Environmentalists ask Idaho judge to halt wolf derby

2013-12-24T07:30:00Z 2014-10-19T08:07:03Z Environmentalists ask Idaho judge to halt wolf derbyThe Associated Press The Associated Press
December 24, 2013 7:30 am  • 

BOISE, Idaho – Environmental groups Monday asked a federal judge to halt a planned wolf and coyote derby in Salmon, Idaho, calling the event an illegal killing contest.

The complaint by Wild Earth Guardians and other environmental groups in U.S. District Court in Pocatello contends the U.S. Forest Service ignored federal laws by allowing the derby to proceed this Saturday and Sunday without requiring organizers to first secure a special-use permit for a commercial event.

A pro-hunting group behind the derby, Idaho for Wildlife, aims to lure up to 300 adults and children to Salmon to boost the economy – and raise awareness for health concerns it says are related to wolves.

The environmentalists say the Forest Service failed to follow its own procedures and violated the National Environmental Policy Act by “failing entirely to consider the environmental impacts of allowing the killing contest.”

They’re asking a judge to halt the event by issuing a temporary restraining order.

Wolves are game animals in Idaho, Montana and Wyoming after federal Endangered Species Act protections were lifted starting in 2011. There are annual hunting and trapping seasons.

Idaho has about 680 wolves, according to 2012 estimates, following their reintroduction to the state starting in 1995 after they were nearly wiped out in the 1970s.

Coyote derbies aren’t uncommon around the West, but including wolves in a contest offering up to $2,000 in cash prizes and trophies has sparked an outcry among environmental groups. Joining Wild Earth Guardians in the lawsuit were Project Coyote, the Western Watersheds Project, the Boulder-White Clouds Council and the Animal Welfare Institute.

In mid-December, Idaho for Wildlife approached the Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management about the event. Both federal agencies oversee land around Salmon. But they have different regulations governing land they manage and when people who use it must get a permit for their activities.

The Forest Service concluded its regulations don’t require a special-use permit for the derby, while the BLM said its rules do require a permit for competitive and organized events.

Salmon-Challis National Forest supervisor Chuck Mark said Monday he remains convinced no special-use permit is required because the group won’t be erecting structures or holding commercial activities on land he oversees.

“What’s happening on the forest is legal under state Fish and Game regulations,” Marks said. He added hunting activities in the forest typically are considered “noncommercial.”

Idaho for Wildlife President Steve Alder said the agency assured him the event is legal without a permit. But just to make sure, Alder said organizers no longer are asking for a $20 entry fee. They’re instead seeking donations from participating hunters.

He expects a large crowd to descend on Salmon this weekend, including participants and those opposed to the event.

“The motels are booked,” Alder said. “I think it’s going to be big.”

Linda Price, field manager for the BLM’s Salmon office, said her agency didn’t have enough time to conduct the necessary review to issue such a permit by this weekend.

As a result, Price said, the event’s organizers are directing participants to Forest Service territory – as well as private ranching ground whose owners agreed to let them use it – and instructing them to avoid BLM ground.

Alder contends the wolf derby is meant to publicize potential human health risks from Echinococcus granulosis, a tapeworm whose hosts include elk, wolves and domesticated dogs. He and other event organizers say they fear dogs infected by sniffing or eating wolf feces could transmit the tapeworm to humans, where they could cause cysts.

Idaho health officials, however, told the Associated Press last week that they haven’t discovered any evidence of wolf-human transmission.

