19 wolves culled in Lolo zone...

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hnt4life

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Awesome! Good for them! Too bad it is so little so late. It will take years for the elk to recover, and only if they keep up the aerial gunning. Thank you, Pinecricker, for posting this.
 

BuzzH

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Its going to take a lot more than shooting a few wolves to get the elk back in the Selway.

I wonder how long we have to ignore the 1910/1919 fires to understand why elk did so well there?
 
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hnt4life

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I agree, but less than ideal habitat combined with a predator like the wolf (and lions), is doubly troublesome for ungulates. I have hope that our forest management will continue to evolve, but fear our wildlife management will continue in a state of decisions based on politics and litigation.
 

ShootsManyBullets

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Did anyone catch the Spokane paper last weekend about Washington wolves? When might they get a season on them since it appears they're doing well. 30% increase year over year.

I meant to ask someone at the rendezvous but got all hopped up on beer and auction items.
 

idelkslayer

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I think the IDFG recognizes that the 1910/1920 fires did a lot to open up the habitat and the last several decades of fire suppression has reduced the forage value for large ungulates but they don't have any say in fire management so they have to address the problem where they can have an impact, predator control. Ideally, the USFS will halt fire suppression in the lolo and clearwater mountains.

I also read an article written by one of the first forest servicesupervisors in the clearwater region who worked the area in the 1920's and on. He said that while elk were initially few in number he believes that the habitat was available for larger numbers of elk but there were so many predators that the herd numbers stayed low. He believes that it was only after extensive hunting and trapping that occurred throughout the region that the big game numbers really took off.

Most of the information is anecdotal but cannot be entirely dismissed:
http://www.foresthistory.org/ASPNET/Publications/region/1/clearwater/story/chap17.htm
 

JLS

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Did anyone catch the Spokane paper last weekend about Washington wolves? When might they get a season on them since it appears they're doing well. 30% increase year over year.

I meant to ask someone at the rendezvous but got all hopped up on beer and auction items.

It's very much up in the air right now. There is legislation that could potentially alter the state's wolf plan, which of course will require the feds to revisit their delisting decision. I highly doubt it would change the listing status, but still creates another hurdle.

Unfortunately, our state's wolf plan is incumbent upon statewide population status. Unlike Oregon's, which as I understand it can downgrade the status in the eastern part of the state yet leave the status as endangered in the Cascades, ours requires minimum numbers of breeding pairs in three different regions across the state before any of the regions can be considered for state delisting.
 

James Riley

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I think the IDFG recognizes that the 1910/1920 fires did a lot to open up the habitat and the last several decades of fire suppression has reduced the forage value for large ungulates but they don't have any say in fire management so they have to address the problem where they can have an impact, predator control. Ideally, the USFS will halt fire suppression in the lolo and clearwater mountains.

I also read an article written by one of the first forest servicesupervisors in the clearwater region who worked the area in the 1920's and on. He said that while elk were initially few in number he believes that the habitat was available for larger numbers of elk but there were so many predators that the herd numbers stayed low. He believes that it was only after extensive hunting and trapping that occurred throughout the region that the big game numbers really took off.

Most of the information is anecdotal but cannot be entirely dismissed:
http://www.foresthistory.org/ASPNET/Publications/region/1/clearwater/story/chap17.htm

I remember reading that Sheepeaters used to burn that country all the time and game (including wolves) was/were abundant. Then they (Indians) got shot, diseased, rounded up, moved out and otherwise forced off their traditional burning routine by the 1870/80s. A fuel build up occurred over the next several decades which made the big burns in the early 1990s so hot.

I don't know if any of that is true, but it's a narrative about the negatives of fire suppression that goes way back before Smokey the Bear actively fought fires.
 

BigHornRam

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The Sheepeaters lived in the Salmon River country James. When Lewis and Clark passed through the Lolo pass/ Lochsa divide, they about starved to death. Heavy timber and scarce game forced them to eat a number of their horses to survive..
 

ERSS

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BHR,

I thought the center of the Sheepeaters area was in the Yellowstone Park area. There is alot of info about them at various visitor centers in the park.

"Perhaps the most maligned and least misunderstood of all native peoples, the Tukudika, or Sheep Eaters, took their name from the game that sustained them, as did other Shoshone—the Salmon Eaters, the Buffalo Eaters. Not often initiators of aggression, though they engaged in warfare, they were considered among the wider family of Shoshone Indians as great medicine men, and highly spiritual, for having lived at the rarefied altitudes, often above 7,500 feet, in the mountains and mountain valleys of Yellowstone, and in the surrounding heights of Idaho, Wyoming and Montana, that the Shoshone believed were home to a higher order of spirits called Sky People."

http://www.mtpioneer.com/archive-July-sheep-eater.htm
 

James Riley

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The Sheepeaters lived in the Salmon River country James. When Lewis and Clark passed through the Lolo pass/ Lochsa divide, they about starved to death. Heavy timber and scarce game forced them to eat a number of their horses to survive..

