Beauty In Glacier National Park

Glacier National Park Gray wolf NPS 1

Glacier National Park – Gray Wolf – NPS 

Published in: on January 3, 2016 at 11:39 pm  Comments (17)  
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Wolf Rally – Coeur d’Alene, Idaho (August 30, 2012)


Published on Sep 13, 2012 by

“One year after wolves lost federal protection, over 40% of the wolf population has been killed by trophy hunters and trappers in Idaho and Montana. A total of 545 wolves were killed for fun in these two Northern Rocky states. Watch this video to learn more about wolves and help stop the war on wildlife.

“Watch the story of Bella, a husky who lost her leg in a snare that was set in Idaho by a trapper from Wildlife Services at this link:”


Special thanks to Predator Defense, Northern Idaho Wolf Alliance, Friends of the Clearwater, Footloose Montana and all dedicated wolf advocates who made this rally a success. The rally was well covered by the media and made the Los Angeles Times, my good friend Ann Sydow (NIWA) was mentioned in the LA Times article.

It’s our hope this video, produced by Brooks Fahy of Predator Defense, will inspire you to hold your own rally in defense of wolves. They need our voices to save them from brutal state kill/management. While I type this wolves are being bow hunted in Montana and stalked in Idaho. In Montana an 83 pound male wolf was killed outside of Glacier National Park in the North Fork of the Flathead, arrowed to death. It made the front page of the Hungry Horse News ( a weekly Montana newspaper in the Flathead Valley.)


C-Falls bowhunter takes wolf

Posted: Wednesday, September 12, 2012 8:15 am By CHRIS PETERSON Hungry Horse News |


Our wolves have been hijacked for blood sport. The wolf reintroduction has turned from a success story into a nightmare, thanks to the Obama Administration, his rancher Interior Secretary Ken Salazar and the US Senate Democrats, led by Harry Reid D-Nevada. They sold wolves out in the Northern Rockies to boost Sen. Jon Tester D-MT chances of re-election and hold onto their slim Senate majority.

During the contentious budget battle of Spring 2011,  Senator Tester slipped a wolf delisting rider, that prohibits judicial review, into a must pass budget bill. Every Senate Democrat voted for it save three, Wyden, Leahy and Levin.  The very same Democrats who pretend to be  supporters of the ESA weakened it, by stripping wolves of their Endangered Species protections and turning them over to hostile state management, all for a few votes.

To add insult to injury the USFWS under the Obama administration delisted wolves in the Great Lakes (Minnesota, Michigan and Wisconsin). Minnesota and Wisconsin immediately planned wolf hunts for 2012/2013 but the Wisconsin hunt was challenged in court. Judge Anderson granted an injunction to stop the hunt because Wisconsin wanted to allow hunters to use up to six dogs to hunt to wolves to their deaths.  A Michigan state representative has introduced legislation to allowing wolf hunting. This is the dire situation wolves find themselves in. Wyoming is planning to allow wolves to be shot-on- sight in 80% of the state,  as of October 1, 2012 but faces legal challenges from two coalitions of environmental groups.

Please remember on November 6, 2012 what the US Senate Democrats did to betray wolves. If your Senator is not Wyden, Leahy or Levin  vote them out of office.  We cannot allow politicians to play fast and loose with our wildlife.


Wolves not endangered in Rockies? Activists arm for fight

By Kim Murphy

September 4, 2012, 5:38 p.m

On Aug. 30, activists held a rally in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, to memorialize the more than 540 wolves killed in Idaho and Montana wolf hunts since the species was removed from the endangered list in those states in 2011. Last year’s tally in Idaho alone was 379 wolves — not counting wolves killed by government wildlife agents seeking to prevent livestock predations.

