April 1, 2023

Dear Bureau of Land Management Representatives…..

Dear BLM Reprentatives:

Since the BLM has elected to extend the comment period regarding the Idaho Predator Derby the request of an Oregon Congressman, please let me provide what I suggest is some rational comment in the face of substantial emotional comment you have received in opposition to the Derby. Since wolves cross state lines, I will refrain accusing the Oregon Congressman from “poaching,” even though he stands in opposition to almost all positions on everything taken by the Idaho congressional delegation. Likewise, I would not portend to deny the expression of opposition to the Predator Derby, much of which has a quality of quasi-religious species preference for wolves expressed by wolf advocates.

I do suggest, however, that a more rational comparison of the Predator Derby might be made to fishing derbies, where families gather to have fun and teach the young to fish (see attached). The Forest Service apparently took that view in ruling that no permit was needed for the Predator Derby (see attached). The species preferences for wolves exhibited by some people who live elsewhere should not be given any more weight than a preference, let us say, for the “iconic” rainbow trout. The Idaho Predator Derby is presented as a family event for people whose culture it is to engage in hunting in a place where these people practice this culture live (see attached).

The BLM’s economic analysis found that while the town of Salmon and surrounding areas might receive a $94,000 boost, the state as a whole could miss out on anywhere from $23,800 to $2,380,000 depending on how many people decide to not visit the state due to opposition propaganda. Clearly, it is difficult to quantify exactly how much the state will lose in economic activity. Past experience has shown, however, that the tourist industry has not been particularly affected by activist propaganda. I would suggest that the economic analysis might be more accurate if it took into consideration the positive affect that the predator hunting derby might have on the greater hunting community. Available Idaho Fish and Game statistics show the substantial reduction of non-resident hunting licenses and the related substantial drop in income that the State of Idaho Fish and Game Department has suffered since the introduction of wolves and the consequential devastation of the elk herds in certain of Idaho’s 28 elk hunting zones. The predator hunting derby in conjunction with Idaho’s efforts to control wolves would most certainly serve as a relevant inducement to that specific community of non-resident hunters to return to Idaho. I suggest that it is more likely that the predator Derby will have a positive economic impact overall, primarily because of its effective emphasis on control of predators through hunting and the message it sends to greater hunting community.

The Opposition claims that the Environmental Assessment failed to adequately address an alternative SRP request for a wildlife viewing contest submitted by Western Watersheds Project and Center for Biological Diversity which, if the permit is issued, would take place instead of the derby or at the same time. By all rational analysis, this is a political effort to deny the people of Salmon and the hunters of Idaho their planned hunting derby – an event located in their own community. The nature of this effort by the opposition can be better understood by simply referring to the websites of these organizations to clearly see such effort for what it really is: A money raising campaign based on crass exploitation of anthropomorphic sympathies engendered by such propaganda. It has the quality of the bucket being passed at a revival meeting.

The Derby sponsors have attempted to comply with every procedural step, including early filing to avoid delaying tactics of the opposition. Accordingly, it is respectfully suggested that the BLM grant the application for a permit, if the decision is made that a permit is needed.

Best Regards,

John L. Runft
Runft & Steele Law Offices, PLLC
1020 W. Main St., Suite 400
Boise, Idaho 83702


Kill People, Save Wild Dogs

CrosshairsAbout ten days ago I posted information sent to me by Idaho for Wildlife concerning a planned event – a coyote and wolf derby. I then sat back to watch the fireworks and I’d surmise that the fireworks display has been quite predictable, if not revoltingly nauseating and a very poor reflection on today’s human species.

While the planned coyote and wolf derby is a legal event, personally I don’t oppose it but I would be dishonest if I didn’t at least say that I thought the event does present itself, to animal worshipers, as a bit of in your face. This is at least to the extent that those involved with the derby should not have been surprised that shortly after the announcement of the competition, death threats followed.

But I’m not here to discuss the ups and downs of wolf and coyote derbies. Perhaps lost, in a deeper, more meaningful issue is what has transpired in the degradation of human society.

First of all, let me make it clear that I have not spent much time at all following all the ins and outs of what has transpired since the announcement of the coyote and wolf derby. It is my understanding from emails and information I have been sent, along with a miniscule sampling of mainstream media sources, that the threats have been mostly typical, and as I said expected.

The threats have ranged from “hanging an entire family,” and, “burn the business down,” also, “sick ______ like you need to be removed from the planet.” While I’m sure far worse than this has shown up in other media platforms, none of us should lose sight of the fact that this is unsatisfactory human behavior…….at least to those of us who find value in decency, common respect and a love of the human species. Certainly, actions and reactions of the type on display here is below that of an animal.

When we put the entire larger issue into perspective, it appears difficult, if not impossible, for some to grasp the understanding that humans are threatening each others’ lives over a wild dog. Is this what has become of the human race?

Earlier this morning I was reading information written about mountain lions and the person who wrote some of it made a remark about how “cougars killed only 15 people.” The message embedded in statements such as this is that the life of any animal creature, regardless of the numbers, needs protecting, rationalizing that 15 human lives sacrificed is unblinkingly acceptable. Sick! If you disagree, it is your right to do so, but you are wrong.

I read another comment left by a very educated and now retired person from the medical field who stated that in order to love one has to first learn to hate. If this is true, how long do we humans have to wait in order to see the harvest of love sowed by the seeds of hatred? The answer is forever. Nobody can learn to love by first hating. Making statements like this is about as evil as evil can be and I pity the person who has been so wrongly affected by the circumstances of life that they actually believe this.

On display in Idaho, are no fewer than two very seriously flawed and troubling human traits. One, is the fact that time and the influences of our everyday life, have turned us into a people that places animals at par or even above that of humans. Humans are caretakers of animals and the environment of the planet we live on, but not at the expense of human life. Lost is all of this is the value of the human. As a society, we are drifting away from a worshiping of the Creator and replacing it with a worship of the creation.

Secondly, our society is full of hate. Respect for the fellow man is being pared away leaving an inner core of sinful anger, entitlement, disrespect, selfishness and greed; gripping some so badly they reveal their undisciplined selves to threaten people and their property over an animal. If you don’t consider this serious and wrong, I am sorry for you that you are so blinded you can’t see the wrong in it.

Most will pass this off as mostly meaningless, believing and stating that there are always extremists on both sides of all issues and it is non representative of Americans. I disagree. Is it an acceptable action of extremists wishing death and destruction on fellow humans?

Little by little, with each passing event, the downward spiral of a troubled and secular society grows. It’s far easier to pass this off as no big deal than it is to actually do something about it. So far, we’ve mostly chosen to do nothing about it.


2-Day Idaho Coyote and Wolf Derby