I stand corrected, thanks.

I wonder why fires waited until the white man showed up to burn through that country in the early 1900s? There was no realistic ability to suppress them before that (i.e. in the days of Lewis and Clarke up to the early 1900s fires).
 

BigHornRam

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BHR,

I thought the center of the Sheepeaters area was in the Yellowstone Park area. There is alot of info about them at various visitor centers in the park.

"Perhaps the most maligned and least misunderstood of all native peoples, the Tukudika, or Sheep Eaters, took their name from the game that sustained them, as did other Shoshone—the Salmon Eaters, the Buffalo Eaters. Not often initiators of aggression, though they engaged in warfare, they were considered among the wider family of Shoshone Indians as great medicine men, and highly spiritual, for having lived at the rarefied altitudes, often above 7,500 feet, in the mountains and mountain valleys of Yellowstone, and in the surrounding heights of Idaho, Wyoming and Montana, that the Shoshone believed were home to a higher order of spirits called Sky People."

http://www.mtpioneer.com/archive-July-sheep-eater.htm

Some lived in the Yellowstone area around Gardiner. Most lived in the Middle Fork/Big Creek area.
 

BigHornRam

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I stand corrected, thanks.

I wonder why fires waited until the white man showed up to burn through that country in the early 1900s? There was no realistic ability to suppress them before that (i.e. in the days of Lewis and Clarke up to the early 1900s fires).

Perfect storm. Dry, hot weather with high winds, in dense timber created the huge stand replacement fire of 1910.
 

BigHornRam

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I stand corrected, thanks.

I wonder why fires waited until the white man showed up to burn through that country in the early 1900s? There was no realistic ability to suppress them before that (i.e. in the days of Lewis and Clarke up to the early 1900s fires).

Or we can blame it on white man caused global warming.:D
 

James Riley

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Perfect storm. Dry, hot weather with high winds, in dense timber created the huge stand replacement fire of 1910.

When I first got to Idaho I remember a sign at the top of the pass that said "Winding Road Next 77 Miles". I loved that. Driving down through there I remember a memorial Cedar Grove and I got out to hike around. Over the years I spent some time walking "The Trail" and enjoyed it.

It's hard to tell what that country would look like but-for Indians, Europeans, or natural perfect storms that had not occurred for hundreds (a thousand or more?) years prior; much less agree on what it should look like. But I've never seen much good come of arguments about "should". No matter which way I turned, there was always a "green" reason to get the cut out. :W:
 

BuzzH

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I don't think the fires did wait, probably occurred in the past, just no recorded history of it.

With the huge mono-cultures in the Idaho Panhandle, Yellowstone, and much of Western Montana, there is very little question that many of those areas experienced stand-replacing disturbance long before Lewis and Clark passed through.

Stand replacing disturbance isn't something that happens often on a large scale like 1910, 1919, usually 100-300+ year events.
 
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James Riley

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I don't think the fires did wait, probably occurred in the past, just no recorded history of it.

With the huge mono-cultures in the Idaho Panhandle, Yellowstone, and much of Western Montana, there is very little question that many of those areas experienced stand-replacing disturbance long before Lewis and Clark passed through.

Stand replacing disturbance isn't something that happens often on a large scale like 1910, 1919, usually 100-300+ year events.

I guess it depends on the time scale you choose to use. Much of that old growth wasn't, by definition, replaced for many hundreds of years. It's also wet in that country, relative to the rain shadow to the east and the Salmon River country to the south, so I can see how fires that did burn through there were cool ground fires, eliminating the story-catchers (food) and leaving the big trees alone.

I just question the idea of an old growth forest lacking elk because it was over run with wolves. Or the idea that we should open it up for elk and then blame a lack of elk on wolves. If it wasn't elk country for Lewis and Clark, then it probably wasn't elk country for wolves either. Maybe it shouldn't be elk country. Maybe it should be old growth with cool ground fires. If we want to open it up for elk then I can hear the saws firing up to help us. Is that a good thing? Maybe. Not my cup of tea. Not everything is about us and I don't want to hunt country that is.
 
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Jwill

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I know the article addresses it, but it's disappointing in these stories where the hunters/trappers weren't up to the task...
 
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