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

(45) Comments

  1. GaryTinkSanders
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    GaryTinkSanders - December 25, 2013 8:15 am
    Readneck you are trying to diminish the facts by claiming hatred for one sentence that emphatically applies that measures of control need to be taken. Many more articles can be found pro and con. For the most part carnivores are carnivores and in their eyes if it moves it is edible.
    http://www.aws.vcn.com/wolf_attacks_on_humans.html
  2. erlyirn
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    erlyirn - December 25, 2013 7:36 am
    So why don't these groups oppose the the Mack Attack at Flathead Lake? It's the same thing.
  3. Objective observer
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    Objective observer - December 25, 2013 6:28 am
    Snowcrest, it's too bad that your brain can't comprehend that someone can be for the second amendment but against hunting derbies like these. It's not Sukey's problem, it's yours.
  4. jus wundrin
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    jus wundrin - December 24, 2013 3:09 pm
    So your sacred science is flawed? GASP! And Im sure there is no bias in your well indoctrina....er educated "biological" decision making.
  5. jus wundrin
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    jus wundrin - December 24, 2013 2:57 pm
    Like the fetus haters?
  6. Snowcrest
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    Snowcrest - December 24, 2013 2:17 pm
    Sorry Sukey, As an opponent of the 2nd amendment,I know you'll say anything to put down a citizen's right to own a firearm. Look at your post, you hijack the innocent victims of Sandy hook to promote your hatred for hunters and law biding gun owners. How sad and pathetic you've become. I hope one day that even you can somehow come to respect the rights of others and put away your hatred for those you disagree with.
  7. Snowcrest
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    Snowcrest - December 24, 2013 2:09 pm
    What's a zombie movie?
  8. Bittersweet
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    Bittersweet - December 24, 2013 2:09 pm
    Times are a changing. Little different than it was in the 60s. Used to be Outdoor Life, Field and Stream and a couple of others. Now there are "sportsmen" channels on TV where hosts will do whatever it takes behind the scenes to make sure a "trophy" is harvested so they can show how good all their sponsors products supposedly worked. Big buck/bull contests are an incentive for people to break the law. Simple as that. Maybe not you or I but if you really take a look at some of the people running around in the woods with their jacked up camo clad trucks with the antler stickers in the window you can only wonder.
  9. Readneck
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    Readneck - December 24, 2013 1:21 pm
    Lobo, there is no information in this rant. Only hatred.
  10. Readneck
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    Readneck - December 24, 2013 1:20 pm
    You want to kill people too? at least you're honest.
  11. Readneck
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    Readneck - December 24, 2013 1:19 pm
    Now you admit you want to kill those that disagree. Thanks for the truth, finally.
  12. Petticoat Rebellion
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    Petticoat Rebellion - December 24, 2013 12:46 pm
    I am a professional wildlife biologist, I have a job, I'm a hunter, I pay taxes and I don't get "free Obamacare" (I'm one of the fortunate people that receive health benefits through my employer). AND, I am absolutely 100% opposed to the Wolf & Coyote Derby and the delisting of wolves. Wildlife management does not belong in the hands of untrained and uneducated indviduals. The proposed delisting of wolves is based on flawed recovery goals that were primarily developed to satisfy political interests. The proposal to delist wolves should be withdrawn, a new recovery plan, based on the latest scientific data, should be developed & and successfully implemented before wolves are proposed for delisting. I hope the judge has the wisdom & good sense puts a stop to this event!
  13. Chewy
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    Chewy - December 24, 2013 11:13 am
    The agreement was for minimum numbers. There was no agreement on maximum numbers. The rest of your post is too stupid to comment on.
  14. Lobo Bandito
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    Lobo Bandito - December 24, 2013 10:54 am
    Badfly you really are special. Everything I have ever seen you post is either a lie or twisted truth. I guess thats what one has to do to push a ridiculous agenda. For those of you who want to hear about REALITY it goes like this. WOLVES NEED TO DIE... Horrific to some but a necessary evil if you think as such. Without harvesting or "murdering" wolves we will end up like Russia, India and Asia etc where their wolves kill people/children EVERY YEAR. The wolf pimps like Gadfly dont want you to know about this. And when the topic comes up he will say something like a wolf has never killed anybody in N.AMerica or there is only one documented case blah blah blah. The reason why we need to kill wolves is not only so the elk/moose in certain areas that have been wiped out can have a chance to rebuild but also to keep the fear of man in the wolves. Those countries above have wolves that are not afraid of man because common people there don't have guns. Eventually the wolves learn of them as a food source and begin to harass and kill/eat them. Many people/children were attacked or killed in these countries last year but gadfly wont talk about that. He wont tell the truth about his precious wolves. They need to be killed as even shooting towards them will eventually habituate them. They need to see their family member killed to understand the repercussion of harassing humans. I love how he always uses the 0.002% statistic of cattle depredation. This is the biggest twisted truth he spews, right up there with elk in Montana are above objective. Yes elk in some areas are above objective and that adds up to montanas elk pop being on a growing trend but in certain areas they have been massacred, almost wiped out. To the point we can't hunt them anymore or put them in our freezers. He just wants to feed the wolves, he has no care for human life. The 0.002% is such a twisted fact its outrageous. This "FACT" is similar to the elk objective/statewide population "fact" he likes to use. Yes NATIONWIDE the bovine mortality that is documented to be wolf kill is 0.002%. But this guy is not accounting for all of the wolf kills that are denied and all of the ranchers that have given up on the Gov and don't even call in their wolf kills. Also he is counting 40 something states into the figure that dont even have wolves into his calculation. How much more could he twist the truth??? He talks about the cattle population nation wide but adds up the verified wolf depredation that only happens in less than 20% of that land area as the rest have no wolves. He is picking his topics as wolf depredation here in Montana only costs ranchers in the hundreds of thousands of dollars a year where the department of livestock loss has shown the impact of cattle weight loss and abortions from wolves figure into the 10s of MILLIONS of dollars.... just for one state!! The sad thing is many people are too ignorant to see Gadflys lies and twisted truths for what they are, an agenda.
  15. Readneck
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    Readneck - December 24, 2013 10:31 am
    Lie lie kill kill. The wolf haters have no facts or morals, only irrational hatred.
  16. jus wundrin
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    jus wundrin - December 24, 2013 10:13 am
    Once again when the extreme enviros dont get there way, or cant follow the laws of the land, they go running to the nearest judge. It will be interesting to see what path they take if the judge rules against them. Idaho supreme court, or worse?

