finding of NO Significance” as regarded wolves disease spread.  This written conclusion was scientifically unfounded but became the concrete subjective conclusion and thus wolves were injected.

Concurrent with this injection we had a viable migratory population from Canada of Gray Wolves that had existed in the northern part of Montana for many years before the 66 were injected.  These wolves were never treated for anything and the probability of many of these migratory wolves having the Echinococcus granulosus disease was nearly certain.

The treatment that was given to the Wolves prior to their release into the wild was focused on immunizations and shots that would keep the wolves from getting disease that would kill them before they could establish a enduring population.

The treatment they actual received is unavailable to us at this time.  But even if they did give these wolves treatment for tape worms they were only given a universal de-wormer which had a very low efficacy for removing the E. granulosus (E.g.) tapeworm.  To kill this tapeworm, with a 90 % or higher probability of ridding wolves of the tapeworm, requires three treatments with praziquantel at a dose of 10 mg/kilogram of canine weight, over a 12 week interval with the feces from the treated wolves being evaluated for coproantigen by a PCR-DNA or ELISA test, and if antigens are found, this means the wolves still have the worms in their small intestines and the treatment cycle needs to be repeated.  This goes for domestic dogs as well.

Two points bear noting: First canines are again susceptible to tape worm load immediately after completing treatment and secondly, that during this treatment the canines are expelling viable eggs and/or progollids (a pouch like segment), which contain thousands of the microscopic eggs or egg segments.  So to avoid exposure all feces must be picked up and burned with the areas of droppings being likewise cleansed

These wolves, which were captured in British Columbia and adjacent Canadian provinces, were released after only ten (10) weeks and there is no information available to the public that allows us to see if they were tested post treatment, and/or if at any time a determination to see if they were completely free of E. g was done.

When we look at the latest government published data on wolf pack locations we see that our residential areas are surrounded by wolves and there is hard evidence that individual wolves are now and have been for about 5 years dropping their infected feces in and around our living areas.  Our very conservative calculations have determine that every infected wolf every day drops over 2,400 viable E. granulosus eggs in our environment of which at least 1,600 remain viable/infectious to humans for over 9 months.

We have been experiencing a rather intense pollution in our wilderness areas for only 3-5 years, and we have not reached the point at which the potential for human Cyst Disease has become assured or diagnosable. But we are fast getting there.

The eggs after ingestion, inhalation or injection into a person generally are not detectible as Hydatid Cysts for over 10 years, except if they grow in the brain or grow large enough to cause vital organ function problems—breathing for example.

Many patients have no symptoms for longer periods.  It has been noted that patients can live for over 50 years with undiagnosed Cysts.  There are various reasons for this primary of which is that the medical professionals are not looking for the disease and hence they treat for other ailment.  A secondary reason is that they are not encouraged by health rules or laws to look for the disease.

We have posted our latest presentation slides for wolf’s attacks of humans and E. granulosus disease evolution and impact on our web site.  If you have access to the web, our web site address is:  www.wpcamt.org .

We have also posted here three articles which give more information to our citizenry.  Please look these over and if you think they may help you overcome reintroduction let me know and I will be glad to give you the detailed script for a complete presentation, or I could come over, not actually.  But some day I would like too, I have friends in Sweden who resided with me during the completion of a project to upgrade the GSK research facility here.

Even if an area has had years of egg pollution in its overall environment, people still have to be exposed to the pollution. Next they have to come into contact with the eggs and they have to internalize (inhale, ingest or be injected) the eggs.  In this regard women and children are the most susceptible to infection from domestic dogs or wild canines that bring the eggs into a residential area.

Those people who venture out into the areas where wild canines have the tape worm are also susceptible to infection but not to the extent that those people in rural, urban, suburban and residential areas are.