“Of the 379 wolves killed in last year’s hunt, 40 were puppies, 56 suffered in leg-hold traps before being killed, and another 67 choked to death in snares,” Ann Sydow of the Northern Idaho Wolf Alliance, one of six organizations sponsoring the rally, said in a statement.,0,2035222.story 


Video: Courtesy Brooks Fahy

Photo: Courtesy Hungry Horse News

Tags: Wolf Rally Coeur d’Alene Idaho, Predator Defense, NIWA, Friends of the Clearwater, Footloose Montana, trapping, wolf slaughter, Hungry Horse News,  Montana wolf hunt, Idaho wolf hunt

Fertile Ground For Wolf Demonizing?

Anti wolf signs, Outside Federal Courthouse, Missoula, Montana June 15, 2010

This disturbing Associated Press article,  describes how Kalispell, Montana, known for its rugged beauty, filled with pristine lakes and streams, gateway to Glacier National Park, may become a hotbed of anti-government extremism.

Note the sign in the picture above. These were anti-wolf protesters outside The Russell Smith Federal Courthouse in Missoula, Montana last year.  Is it any wonder wolves are being scapegoated and demonized in Montana?

Extremists finding fertile ground in Northwest US

         By NICHOLAS K. GERANIOS, Associated Press Wed Jun 22, 3:31 am ET

KALISPELL, Mont. – With its jagged peaks, glistening lakes and lush valleys, the Inland Northwest — stretching from eastern Washington to Montana’s Glacier National Park — is a stunningly beautiful and remote part of the country.

It also is a cradle for sometimes-violent anti-government activity — a reputation most recently rekindled by the search for David Burgert. The former Kalispell militia leader is accused of opening fire on sheriff’s deputies on a remote logging road in Lolo National Forest.

After a lull following the demise of the Idaho-based neo-Nazi Aryan Nations in 2000, anti-government and white supremacist groups and individuals may be reviving in the Inland Northwest. It’s a mostly white, mostly rural area with few job opportunities and a history of extreme activists.

Experts say the number of radical right groups is growing across the country because of the poor state of the economy, rising immigration and fears that President Barack Obama’s administration has an agenda to curtail individual liberties.

Read More:


Bill Gibson wrote about this in his article, Cry,Wolf, appearing in the current  Earth Island Journal. The pieces are coming together concerning anti-government feelings in the Flathead Valley.

The “Flathead” is home to wolves . They’ve lived in the North Fork of the Flathead since the late seventies, early eighties, when they dispersed on their own from Canada. They wouldn’t have made the trip without the protection of the ESA.  Now that has been stripped from them and they are at the mercy of extremists who are using gray wolves as the poster child for their hate.

This is a grim time and every wolf advocate who cares about wolves needs to stand up and be heard.  HFJ and WW has plans for a new pro-active way to show support for gray wolves that we will unveil next week.

Don’t let these extreme elements dictate how our wildlife and wild places are handled. It’s up to us, the grass-roots wolf movement, to speak out for wolves in their dark hour.

For the wolves, For the wild ones,



Photo: Courtesy Missoulian

Posted in Wolf Wars

Tags: extremism, Flathead Valley, Glacier National Park, Hate groups, Montana, Montana Human Rights Network, Northwest Montana

Taking a Break From The Hate!

It’s not easy running a pro-wolf blog in 2010, it feels more like 1910. Sometimes I write my posts through tears, because I can’t fathom the vitriol directed at wolves. 

When a girl was filmed throwing newborn puppies off a bridge into an icy river, the world was outraged and rightly so, I couldn’t bring myself to watch the video. But the state of Idaho is talking about gassing wolf pups to death in their dens, sterilizing alpha pairs and the world is silent? Where’s the outrage? Where’s the media? They are reporting this as if it’s just business as usual. What makes killing wolf pups so cruelly any different then tossing puppies off a bridge?

To get away from it all I enjoy hiking and spending time in the wilderness. It’s necessary for my mental health. Nobody could write about this 24/7 without some kind of a diversion. So as we’ve done many times over the years, we hiked into Glacier National Park, traveling up Going-to-the-Sun road to Logan Pass, then on to Hidden Lake. We were so lucky to be on the pass over the past weekend.  Mountain goats, Big Horned Sheep, marmots and ground squirrels abounded. Didn’t see wolves or grizzlies but that’s for another trip. 