    These folks should draft a law, get signatures, and send it through the Idaho legislature. Im tired of legislation from the bench.
  17. jus wundrin
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    jus wundrin - December 24, 2013 10:07 am
    So hunters are now serial killers?
  18. outsidethecage
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    outsidethecage - December 24, 2013 9:58 am
    I know. Reading hurts my brain, too.
  19. sukeysafool
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    sukeysafool - December 24, 2013 9:44 am
    TL;DR. I speak without thinking.
  20. elkguy
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    elkguy - December 24, 2013 9:21 am
    I hope every single participant bags at least one wolf. This was a much better place before the illegal wolf dumping occurred. If we could rid ourselves of all the transplants, wolves and people, life could be good again.
  21. mt365
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    mt365 - December 24, 2013 9:16 am
    Two Shetland ponies killed in Oct. by wolves in Glacier County
  22. Sukey
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    Sukey - December 24, 2013 8:54 am
    Too many facts for you Snowcrest and not enough blood thirsty drooling? Go watch a zombie movie.
  23. Cory12
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    Cory12 - December 24, 2013 8:35 am
    They should have an environmentalist derby!
  24. montananurse
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    montananurse - December 24, 2013 8:33 am
    Hey Jake.............who do you think paid for uninsured's healthcare prior to the ACA?
  25. edgegroove
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    edgegroove - December 24, 2013 8:28 am
    Wolves and guns ='s problem and solution.

    People have hated wolves for the past six thousand years. We're in the process of re-learning why. Fortunately we have more effective solutions today.
  26. MTSierra
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    MTSierra - December 24, 2013 8:27 am
    Sukey, the keyboard you are using was in part made from by product of cattle, the leather on your shoes, the adhesives you use, and many other things as well.