When assessing the potential for human infection it is important to determine the distribution of feces, as well as it being critical to determine the density of fecal matter and/or eggs.  Once this is done it is critical to determine the concentration areas of viable eggs like water sources, livestock grazing areas, riparian areas, etc.  It is also very important in residential areas or places frequently visited by people to determine where egg-soil saturation parcels exist.

The reason for these last two assessment is that the exterior surface of these eggs is very sticky and they can easily cling to surfaces like shoe bottoms, pant legs or dog feet and thereafter be deposited in a house for ingestion by hand or other means by women, children, toddlers or crawling infants.  Same goes for backyards.

In researching the Hydatid Disease from a worldwide data collection, we determined that women and children are most susceptible to infection.  In review of hundreds of medical-case histories we found many many examples of children with Hydatid Cyst Disease.  Of these examples  123 cases detailed children with brain cysts and of these children 23 were from 2.5 years old to 16 years old. One child of 6 years of age had a brain cyst that was nearly 4 inches [10 cm] in diameter (you can see this operation on the video on our web site).

A good source of medical information on this disease and its sister diseases is Chapter 3, Hydatid Disease (Echinococcus), published by the Tropical Medicine Central Resource (TMCR) Organization at USUHS. This chapter gives a very thorough background into what any country or area that is about to bring in the wolf-vector is going to be faced with within ten years or so of introduction.

We say ten years as a discussion point but our research shows that from the point of having no E. granulosus tape worm to the establishment of a full life cycle where the reintroduce wolves have the worm [or from when the tape worm free wolves are introduced into an area with disease] takes between 10 to 15 years.  Thereafter it takes about 5 to 15 years for eggs to interact with humans such that exposure, contacting and contraction issues to become significant. These two time lines can over lap, however.

These sliding scales and associated figures were pragmatically determined after assessing 36 worlwide variables and parameters. Note: however, that even though the disease causes significant human infection, not all of these parameters are represented in all the areas we examined.  The listing of these 36 factors, including geographical, enviromental, weather and ecological, appears in our web site’s disease presentation.

Also, it only takes a few of these characteristics to drive the human infection train.  But the only one you must have is the Life Cycle and it must be extensively interfaced with the human population.

I hope that this information, although cropped and somewhat simplistic, helps you with your efforts to combat the problems with which you are faced.

Please let me hear from you!


Clay Dethlefsen, AS, BS, MBA, MMS, PI, PS, IT, MCC Licensed

Chairman and Executive Director

Western Predator Control Association

415 West Main Street

Hamilton, Montana 59840, USA”


Our state and federal officials have purposely downplayed the severity of wolves spreading the Echinococcus granulosus tapeworm and its eggs for far too long.  Most people in this country still have no clue of the health danger when they head out with the kids for a weekend of camping in the wild, or allowing the family dog (especially in a rural area in “wolf country” ) to come into the home and romp around with family members, or something seemingly as harmless as eating an apple while taking a hike on a mountain trail.  All offer ample opportunity for ingestion or inhalation of the extremely microscopic Echinococcus granulosus tapeworm eggs.

Those of us who live in the valleys of the inter-mountain West all too well can remember how ash from forest fires 20…30…40 or more miles away can literally cover everything not inside or under cover.  The microscopic E.g. eggs are just as easily spread by mountain breezes.  If you live anywhere in the Northern Rockies, where there are wolves, you may not even have to leave home to become infected.  As likely as not, those tapeworm eggs can be found in the grass of the same yard where your children and pets play.  With the number of wolves now realized to exist in this region of the country, they are literally spreading billions of E.g. eggs annually – and these eggs can resist all degrees of weather for months.