I posted some of the pics on Wolf Warrior’s Facebook page. It was a balm to my spirit to see these beautiful animals flourishing in the high alpine meadows on the Crown of the Continent.

Mountain goat billy, losing his horn.

Mama mountain goat (nanny) and her babes (kids)

Hoary Marmot

Alpine Meadow

Approach to Hidden Lake

Big Horn Sheep Rams


Big Horned Sheep Ewe

Hidden Lake


Photos: Nabeki

Posted in: Glacier National Park

Tags: Hidden Lake, Logan Pass, Glacier National Park, Big Horned Sheep, Mountain Goats, Marmots

Sad Tale Of Oldman Lake Bear..Please Comment By May 7th Deadline!!

The Oldman Lake bear was seventeen years old when she was shot and killed by Glacier National Park Rangers last year. 

She had two cubs by her side, both were darted with tranquilizers. One bled to death from a lacerated jugular vein, the other cub was sent to the Bronx Zoo, to live out it’s life in captivity. She could have grown up to have wild cubs of her own, so Glacier lost two grizzly females. What crime did the Oldman Lake Bear commit to receive the death penalty? She was curious and tolerant of people.  That’s it. 

Named for the backcountry campground she occasionally frequented, Oldman Lake Bear was killed because she liked to sniff backpacks and drool on tents once in awhile. She never stole food or acted aggressively to anyone. 

Grizzly Bear Sighting At Old Man Lake…Click Here

Old Man Lake (This is where the Oldman sow once roamed, now she’s gone)

The saga began  in 2004 when she started hanging around the Oldman Lake campground but in truth this bear had always been easy going around people, big mistake on her part. 

Rangers hazed her several times, using aversion therapy. Strides were made and for two years she was a “good bear”, which means she was off their radar. In 2009 she resurfaced at the campground with cubs by her side and that’s when the decision was made to kill her and remove her cubs, even though she committed no crime.  She was just a curious bear. And she was right where she was supposed to be, IN THE BACK COUNTRY!!

The public reaction to her death and the death of her cub  was outrage:

From the Missoulian:

Biologist Charles Jonkel of the Great Bear Foundation in Missoula disagreed with the killings and reported numerous phone calls from concerned residents.

“The level of anger down here, oh my God, it’s unbelievable,” Jonkel said. “All kinds of people are calling me and they are mad.”

A vital breeding female was killed because she was trying to live her life in Glacier National Park and occasionally wandered around a few campsites. The park was deluged with angry letters from outraged citizens. The park took major heat for this.  Their actions were not defensible in many people’s minds, no matter how much they claimed they tried to work with the bear.   

Jonkel, who has been studying bears for 50 years, said he was confused as to why the park didn’t use other available options.

“Why didn’t they close the campground? Why didn’t they close the whole area?” Jonkel asked, adding that the bears paid for mistakes made by people who left out food and then left the park.

The park stated they did close the Oldman Lake campground and a few other campgrounds she visited. Well why didn’t they keep Oldman Lake campground closed and the other campgrounds as well?  

People questioned why park officials didn’t consider relocating the family to the Cabinet Mountains?  There had to be another option other then death?

From  2010 Revised Bear Management Plan-Glacier National Park:

