Wolves de-listed last Friday. Anyone bought their tags yet?
Wolves de-listed last Friday. Anyone bought their tags yet?
Soon they'll pay me to kill them. I'm not paying penny one.
If they ever try and open a hunt, people will just tie it up in red tape for years and years.
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look...its simple. If u see one...shoot it. Walk or drive away.
Not the smartest thing to say on this site arkiep&yhunter!
It will be interesting. I am actually in a field that deals with the Endangered Species Act, both sides. Will it be good for hunting if a season opened up, or bad (media-wise)? My original post was simply a joke. For those that know the states involved, Washington was quite a surprise. I was more curious about the general feelings of archery hunters that visit this site.
I hope we do get tags this year. Game management is needed here. I don't think hunting alone will keep numbers in check. It will be very hard to harvest one of these dogs, Iam sure they will learn quick. Tags will be a good start for keeping numbers in check I just don't think there will be enough tags filled. I have seen three wolves and would not have had a shot with any weapon.
I was going through some of my old stuff from school and came across this paper I wrote. Figured I'd share it in this post.
It's kinda long, had to break it into 2 posts.
Eng. Comp. 111
March 26, 2006
The Canis lupus is the designer name or more to the point the scientific name for the gray wolf. The image of the gray wolf can conjure up images in the minds-eye ranging from majestic beauty to horrific terror. With this reputation the gray wolf has been at the forefront of a political battle that imperils the residents of mid-western states in a battle with animal rights activists and the federal government.
The reintroductions of wolves came as result of the “Endangered Species Act of 1973” (Dierking). According to Herb Dierking, a naturalist group with the backing of the US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFW) created an organization called “Operation: Wolfstock” (Dierking). Their goal was the reintroduction of the gray wolf to the Continental United States. The government approved a plan in 1994 to reestablish the gray wolf to Yellowstone National Park and Idaho, according to an Environmental Impact Statement (Wolf Reintroduction). The “Endangered Species Act of 1973” listed the gray wolf as an endangered species although the gray wolf was not endangered. The wolf by government definition is not endangered or threatened in the United States or Internationally. Politics and semantics were the driving force for this designation.
The reintroduction was challenged in courts and after an initial ruling that the USFW was breaking the law it was over turned in appeals court (Skopek 4-6) The “NPS policy calls for restoring native species when: a) sufficient habitat exists to support a self-perpetuating population, b) management can prevent serious threats to outside interests…” (Wolf Restoration). With that said, what does “serious threat” mean? Does the threat of attack, disfigurement, death or bankruptcy amount to serious threat? Not according to the government, who by the way swore to protect the citizens of this United States.
The problems with re-introducing wolves into Yellowstone National Park and Idaho or any other state should have been obvious to most. However, the fact is the majority of people backing the plan are not directly affected in their every day life by the impact of wolves. A person needs to only look back to the history of wolves in the US to try and understand the consequences of bringing back wolves. The gray wolf was just about eradicated from the US by the early 20th century (Skopek 2). Since their reintroduction there has been a detrimental impact to other wild life. According to a report by “scientists from the University of Wyoming… reductions of elk [would be] (15%-25%)” (Wolf Restoration). This number however seems to be grossly off. The elk herd in northern Yellowstone is half of what was there in 1994(McMillion). The numbers of elk in an area can be related to the number of hunters that show up each fall to pursue them. McMillion writes that you could expect to see 100 or more trucks and trailers at a trailhead and now according to Scott Sallee, an outfitter just north of Yellowstone, “now, there are maybe 15.”(McMillion). People also need to remember that elk are not the only wild animals being prayed upon. So it only goes to reason that if elk numbers are down 50%, the other prey animals are reduced significantly also.
The attempted eradication of wolves years ago was done for various reasons, the most obvious being safety and survival. The need to protect family and to actually earn a living was the driving forces for killing wolves. The fact is little has changed since back then. People struggle every day to make a living and protect themselves and their families but this is totally lost on those that pushed for their release. I can see some people rolling there eyes to that statement and I’ll agree that the comforts of living have changed but the threat of harm and the need to make a living have not changed since the first settlers moved west. This was obvious to the USFW and the U.S. Government because although they listed the gray wolf as being endangered, which is a fallacy in its self, they made a decision to reintroduce them under the Endangered Species Act but amended the policy to allow the “experimental reintroduction” of wolves into Idaho and Yellowstone National Park (Wolf Reintroduction). This consisted of 66 wolves that were released between 1995 and 1996 (Smith).