    You support the 2nd amendment to protect ones self, but not to feed ones self.....Interesting.
  27. MTSierra
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    MTSierra - December 24, 2013 8:21 am
    You speak as if you wish you had a degree in Wildlife Management, but the biggest problem is everything you say is not scientific or factual. To point out one, your statistic on cattle is wrong. That number represents the total cattle kill in the ENTIRE state of MT due to wolves. For this number to actually show the correct percentage you must exclude all the cattle in the state where the wolves do not reside. Before you keep going on and on about how states should handle their wildlife, you should get an education in the field in which you preach.
  28. YBChat
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    YBChat - December 24, 2013 8:07 am
    How naive does Alder think the general public is? His group is concerned about human health impacts--give me a break! It's BS and he knows it.
  29. Objective observer
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    Objective observer - December 24, 2013 7:57 am
    Thank you Chewy. Logger just makes stuff up.
  30. Snowcrest
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    Snowcrest - December 24, 2013 7:50 am
    Reading Gadfly's posts are like taking a couple sleeping pills
  31. Sukey
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    Sukey - December 24, 2013 7:24 am
    Knock it off Snowcrest, it has nothing to do with anti-gun sentiment and you know it. You are an outfitter and you'll say anything to promote the slaughter of wildlife. No one is more passionate of second amendment rights than I am. Not for hunting, for basic self defense of your home, your business and your property. Promoting the slaughter of these animals, BY ANY WEAPON, is not much different than cheering on serial killers in Sandyhook and Aurora. They thrive on violence and death and thats what these derbys promote.,
  32. Roger
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    Roger - December 24, 2013 7:22 am
    The case should be thrown out of court.
  33. trad man
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    trad man - December 24, 2013 6:58 am
    should have year round contests and hunting until the wolf population is where it was agreed to be at the beginning of their so called reintroduction. And these groups are not pro environmentalist, more like wildlife terrorist trying to put their own wildlife agenda before the NorthAmerican plan that scientist, biologists, and several Dr's in these fields wrote. Name these idiots something else, who they really are, and as far as wolves go, it is high time they were no longer considered big game, MT and ID to follow Wyomings example instead of caving into these extremists
  34. Gadfly
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    Gadfly - December 24, 2013 1:10 am
    How much proof does USFWS need to prove that wolves should not be delisted? Wyoming has them classified as varmints in most of the state. Montana's new rules allow ranchers to shoot any wolf they see as "threatening", which means any wolf they see, and will have year around trapping. Idaho is having wolf and coyote contests for cash and has hired a hunter to kill a couple of packs arguing that it is in defense of elk herds. Wisconsin is using dogs. MT-WY-ID-WI are obviously marginalizing this apex predator which is not good ecology for trophic cascade of effects; with hunters (sports killing) and ranchers and these state wildlife agencies having unhealthy effects on ecology. We are rapidly getting back to the 1800's in wolf massacring states. Wolf management--they do not generally need management, should be out of the states' hands. The states mentioned are way too hostile, and controlled by historic hostile elements. They are promoting two myths despite contrary evidence: Wolves do not kill too many elk and their impact on cattle is less than 0.002%. These states are run by rancher and hunter folklore, myths and lies and their ilk in the state wildlife agencies and legislatures, with so far the only exception being OR and somewhat WA. OR is the model wolf management state, allowing the killing of only chronic offenders, not general wolf killing, and requiring that nonlethal management be in place and tried. The throwback (1800’s) wolf massacre states are mismanaging wolves.
  35. outsidethecage
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    outsidethecage - December 23, 2013 11:53 pm
    I just wish Alder would cut it out with this tapeworm education B.S. and call this thing what it really is. It's a weak excuse and I'm willing to bet that not one of these kids will they learn anything of lasting value from this. They will only learn that the most unscrupulous, indiscriminate hunters get rewarded. They will be taught to ignore the damage this attitude causes within the hunting community (not to mention the natural community). and how it further negatively impacts peoples' perception of hunting This is precisely the type of thing that gets environmentalists and anti-gun people involved. Can't say I always agree with those folks either but I'm far from surprised.
  36. Yz250
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    Yz250 - December 23, 2013 10:34 pm
    Well said, gary
  37. Jacob
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    Jacob - December 23, 2013 9:10 pm
    They don't pay taxes either but I bet they get free Obamacare paid for by everyone else who pays taxes.....
  38. Snowcrest
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    Snowcrest - December 23, 2013 8:20 pm
    We used to have a big buck contest in the 60's through our business in the Bitterroot and I don't remember any game laws broken as a result of the contest. I hope a judge sorts it out and they can have their derby. The heck with what these anti-gun mongrels think.
  39. Rez Kid
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    Rez Kid - December 23, 2013 7:34 pm
    "and yet...the rainbow people don't need a special use permit.' ......Amen to that. If the wolf huggers wanted it stopped, they should have gotten Judge Malloy. He'd stop it for them in a minute.
  40. Chewy
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    Chewy - December 23, 2013 7:14 pm
    Why are you lying logger? They do need permits to use forest service land. The permits are on record if you want to check them out.

    Honesty is the best policy, try it you might like it.
  41. GaryTinkSanders
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    GaryTinkSanders - December 23, 2013 7:07 pm
    How could any court take these groups or their court action seriously, they are calling a derby an illegal killing contest for this first time event in Salmon, but yet they have had years and years to go after all the other fishing and hunting Derby's held around the country. I am perplexed as to why they have allowed all the other "Illegal Derby's" to take place without so much as a single objection but chose to get involved when these groups saw big bucks (dollars) waiting to be donated if they take on this challenge.
  42. Bittersweet
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    Bittersweet - December 23, 2013 7:00 pm
    You do have point there.
  43. Sam Lobo
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    Sam Lobo - December 23, 2013 6:43 pm
    Wolves are disgusting....But not as disgusting as the people that pimp them in order to get their "donate now" button pressed. But, worse are the ones that pimp them in order to cash in on the EAJA dollars by abusing the Endangered Species Act.
  44. Bittersweet
    Report Abuse
    Bittersweet - December 23, 2013 6:32 pm
    Regardless of what ones opinion is on the wolf population being too high or two low these contests can encourage poaching and illegal activity. Many Midwestern states hold "big buck contests" and on many occasions citations are issued and arrests made following investigations into animals entered into the contests.

    Record books, magazines, forums, contests, it's all a joke. How about being happy with what you harvest and not worry about what someone else thinks, who you topped, how big your animal is or how many you harvested.

    I don't care what anyone says. Competition can lead to less than sportsmanlike behavior.
  45. logger
    Report Abuse
    logger - December 23, 2013 5:59 pm
    and yet...the rainbow people don't need a special use permit.
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