 “Regional relocations will generally be preferred to enhance population levels in the greater ecosystem.
 Bears that are classified as HABITUATED may be released on site with behavior modification, or relocated within the Park (including bears captured outside of the Park) if a suitable release site, free of circumstances similar to the capture site, is available. HABITUATED bears may be relocated to other ecosystems or the Northern Continental Divide ecosystem outside of Glacier to enhance threatened populations.”
So what did the park do in response to taking the sows life and the life of her cub? They changed the bear management language  policies to make it easier to kill grizzlies.
A bear sighting will now be a bear encounter. A conditioned bear will now define a bear like Oldman Lake Bear who did nothing to harm a person, never acted aggressively or stole  food as far as anyone can tell.  Before this sad incident, Oldman would not have been considered conditioned,  just curious. Now, if a bear adopts her behavior, it wil be labeled conditioned and you know what the end game will be for that bear, the death penalty. 
And who is to blame for her nosing around campgrounds? You don’t think people encouraged her presence, especially when they discovered she was tolerant of them?  Have you ever experienced a “bear jam”, where cars come to a screechng halt along park roads when a  bear emerges, grizzly or black bear? People are enamoured of these animals and ultimately they are responsible for habituating or conditioning  bears. Unfortunately the bear often pays with it’s life,  for being tolerant of people.
 Here’s what the “rule changes” really mean:

Please take the time to comment on the Park’s “rule changes”  Park rangers don’t need more leeway to kill grizzlies because that’s what the language change is all about. I believe they changed the rules to cover their actions and now other bears may be punished because of this. With budget cuts,  non-lethal aversion actions, to dissuade bears, will be a less likely option. The park rangers were right to work with this bear, using aversion techniques. Where they went wrong was killing the sow,  instead of exploring all availble options.  

Will we be seeing more misguided scenarios like this, when bears are killed for being inquisitive? Now,  if a bear looks sideways at a person it becomes a “bear encounter”, designed to be more serious then a “bear sighting”.  Will each “encounter” be added to the bear’s history? If enough of these “encounters” pile up will this send the bear down the path to being a conditioned bear and ultimately a dead bear? 

Please express your outrage by the May 7th deadline for public comment. Tell Glacier National Park you don’t like the new rule changes, which could result in getting  more bears in “trouble” and ultimately killed.  Please stand up for Oldman Lake Bear and her cub’s memory. And think about her daughter that is now in bear jail for the rest of her lfe at the Bronx zoo. They can’t speak for themselves and need our help.

For the grizzlies, For the wild ones,





 (Please Put Attn: Bear Management Plan and Guidelines Revision in Subject line)



Superintendent, Glacier National Park

Attn: Bear Management Plan and Guidelines Revision

 P.O. Box 128

 West Glacier, Montana 59936


2010 Revised Bear Management Plan-Glacier National Park: click here then click on 2010 Draft Guidelines:

(New rule changes are highlighted in red)


Interaction within close proximity between bears and humans in which the bear(s) exhibit behavior identifying awareness of human presence, (altered course, bluff charge, fled the scene, etc. but not resulting in property damage or human contact. (Fled the scene? altered course? So if a bear moves away from humans, the way it’s supposed to do, it’s a “bear encounter” not a “bear sighting”?  What is going on here? Bears are going to have to read a manual to know how to act around humans.)


Bears observed by people without the behavior by the bear indicating awareness of human presence. Comment [j1]: These definitions, adapted from DENA, were added to increase clarity. (So we’re gong to rely on tourists, who may have never seen a grizzly in their whole lives to tell rangers if it was a “bear encounter” or a “bear sighting”? Unbelievable!)


Describes bear behavior defined by any one or more of the following: has sought and obtained non-natural foods, destroyed property, displayed aggressive (non-defensive) behavior toward humans. Bears which repeatedly and closely approach people or repeatedly touch tents, backpacks or food storage containers in campsites where people are present, will be considered conditioned. Comment [j2]:Added this language to deal with bears that exhibit unacceptable behaviors.  (Clearly added to describe Oldman Lake female)


Refers to a continuum of bear behaviors including one or more of the following circumstances: is tolerant of human presence, has become accustomed to frequenting developed areas, backcountry campgrounds, trails or roadsides, but has retained its natural foraging behavior. Comment [j3]:Inserted concept of tolerance and deleted reference to overly familiar.


Any action taken by management due to bear activity that directly affects the bear and/or the public. This includes, but is not limited to, trail postings, trail closures, area closures, campground closures, bear relocations and bear removals. Comment [j4]: Added ‘area closures’ as a management action.