Another huge and ever growing problem that has come from re-introducing wolves is of a monetary value. Ten years after the first re-introduction of wolves to the “lower 48 states”(National) Scott McMillion writes, “the economic impact is largely unknown” according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife (McMillion). How can anyone run a program, business or even a household with out considering or evaluating the monetary value of it? There are costs in everything we do in life. The Federal Government initiated their program supposedly with years of research and scientific studies (Idaho). The fact that monetary issues were going to be a problem was not lost to them or the people that backed the plan. They figured, like most would, that there would be loss of property to people within the release areas and someone would have to pay. As Brittany Karford reports an animal rights group, “Defenders of Wildlife”, was set up to help compensate people affected by wolf predation. They contracted with the Federal government to help facilitate the reintroduction plan (Karford). Reimbursing for depredation is a good step but the problem here as Jay Smith writes is, “a two year study shows that … five out of every six wolf kills cannot be proven”. This due impart to terrain, decomposition and minimal evidence left at the crime. The loss to ranchers, farmers and ordinary citizens is immense. Some livestock ranchers are losing 10% or more of their stock to predation by wolves (Smith). Could the average American family afford this kind of loss annually without being able to do anything about it? I think not, but that is what some people in Colorado, Idaho, and Montana have to endure. With this in mind, one needs to remember that there are expenses to all taxpayers also. The amounts are increasing yearly. According to Brittany Korford, “until the [wolf] is removed from the Endangered Species list …the cost to taxpayers will be $1.5 million per year and it seems that figure will only go up (Koford).
You might be asking now what kind of protection you have. After all the government is supposed to protect us and protect our way of life. Well as usual our government does allow that if one of our “endangered” wolves kills too many domesticated animals and they can find him they will kill the culprit (Karford). I forget, wasn’t it our government that told us that wolves are endangered? It comes to mind that they are endangered as long as they are not causing a problem. If they do, they’ll fall under the scope of a federal sharpshooter. So ask your self are wolves really endangered if we kill off troublemakers? Aren’t they all troublemakers for ranchers just trying to make a living?
The gray wolf under the wrongful protection of the “Endangered Species Act” freely roams and kills at its own discretion. Landowners and ranchers cannot forcefully protect or defend their pets or live stock against the attack of wolves. I know what you are thinking, there are protections that can be taken like fences and buildings but nothing is one hundred percent. And the people living in the western states at the time of wolf reintroductions did not have to contend with predators as menacing as a pack of wolves. Would you knowingly place yourself, your kids, or your pet in a situation were they can be killed and you cannot legally defend them when they come under this threat? I don’t think any respectable person would. We however force people to do just that by protecting the gray wolf, which is not endangered of extinction and never has been. The American public, by the way, would not want wolves in their backyard. God forbid some East coast yuppie lawyer will have to explain to his children that it’s “OK” the wolves are eating fluffy. After all it’s just their natural behavior and they are endangered.
There are a myriad of reasons for the removal of wolves from the Western United States as well as the Eastern United States when our country was first being settled. These reasons are only compounded today. The public needs to remember that every state in this nation has a department that oversees and manages the wild life within their borders. These managers are entrusted care for the wildlife within the borders of their respected state. Shouldn’t it be up them and to the people that are going to be directly impacted to decide if they want a killer roaming through their yard?
As we ponder our ever changing society and the challenges of providing public safety. The solutions to these challenges are becoming increasingly difficult for these agencies and our government to provide. It is however their sworn duties to provide these necessities and uphold our Constitution and the rights it provides us. For those that may have forgotten that is: Our right to liberty and the pursuit of happiness. So when our government decided to reintroduce a killer that for years it had sponsored the destruction of, one could only question the sanity of their decision (Wolf Reintroduction). Eleven years after the fact, it is obvious the studies and science behind releasing wolves is and was flawed.
I will concede the problems associated with wolf reintroduction to the continental United States are complex and varied. The solutions to the reintroduction problems are themselves, complex and varied. However the problems can be solved or at least addressed in a more efficient manner. The solutions vary from protecting people that have to interact with the wolves, to removal of the wolves, to protecting the wolves from wholesale slaughter. But, the first thing and possibly the most important thing that needs to be done is de-listing the wolf from endangered species list.
