Tim Ferriss


Senior Member
Mar 28, 2019
Tim Ferriss sent some information out about a proposed bill in Idaho regarding wolf management and I thought it would be interesting to get some perspectives from everyone here. For reference, Tim Ferriss is an author and podcaster who has a large audience. I believe that he was an early supporter of the Colorado wolf re-introduction getting on the ballot by matching donations of around $500k or so.

The biggest thing that struck me was the information sheet referenced from Colorado State University that said wolves had no impact on elk populations based on population sizes and hunter harvest information.

Also ironic that he now says that state legislators shouldn't get in the way of game management agencies after supporting the ballot box biology in Colorado.

Copy/Paste from email below:

"“Bill to kill up to 90% of Idaho wolves heads to governor” (AP). Thanks for reading this one, as it’s very time sensitive for today (Friday), ideally—this weekend, or Monday, May 3rd, at the latest. The governor is expected to decide in the next several days.


Idaho News 6: “BOISE, Idaho — Nearly 30 retired state, federal and tribal wildlife managers want Idaho Republican Gov. Brad Little to veto a bill backed by agricultural interests that could cut the state’s wolf population by 90%. The former workers at the Idaho Department of Fish and Game, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. Forest Service and others in a letter to Little on Wednesday say the methods for killing wolves allowed in the measure [e.g., traps, snares, aerial shooting, snowmobiles, night-vision optics] violate long standing wildlife management practices and sportsmen ethics.”

The Idaho Fish and Game Commission itself, which manages the state’s wildlife, has also voted to oppose the 90% kill measure. Multiple Idaho groups and wildlife experts are concerned that this bill “could set a dangerous precedent letting legislators, not Idaho’s Fish and Game Commission, set hunting and trapping seasons and rules.” (Idaho Statesman)


Although Idaho State Senator Mark Harris states that wolves are “destroying ranchers” and wildlife, and no doubt some individual ranchers are deeply affected, even the bill’s sponsor, Van Burtenshaw, R-Terreton, “said the purpose is to stop wolf depredations on livestock. He said that between 2015 and 2020, wolves have killed 753 cattle, 952 sheep and 54 other animals. That represents a loss of less than 1% of Idaho’s estimated 2.5 million cows and calves.” (Idaho Statesman) Furthermore, the overall population size of elk, and the number of elk harvested by hunters, has not declined over the past 20 years in Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming, despite increases of wolves in these states (see data sheets from Colorado State University here: web, PDF).

Of course, it’s important not to discount the real economic and emotional stress for individual ranchers when wolves and other predators attack or stress their livestock, resulting in both direct losses (mortality) and indirect losses (reduced weight gain and pregnancy). And wolves *can* impact some big-game herds locally, particularly when acting in conjunction with other factors that also limit big game, such as severe winters, human hunters, and other predators. That all said, none of this supports a statewide killing of 90% of the wolf population in Idaho.

I once heard wolves referred to as “the Middle East of conservation,” and for good reason. Mere mention of preservation or killing raises emotions, and logical problem-solving often falls by the wayside. I got death threats the last time I discussed wolves, trophic cascades, etc., and I’ll likely get more for this bullet, but nonetheless: Based on input from the scientists I know, and all of the above, this bill is simply not supported by science, data, or ethics.


Call Governor Little at 208-334-2100 now and follow up with an email to [email protected] urging him to veto SB 1211, using the talking points below. If you use Twitter, you can also share the below bullets with him at
@GovernorLittle, but phone and email have the biggest impact. Here is my personal tweet thread I published today.

Talking points to craft your message are below (please personalize). Again, email and phone have the biggest impact:

  • If you are from or currently live in Idaho, state your town. If you don’t have connections to Idaho, explain why you will not spend your tourism dollars in a state like Idaho that wantonly slaughters wildlife.
  • Over 76% of Idahoans believe wildlife belongs to all citizens and that management decisions should be made—without political influence—by the Idaho Fish and Game Commission, whose members oppose this bill 5–2.
  • Taking authority away from the Commission and the agency biologists that inform them is not science-based management and sets a dangerous precedent for the management of other wildlife.
  • Wolves cause less than 1% of cattle deaths, and any depredation can be properly managed without this bill.
  • Killing wolves at this rate will only support decisions to relist them with Endangered Species Act protections.
  • Wolves alive and thriving bring value to Idaho in many forms, including ecosystem services and tourism dollars.
  • The majority of Idahoans and Americans support wolf recovery at levels where wolves can fulfill their ecological functions. Almost no one supports wasting tax dollars to recover wolves, just to exterminate them again."


Senior Member
Jul 7, 2015
That guy is just another self-help guru meddling in an area that he has no actual experience or knowledge in. It would be like me going to one women's volleyball game and then sticking my nose into whatever league leadership/policy structures exist.


Sep 24, 2020
If you want to know how he feels look up his podcast with Steven Rinella...both very pro wolf on that one. The problem is he thinks he knows better than people that actually live in these states and convinces other tech guys to invest big money into re-introducing wolves in places they will never go.


Senior Member
May 26, 2019
Nothing worse than a hypocrite. I would normally just chalk it up to him being ignorant, but to say let the state agencies manage game and not the legislators while he lead the green army to the ballot box wolf reintroduction BS is insanity.

As far as his buddy Rinella, whom I normally have a lot of respect for, is off base when he claims wolves in the lower 48 are the same as wolves in Alaska. He says this constantly on his podcast. Comparing habitat in Colorado to Alaska isn’t fair. Alaska has way more habitat and less human interference on wildlife and all predators do well there for that reason.


Dec 31, 2020
I heard that meat eater podcast with Ferris.
I think that's when the respect I had for Rinella and folks like Ferris really started to wane.
Sure, he's well spoken, but he never addresses the real, underlying concerns. And as most said, he sure as hell knows more than me and you, despite our education, time, experiences, and love of the outdoors; oh, and a very good understanding of history of the last 25 years

The ag industry here is going to have a hard time, ranchers will be victims of the blue wave that's destroying my state. My prediction is that, instead of catching poachers, or enforcing fish and game laws, wildlife officers in the Western half of CO will spend 80% on their time on paying our fishing/hunting dollars to ranchers for their losses, while those that voted for this crap sit on the couch playing xbox.
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