Don’t wait for those who have dumped this danger on us to start waving a red flag.  Educate yourself on the best ways to prevent contact and how to lessen the chances of ingesting or inhaling the eggs of these deadly parasites.  Best of all, forward the link to this page to your local newspaper and to your state representative or senator – and see if they choose to become a part of the problem, and say nothing, or part of the solution and work to lessen the threat of the Echinococcus granulosus tapeworm.  –  Toby Bridges, LOBO WATCH      


LOBO WATCH Guest Editorial –


By Jim Beers, Retired USFWS Biologist –

Budding wildlife biologists used to (many years ago) learn in their third year of college that wildlife species nearly always benefit greatly from regulated harvests.  While the desirable percentage of harvest varies greatly from big game to upland game to waterfowl as it does from muskies to crappies; when the optimum annual harvest of mammals, birds or fish is attained, the overall productivity of the species is enhanced.

Consider how many more healthy deer or elk survive a harsh winter when there is abundant food as opposed to many more deer or elk entering the winter when available food is far less than what is needed for many animals.  Healthy deer and elk have healthier young in the spring and healthier young survive to mate and bear more elk and deer the following year.  Of course, other factors enter into survival and the upward or downward trend of animal populations.  Polygamous birds like pheasants “bounce back” quicker than monogamous birds like canvasback ducks.  A series of very severe (temperature, moisture, etc.) winters or springs can cause precipitous drops in both mammals and birds.  That said, the more suited the food supply is through times of stress, the more and healthier are the offspring born and raised subsequently.

I mention all this to direct your attention to all the faux-hoopla taking place in the Northern Rockies’ states of Montana, Wyoming and Idaho, and in the Great Lakes states of Minnesota and Wisconsin.  What hoopla you ask?  Why haven’t you heard?  The federal government has “turned over management of wolves to Montana, Wyoming, and Idaho and they (those states) are killing all the wolves”.  In Minnesota and Wisconsin a similar abdication of federal controls is allowing those two states to hold a “wolf hunting  season”.  Oh my, oh my; the hunters and ranchers and other horrible persons are killing wolves and will once more make them extinct if “we” (urban public, courts, animal “lovers”, environmentalists, and etceteras) don’t “stop them”.

Relax! Things are not as they appear.  All those bad guys are really helping the wolf population to expand into new areas and to reach higher densities where they occur now for longer periods of time.  The paradox of regulated annual harvests being healthy for wild animal populations applies to wolves just as it does to moose and grouse and walleyes and trout.

1. These “first in fifty years” wolf “seasons” are more successful ventures than any subsequent hunts of the same design.  Wolves haven’t been shot at or trapped before and are easier targets.  Wolves are like coyotes (and your dog for that matter), they not only learn fast, they adapt their habits and behavior to stay alive just like Fido adapts to whatever he needs to do to sleep on the furniture and get food.

2. Current “sport hunts” are frankly, a joke.  First the state agencies lie or lowball the number of wolves present.  Second, based on these fantasy figures, state agencies set a low harvest target to get treats from wolf lovers and their judges.  Third, such effective means of killing wolves as aerial gunning, poisons, snares, etc. are never allowed. Fourth, no attempt is made to address all the “No Wolf  Hunting” ownerships that are in effect simply wolf refuges that are quickly recognized by wolves.  Fifth, other impediments like license costs, reporting requirements, closure during other hunts, out-of-state hunter bans, etc. combine to further prove how much the state bureaucrats are worthy of future employment consideration from federal and private animal rights outfits.

3. Canada and Russia and a whole bunch of former Soviet “Republics” like Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Georgia, Turkmenistan, Siberia, etc. know lots about wolf damage, wolf dangers, and wolf control.  Regarding the reduction of wolf populations where their damage (human attacks, livestock destruction, game animal eradication, etc.) becomes unbearable they recognize: A.  Control is expensive; B.  Aerial gunning in winter, bounties, minimal method of taking restrictions, and concentrated annual harvests are necessary for at least 5 years with reduced efforts EVERY year thereafter to prevent a population rebound; and C. Initial reductions of 70-80% per year for those first five years is NECESSARY to reduce wolf populations.  Annual harvests of 30-50% per year thereafter with unregulated private taking of wolves by all citizens where they cause potential harm is necessary, recognizing that periodic harvest increases will be needed as wolves move into the relatively wolf-free areas and as large litters and high wolf productivity display the benefits of hunting and eating in such places.

