Trump Administration Sued Over Impact of Expanded Grazing Operations On Wolf Populations

Canis_lupus_layingI have often criticized the Trump Administration for its environmental policies from blocking climate control measures to rolling back on pollution regulations to developing pristine natural areas, including recent changes to hunting rules in Alaska.  Now the Forest Service is being sued over its failure on how expanded grazing operations are impacting gray wolf populations.  Given the ruling on DACA yesterday on the failure of the Administration to satisfy basic procedures requirements under the Administrative Procedure Act, this litigation will hopefully succeed in forcing a reevaluation of the operations of these private businesses on federal lands.

I have previously expressed my view that federal lands, and particularly federal parks, should be protected from development.  I admit to being an ardent environmentalist and national parks have always been a defining part of my life.  The Trump Administration’s environmental policies are, in my view, a disaster for this country.  However, the Administration seems to hold a particularly antagonistic position against our national parks, which remain the most popular federal governmental areas with the public. At a time when the public is flooding our parks and we have overcrowding on roads and open spaces, the Trump Administration is expanding development and removing protected lands.

WildEarth Guardians, Western Watersheds Project, and the Kettle Range Conservation Group are suing over the impact of grazing operations at the Colville National Forest as an “epicenter of wolf-livestock conflicts” in Washington State.  Cattle grazing is allowed in the national forest and dozens of wolves have been killed as a result.  Since 2012, 31 wolves have been killed and 26 were allegedly killed on behalf of grazing permittee Diamond M Ranch.  DMR is the largest cattle producer in Washington and has been the focus of criticism by environmentalists.

In other parks, wildlife like elks have been fenced off to allow exclusive use of grazing areas and grasslands have been destroyed due to the grazing industry.

My objection is not to this company but the use of federal parks for such private business operations, particularly cattle grazing. Such cattle cause damage to these areas and obviously conflict with the native wolf populations.  The subsidy for the industry has been estimated at $100 million after the Trump Administration cut grazing fees despite the fact that it assists a tiny percentage of the industry.

The case is WildEarth Guardians v. U.S. Forest Serv., E.D. Wash., No. 2:20-cv-00223, 6/17/20.

34 thoughts on “Trump Administration Sued Over Impact of Expanded Grazing Operations On Wolf Populations”

  1. Being very familiar with the Colville area the wolves have been re-introduced (There have always been a few), the state has lost control of the count. They are breeding and spreading, conflicting with farmers and ranchers. Pets and livestock are being killed and wounded. Now they want to re-introduce grizzlies.

    The progressives stopped hound hunting cougars some years ago. Instead of staying in the mountains they now kill an enormous amount of deer, pets, livestock. One adult cat kills one deer or elk every 7 to 10 days. Along with cats tracking children to bus stops, which has happened in eastern, WA.

    There are very real issues rural America faces. I recommend if any eastern city dwellers hike in North Central and Eastern WA they carry a firearm. Be real and less romantic about the wilderness.

    1. TonyC – show of hands of those who remember Turley’s helicopter rescue?

  2. And a 7.5-mile-wide asteroid hit Mexico ending the age of the dinosaurs and killing 75% of the life on earth. Hello! The dinosaurs are gone. There are cities all over the world under the ocean. Global warming melted the ice and flooded them over a long time ago – before there were any hysterical and incoherent enviro-wackjobs.


    Shhh! It happens.

      1. Perfect. Thank you. Some folks need it all explained.

        Don’t just stand there lookin’ like this dream will never end
        Honey, let me introduce you to my redneck friend

        – Jackson Brown

  3. JT: “At a time when the public is flooding our parks and we have overcrowding on roads and open spaces, the Trump Administration is expanding development and removing protected lands.”

    If you’re actually worried about overcrowding, then you might want to limit immigration. Seems logical.

  4. Turley, if you think for one second that your Trump base cares about environmental policy, you really have lost it.

  5. I’m a conservative except when it comes to GMOs, gene editing of food/body, and environmental lunacy such as this. I hope this environmental policy is stamped out quickly.

  6. Wolves, bison, birds, etc., and humans; everyone will never be happy. Cattle grazing on open range then getting zapped and trimmed for T-bone dinners or cattle bunched together on feed lots living out their five-six years cramped and filthy, pumped full of steroids and other stuff; take your choice. People eat meat and demand that the meat live a somewhat stress free five-six years before they end up on the plate. That takes land. Wolves, like bison need to be culled as humans shepherd their garden. A few cows sacrificed to the wolves as long as the wolves don’t get too numerous seems to be a healthy solution to this problem.

    It’s like bull fighting, the concept bothers a lot of people. A bull goes into the ring and is slowly killed or in rare occasions makes it out to retire in a grassy field boinking all the good looking cows he wants, not bothered by humans, living out his days. Before the bull enters the ring, he lives a wonderful life in a grassy field with no humans bothering him; then at the same age as his beefsteak brothers, he meets his end; but he gets to put up a fight, this fighting bull. His brothers spend their first and only five-six years cramped together, waiting for their trip to the plate. Somehow, if I was a bull, I’d take the ring. It might be irritating to get poked by those banderillas but the end by estoque is almost always quick and painless. The bull ends up on the plate in the end also, but after an infinitely more interesting life.

    There is a lot more to delve into regarding cattle grazing encroaching on public park land and wolf populations. Perhaps beef should cost more and there be less of it. The French eat about a third as much beef as do Americans, Argentinians, and some other peoples. They eat the best part of the animal only and ship the rest to the East where it goes into Borscht. Beef is more a special dish than daily fuel. The French are significantly healthier and less obese than those from heavy meat eating countries.