De-listing the gray wolf is perhaps the most important thing that needs to happen to effectively manage wolves, if management is even possible. The gray wolf has, what I like to call, amnesty from prosecution. This comes from the federal endangered species act. Basically it makes it illegal to disturb, harass or kill any animal that is on endangered species list or in the case of the re- introduced gray wolf, the experimental list (U.S. Fish). By de-listing the gray wolf, each individual state would be able to manage the wolf to best suit the needs of its residents. The government even set criteria for the de-listing of wolves with its reintroduction plan. De-listing was to come about after a population recovery of 100 wolves and 10 breeding pairs (Wolf Restoration). States that had wolves were also to develop plans management to be submitted for federal approval first (Delist). The number of wolves was reached years ago but the affected states have not pushed for de-listing until recently. This is because the policy is flawed. It calls for management plans to be the same from state to state, cohesiveness across borders (Skopeck). This is where the problem lies in that, states are there own entity and seldom do regulations flow seamlessly across borders. Heck, states can’t agree on things such as what blood alcohol content constitutes drunkenness, speed limits or where you can or cannot smoke, much less a wolf management plan that is going to cost their taxpayers millions each year. We need to change the policy to allow each state to develop its own plan. One that best suits the needs of the state and its residents.
The endangered species act needs to be revised. It supports and perpetuates a list that is more about politics than the well being of truly endangered species. The way animals are placed on the list is flawed because it does not take into account the actual numbers that exist of a species. It in fact micro manages, for instance information from Wolf Song Alaska website reports, an estimated 50,000 to 60,000 wolves roam in the wilderness, Canada, just across the US border and over 10,000 in Alaska. I know what you are thinking Alaska is the US. These are the same animals that were released in Yellowstone and Idaho. When they are in Canada and Alaska they are managed by hunting and trapping (The Canadian). They carry the title of predator. You can even defend yourself and property against wolves all year long. Let them cross the border and now they have US amnesty. Here is where the policy needs to be fixed, the US federal government lists them as endangered the second they cross the “line.” We need to change this policy to accurately designate actual endangered species and not the “flavor of the month”. Let’s not forget the border is open and the wolf can cross if he or she chooses. And remember the gray wolf is not endanger of extinction and never has been; there are just not too many in heavily populated continental US. De-listing the wolf releases the States and individuals to develop a plan to manage the burgeoning wolf population.
If de-listing or revamping the Endangered Species Act cannot be achieved then a possible consideration is fencing the wilderness areas that contain these wolves. The fencing would be an eyesore on our pristine countryside but it would ensure no unwanted interaction between man and the wolves. It could solve predation of livestock and pets. It would be expensive because it would mean thousands of miles of fence and it would need constant maintenance and repair. It is at least feasible.
De-Listing however could open the door for other possibilities. One would be the removal of all reintroduction wolves and there offspring. As Mr. Ron Gillett, chairman of the Idaho Anti-Wolf Coalition puts it, “the only way to handle Idaho’s wolves – get rid of them” (Gillett). This was an idea that was litigated in courts early on in the battle over reintroduction. It is the only action that would ensure there would be no predation of livestock and no injuries to humans or pets. I know there is some out there that say the wolf use to run wild in the mid west and should roam there again. There are also others that say that there is no documented case of death by “normal” wolves (Dierking). I say to those people, talk to Kenton Carnegie from Oshawa when you get a chance. By the way he is dead. He was killed by a pack of wolves (Mitchell). And let’s not forget the plight of the American Indian that was also there before the European settlers. So with that mentality we should return the mid-west to them also. Also let’s not forget the wolf and the Indian occupied the East, North, and South, so they also need to be reinstated with what is rightfully theirs.
Another solution is to improve the means in which ranchers, farmers or individuals are reimbursed due to wolf deprivation. Research is lacking as to the full cost of the presence of wolves. With better science being developed everyday the ability to determine cause of death should be obtainable. The only problem with this solution is the inability to determine how wolves affect livestock. As Shelly Ridenour reports a speaker at “Living with Wolves” said, “the full effect of wolves on live stock numbers is perhaps not yet completely known, in part because the best ways to measure those effects haven’t been determined” (Ridenour). This statement is quite disturbing to me. This statement coupled with fact that most wolf-killed livestock cannot be determined lends itself to another possible solution.
