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Grizzly bears, black bears, wolves, coyotes, cougars/ mountain lions,bobcats, wolverines, lynx, foxes, fishers and martens are the suite of carnivores that originally inhabited North America after the Pleistocene extinctions. This site invites research, commentary, point/counterpoint on that suite of native animals (predator and prey) that inhabited The Americas circa 1500-at the initial point of European exploration and subsequent colonization. Landscape ecology, journal accounts of explorers and frontiersmen, genetic evaluations of museum animals, peer reviewed 20th and 21st century research on various aspects of our "Wild America" as well as subjective commentary from expert and layman alike. All of the above being revealed and discussed with the underlying goal of one day seeing our Continent rewilded.....Where big enough swaths of open space exist with connective corridors to other large forest, meadow, mountain, valley, prairie, desert and chaparral wildlands.....Thereby enabling all of our historic fauna, including man, to live in a sustainable and healthy environment. - Blogger Rick

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Thursday, February 21, 2013

Some of our friends in Montana(Norm Bishop, George Wuerthner, Jay Newell, Kelly Proffitt and Julie Cunningham) corressponding about the fact that Elk populations are at or above Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks management goals in the vast majority of the State, even where Wolves, Bears and Pumas reside on the land.............True that the eastern part of the state has the most Elk(private reserves encourages this), but basically the whole state has a healthy Elk herd..................So why is this a Wolf haters haven???????????

From: George Wuerthner []
Sent: Wednesday, February 20, 2013 06:27 PM
To: Meril, Rick
Subject: Fwd: The Eastern Front - 

You wouldn't know this from the rhetoric in Montana, but if you glance at the map it's hard to show that wolves are "destroying" Montana's elk herds.

This is very interesting statistics. You have to know Montana to understand the implications, but many, many of the game management units that are "over objectives" are also ones with wolves. Many of these areas i know personally from hunting and/or hiking in them so the names mean something to me.

The map is a good way to get a handle on this. You'll note that even quite a few of the units immediately adjacent to Yellowstone are at or over objectives.

The obvious factor in eastern Montana is the lack of public lands, but a lot of the central Montana units are above objectives, including some that are immediately adjacent to Yellowstone Park.

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Norman Bishop <>
Date: Wed, Feb 20, 2013 at 4:47 PM
Subject: Fwd: The Eastern Front - Thanks
To: George Wuerthner <>

I hope this works.  Norm B.

From: "Jay Newell"
Subject: RE: The Eastern Front - Thanks

In general elk populations in much of the eastern part of the state have
increased in numbers in the last 20 years, in some cases dramatically.
Many of the elk populations in the eastern part of the state are on private
lands and in many cases these elk are not very accessible to the general
public.  I have attached information from 2012 elk flights done across the
state and an updated map showing hunting districts that are over, at or
below objective.

Simultaneously press the "control" key on your computer as you click here to see the Elk population map of Montana

Jay Newell

-----Original Message-----
From: Norman Bishop []
Sent: Tuesday, February 19, 2013 1:10 PM
To: Proffitt, Kelly

Subject: Re: The Eastern Front - Thanks

Thanks, Julie and Kelly.  I'll look forward to a note from Jay.  Norm B.
On Feb 19, 2013, at 11:08 AM, Proffitt, Kelly wrote:

Hi Julie and Norm,

Jay Newell has been working on elk population data for the eastern part of
the state, and has a proposal in the works to expand to the western part of
the state as well.  Jay would be in a better position to address this than I

-----Original Message-----
From: Cunningham, Julie
Sent: Tuesday, February 19, 2013 10:41 AM
To: Norman Bishop
Cc: Proffitt, Kelly
Subject: RE: The Eastern Front

Hi Norm -

I think Kelly Proffitt may be able to answer this inquiry, or at least be
able to pass you to someone who could?

One hypothesis I have heard from other biologists within the agency isthat growth of private-land refuges out east contribute to population growth- when private lands don't allow hunting, how can we manage that herd?  Thisis why some think the eastern part of the state has more of a tendency to beover population objective than the western.  Note that we as an agency weremandated by legislative action (2008, I believe?) to bring all herds towithin population objectives.  Have you seen the elk objective status (2011)map?  I'm attaching it in case you haven't.
Of course, there is the alternate hypothesis, less-expressed by most
biologists I know and perhaps more expressed by varying members of the
hunting public, who will note that the eastern half of the state has fewer
wolves and bears...

Julie Cunningham
Bozeman Area Wildlife Biologist
Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks
1400 S. 19th Ave
Bozeman, MT 59718
(406) 994-6341
(406) 994-4090 (fax)

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