    Food for thought?

    1. issac – do you really think bulls turn down ugly cows? 😉

      1. To some degree, nature passes on its best genes through natural selection, the best pass their genes on to the best, contributing to the strengthening of the species through evolution. So, bulls, especially a fighting bull that has little if any competition will choose the cow through whatever instinctive mechanisms. After goring a bullfighter, the bull would probably not waste time on the lesser attractive-to the bull not you Shulte-cows. Also, the owners of the whole affair would probably place the best of the best of the cows in the field to get boinked. Again, looking at this from the bull’s perspective, not yours.

        1. issac – having come from cattle country and having owned breeding horses, I know how the process works. It is usually based on bloodlines, not on how good the female looks.

          1. Paul

            If you know how it works, then you would agree that whether artificially or naturally, the propagation of the species depends on the strongest mating with the strongest; or the ‘good looking’ cows being boinked by the top bulls. A preferable ‘bloodline’ is identified as a good looking cow. A fighting bull that has bested a matador will, if left to his own choices, go after the most attractive cow, again from the bull’s perspective, not yours. It might help to define choices-the most attractive cows/best bloodlines will be the only ones placed within boinking proximity and choosing probably depends on attractions that are only discernible by the bull. If artificially inseminated, the subjects would be the top performing bull bloodline and the best cow bloodline, good looking cow-from the bull’s perspective as well as the owner’s.

            You might look into the Camargue in Southern France. Here fighting bulls are raised for bullrings in France and Spain. They roam freely over hundreds of square miles of land that is protected from the outside. The bulls are isolated and move in herds. Some propagate on their own and some contribute their bloodline through artificial insemination. Regardless of how, the young are products of the best bloodlines of the top fighting bulls and the best looking cows.

            1. issac – when you are breeding fighting bulls you are not breeding for beauty, you are breeding for temperament, like you do with dogs. And the “beauty” they are talking about is how well it conforms to the breed.

              1. OK, last time, temperament is beauty in fighting bulls. I’ve been to a few bullfights, read Hemmingway’s ‘Death in the Afternoon’ several times, and de rigeur temperament is beauty is what is wanted. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and the bulls that die in the ring are beautiful and have the necessary temperament. I doubt an ugly looking bull with appropriate temperament would make it. Beauty is the force behind a race horse. Beauty is the death that can be delivered in a fighting bull. That’s why people go.

    2. Joel Salatin effectively manages his beef on far fewer acres due to rotational grazing and by keeping a careful watch on grass growth.

      1. Exactly, and if so much government land is off limits entirely, this leads to private land being over utilized with chemicals etc. The raging forest fires in heavily wooded areas tend to be the most severe where the forests have been protected from the occasional fire that contributes to the health of the forest and where the forest has been otherwise overly protected.

        This is the same with most things. In Europe national parks and other areas that are enjoyed for their natural beauty are often times cultivated as well. Areas of Normandy have hardwood tree farms that date back a thousand years. That is to say that you can find forests of Oak Trees, with all the accompanying animals, that are selectively harvested on an ongoing basis. Some of the animals might be irritated from time to time but overall they get their habitat and people get their oak.

        The danger, as always is in the extremes on both directions. Look at Trump’s mindless, broad brush, repealing of protections. The onus here is on the mindlessness of the blithering idiot that inhabits the White House.

        Not to get biblical, we’re supposed to be shepherds of our garden, flock, etc.

        1. Issac,
          Why blame Trump?

          Our elected representatives can override him.

        2. Issac,
          “Exactly, and if so much government land is off limits entirely, this leads to private land being over utilized with chemicals etc.”

          One does not necessitate the other. Joel Salatin does over-utilize chemicals by any means. He manages his farm such that he can avoid using chemicals.

        3. and if so much government land is off limits entirely, this leads to private land being over utilized with chemicals etc.

          Not to get biblical, we’re supposed to be shepherds of our garden, flock, etc.

          If I understand both statements correctly, then you believe the we’re is government and the flock is us.

          In practice, yes. The people act like sheep. So much so that they ignorantly permit government to dish out as privileges what was previously held by the people as natural rights. How is that any different than slavery?

  7. Wolves are nuisance animals especially to livestock. Livestock are essential animals especially to humans. I’m not seeing the issue with thinning the herd of these predators. Oh and they attack humans, too.

  8. I’m with you, Professor. Stay out of the federal protected lands and parks — at a minimum. I’ll even raise you one…, I object to the business itself.

    1. I suggest that instead of going always with your emotions regarding an issue you check 1st with what the USC says about such things as:

      How much of State Lands is the US govt allowed to control?

      What is the Fed Govt’s authority into certain areas of interest?

      If many of the people of the US weren’t so stupid they’d know the US war of northern aggression (civil war)main issues was State Power vs Federal Power. ( Robert E Lee’s Battle Flag), State Power lost some power but the words of the USC remain in the state’s favor.

      It was the many States that gained sovereignty from successfully the US revolution from Britain, codified in the Treaty of Paris in 1783. State Power

      The it was the States that created a very limited/controlled Fed Govt.

      Currently is Fed Govt is completely out control & denying State Power, unless Trump or someone can stop all these Commie/Nazi type Traitors.

  9. “The Trump Administration’s environmental policies are, in my view, a disaster for this country.”

    “Since 2012, 31 wolves have been killed and 26 were allegedly killed on behalf of grazing permittee Diamond M Ranch.”

    Approximately 4 wolves per year. This is a disaster worthy of a lawsuit?

    1. Trump’s influence on environmental policy is such a disaster that it was able to take wolves off the endangered species list during the Obama administration in 2011. That is one powerful President.

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