Possibly we should consider some sort of subsidy for ranchers or landowners. If they raise livestock or are financially affected by wolves they could be eligible. We have subsidies for many other things such as housing and food to crops and businesses. If any of these items are suitable for subsidy then certainly those affected by wolves should also be subsidized. As the policy stands as only those deaths that can be determined to be by wolf are paid (McMillion). This falls short of the actual deaths that occur due to wolf predation and as such lends its self to subsidy to ensure proper reimbursement. I think about being a rancher raising cattle and the government telling me they have researched the environmental impact of wolves before releasing them. They insist its good science to release them and now it’s over ten years later and they don’t know the effects on my livelihood. I can hear people now balking at another subsidy plan but we need to remember that the people losing money to wolves did not ask for their plight. It was forced upon them and it should be our duty to look out for those that suffer.
The federal government ultimately needs to relinquish control. The wolf has expanded way faster than scientist and federal regulators ever expected. The wolf recovery coordinator for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service says it best, “I’m eating crow, I never thought [the number of wolves] would get this high” (Bryce). This shows the shortcomings and inability of federal biologists and scientist to be able to manage or even forecast the future of wolves. It is apparent that the Federal Government doesn’t always or even sometime know what’s best. If they want to actually be effective as a governing body they need first to learn how to delegate authority. It’s time to cut the umbilical cord and let the States grow and police its own.
Bryce, Debbie. “Wolves spark debate.” Idaho State Journal. 26 Mar. 2006. 06 Apr. 2006<http://www.idahostatejournal.com>.
“Delist wolves in Idaho, Montana?.” International Wolf Center. 10 Mar. 2006. 11 Apr. 2006<http://www.wolf.org>.
Dierking, Herb. “The Big, Bad Wolf.” The Banyan. 23 Feb. 2006 <http://depts.clackmas.cc.or.us/3.1/wolf.asp>.
Gillett, Ron. “Only one way to handle Idaho’s wolves-get rid of them.” Journal Opinion. 31 Mar. 2006. 12 Apr. 2006<www.pocatelloshops.com/>.
Kanford, Brittany. “Reintroduction costs run high for all.” Daily Universe. 09 Sep. 2005. 09 Mar 2006 <http://newsnet.byu.edu/print/story.cfm/56479>.
McMillion, Scott. “The economic impact of wolves not yet known.” Bozeman Daily Chronicle. 15 Jan. 2005. 23 Mar. 2006 <http://bozemandailychronicle.com>.
Mitchell, Jeff. “Wolf attack suspected in Oshawa man’s death.” Durham Region. 11 Nov. 2005. 22 Mar 2006<http://www.durhamregion.com>.
Skopek, Tracy A. Ph.D., Robert Schuhmann, Ph.D. “Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing? State Implementation of the Gray Wolf Recovery Plan Under the Endangered Species Act.” Green Theory and Praxis 3 Mar. 2006 <http://greentheoryandpraxis.csufresno .edu>.
Smith, Jay. “Economic Impact of Wolf Reintroduction.” Hot Range. 2002. 26 Mar 2006<http://www.cnr.uidaho.edu>.
Ridenour, Shelly. “Wolf expert sees need for better methods.” The Casper Star-Tribune. 17 Mar. 2005. 07 Apr. 2006<http://www.casperstartribune.net>.
“The Canadian Wolves.” Wolf Song Alaska. 2004. 12 Apr. 2006<http://www.wolfsongalaska.org/canadian_wolves.html>.
“The Endangered Species Act of 1973.” U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service. 27 Oct. 2004. 12 Apr. 2006<http://www.fws.gov/endangerd/ESA/ESA.html>.
“Wolf Reintroduction and Recovery Timeline.” Idaho Fish and Game. 27 Mar. 2006 <http://fishandgame.Idaho.gov/cms/wildlife/wolves/timeline.cfm>.
“Wolf Restoration to Yellowstone.” Yellowstone Wolf Restoration. 23 Mar. 2006 <http://www.nps.gov/yell/nature/animals/wolf/wolfrest.html>.
Dang...that was a paper alright...good work though...interesting
HNTNBO That was was very well done.
It got me an A+ for agrade too. For the record I'm an East coast guy and I thought it was wrong from the get go. One thing I did not highlight in that paper is wolves used to roam the entire United States. So with the arguments they used for the re-introduction out west, they should also re-introduce them in every state of our great nation.