Condition where a bear displays behavior consistent with what is found or expected in a free ranging natural  population of bears without exhibiting “conditioned” or “habituated” characteristics. Comment [j5]: Deleted the comment “overly familiar with humans”. (*Very subjective, open to interpretation, slippery slope)


Park defends actions, budget cuts make future cloudy for problem bears

Park Officials Questioned Over Decision to Remove Glacier Grizzlies

Park Tanger Barry Wollenzien sprays a grizzly bear down with water to keep the cub cool before being transported out of Glacier National Park. – Lido Vizzutti/Flathead Beacon

By Molly Priddy, 08-04-09



Glacier Proposes Rewrite Of Grizzly Rules

By Associated Press 4-27-10

West Glacier – Glacier National Park administrators wants to make it easier to take action against problem grizzly bears following last year’s shooting of a a popular but trouble-making bear. Under a proposal open to the public comment through May 7, the park would lower the bar to list a bear as “conditioned” –a designation that can trigger hazing or killing the bear.

Last August, park rangers shot a female grizzly — and inadvertently killed one of her cubs –after the old sow grew increasingly bold around humans over more then a decade.

The new rules wold list a bear as conditioned if the animal approaches people or repeatedly touches their tent, backpacks or food containers.  Previously bears had to steal food, destroy property or display aggressive behavior toward people.

 *blue notes mine

Posted in: grizzly bear, Brown bears

Tags: Old Man Lake Bear, grizzly sow, questionable bear management, grizzly cub dies, Glacier National Park







“Lords of Nature” Playing in Columbia Falls, Mt. This Thursday

Photo: SigmaEye Flicker

Hi Everyone,

The must see video “Lords of Nature”, is coming to Columbia Falls, Mt. this Thursday @ 7pm.  This is the premiere film on predators, if you love wolves, grizzlies and moutain lions, this is for you!!

Flathead Valley, this is your chance to view this incredible film. The event is being sponsored by Defenders of Wildlife.  Here are the details.


Lords of Nature Film Premiere followed by a Q & A Session


Thursday, November 19th from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.


Glacier Discovery Square
540 Nucleus Avenue
Columbia Falls, MT 59912


Category posted in: gray wolf, wolf recovery, grizzly bear, North Fork

Tags: gray wolf, endandered species act, Glacier National Park, biodiversity

Controversy Surrounds Wolves Poached In North Fork

Three wolves were poached in the North Fork of the Flathead recently but the quota of allowable hunted wolves was not changed in response to those illegal acts.  Montana FWP defended their non-action on the premise that wolves die from lots of things so they just worked the poached wolf numbers into general wolf mortality.  Sorry I’m not buying it.  Three wolves were illegally shot and the guy that shot two of them, Randy Houk from Columbia Falls, Mt,  got off with a fine.  He didn’t lose his hunting license, because supposedly he cooperated with authorities.  So what, give him a gold star and still take away his hunting license.  Altogether five wolves were lost in the North Fork.  Two to hunting and three to poaching.  Why not stronger poaching consequences?

There are two North Fork wolf packs that den in the relative safety of Glacier National Park, the Dutch Pack and Kintla Pack.  Before wolf hunting started these packs were safe to roam, as wolves have been doing in the North Fork for the last thirty years.  Unfortunately, like Yellowstone’s Cottonwood Pack, they don’t read signs and regularly cross back and forth across park boundaries.

Why are wolves being “managed” as replaceable units with the “wolf is a wolf is wolf” approach? The loss of alphas can destroy a pack, as we saw in the recent slaying of Yellowstone’s Cottonwood alphas.  Defenders of Wildlife spoke out on this issue stating poached wolves should be counted in the quota. 

In the meantime wolf hunting marches on with 98 dead wolves in Idaho and 64 + 3 poached wolves in Montana.

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Categories posted in: Glacier National Park, Montana wolf hunt, North Fork,

Tags: wolf poaching, Montana wolf hunt, gray wolf

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