So what has happened in the Upper Rockies and what is about to happen in the Great Lakes States?

–       Montana and Idaho have had hunting seasons that killed a few hundred wolves out of thousands of wolves.

–       Wyoming is set to kill wolves on site outside the Yellowstone/Jackson Hole Billionaires Ecosystem while USFWS announces plans to release wolves in Colorado that will surely (in addition to Utah, Northern New Mexico, and nearby Great Plains States) spread North up into Wyoming.

–       Oregon and Washington are hosting invading wolves under full protection of law and spending limited-availability money to kill and transplant the few wolves that can be shown to have killed stock or threatened humans.  In five to ten years they will be in exactly the same situation evolving in their Eastern neighbor’s states.

–       Minnesota and Wisconsin wolf “hunts” will follow the same pattern starting later this year.

What pattern you ask?  Why this pattern:

–       Harvest levels of 5 to 20% will be set the first year.

–       Total harvest the first year will in reality be 5 to (being generous here) 10%.

–       Wolf lovers will howl, courts will gear up, and federal bureaucracies will request “more” (money, personnel, and power) to “monitor what is happening” and conduct research on how “loss of an Alpha male” or “stress on denning females” is threatening the wolf gene pool and the tranquility of wolves or how too many big game animals are dying from hunting since wolf populations have plummeted.  Real though all this is, it is all hogwash.

–       The first year harvest will decrease in subsequent years as wolves get smarter and wolf lovers give them more refugiums (i.e. federal land classifications, private land ownerships and activist mogul landholdings) and a host of ways to make hunters less effective and wolves safer are employed by the children of the former animal lab terrorists, Unabomber’s, and SUV car lot destroyers.  If any of these states can maintain a 10% harvest level it will be a miracle.  That said; let us give them the benefit of the doubt and double that to 20%.  A 20 % annual harvest of wolves (when a 70-80% annual reduction is needed to REDUCE them and a 30-50% annual reduction is needed to MAINTAIN their numbers and distribution) only ENHANCES the wolf population:

–       Surviving wolves will be healthier and will have larger (10-12 whelps as with dogs can be routine) litters.

–       Wolf survival due to non-hunting loss will decrease as wolves have more food and do not have to move as far day in and day out.

–       Wolves will remain at higher densities and as a result of learning, live closer to and more off of human habitations.

–       Prohibitions against taking wolves outside proscribed seasons will make wolves, like other animals, bolder outside “seasons” as they frequent human habitations and have their way with dogs, livestock, (kids?, old folks checking rural mailboxes?, campers?, fishermen?, etc.?).  Wolves are now being “managed” just like elk and ducks and bass; that is to say with a conservative harvest that spurs reproduction, maximizes off-season survival, and keeps them “smart” to enhance the challenge of the chase!  They should change the official titles of all these state and federal Wolf Project Leaders, Wolf Specialists, Wolf Liaison, and Wolf Whatevers to WOLF GAMEKEEPER!  But alas, that would be like calling; “choice”… abortion; “gay”… same sex activity; or wolves “exploiting young elk” (as noted in a recent Wisconsin news release)…wolves “killing elk calves”.

That would be “insensitive”.

Maybe Defenders of Wildlife and the US Fish and Wildlife Service should subsidize the wolf hunters like those that purchase Volt cars or those that turn food into fuel.  Wolf hunts as currently construed are doing as much public good as either of those two federal activities.

(Jim Beers is a 32 year veteran of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, serving as a wildlife biologist, special USFWS agent, and as the Chief of the National Wildlife Refuge System, among other positions.  He is also the individual who blew the whistle on USFWS for embezzling between $45- and $60-million from Pittman-Robertson funds, money collected as excise taxes on firearms, ammunition, fishing tackle, and archery gear – that by law was supposed to be used for wildlife habitat and fisheries improvement.)

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