Skip to comments.Wolves creating more headaches (Realistic article on wolf reintroduction)
Posted on 02/12/2010 12:30:10 PM PST by jazusamo
Nothing the National Park Service (NPS) proposes ever surprises me, and neither did this latest article published in the February issue of BioScience magazine, which NPS researchers foster reintroducing wolves at many sites across the country.
Dan Licht, NPS biologist for the Northern Plains Region led a team of five researchers who authored the paper published in BioScience. He is quoted by the Associated Press as saying, If theres lots of food, theyre happy an intensively managed dozen, ten (wolves) we think that is doable with todays technology.
Licht predicts that wolves could become stewards in keeping game numbers down in areas as small as 15 square miles, apparently dismissing the reality that wolves range over hundreds of square miles and are impossible to contain to such a small area. This hare-brained scheme is in response to overpopulation of deer and elk in many national parks.
A more reasonable solution is to set aside the NPS phobia about hunting, then sell hunting licenses and allow limited numbers of hunters to reduce deer and elk populations in national parks where needed. That has been the design of the North American Model of Wildlife Management for more than a century, but the rationality of it still escapes most NPS administrators and biologists.
The last I learned, NPS still is dragging its feet in allowing hunting in Theodore National Park in western North Dakota where an elk herd of almost 1,000 animals needs to be reduced. Instead, NPS is leaning toward volunteer shooters, rather than hunters, to do the job.
Similarly, at Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado NPS last year enlisted paid and volunteer shooters to kill 33 elk. No plans thus far to allow the license-buying public to hunt within the hallowed boundaries of the park.
Wolves have been a controversy ever since they were re-introduced into Yellowstone National Park and the Sawtooth Mountains of Idaho in the mid-1990s. Some 1,650 wolves roam the country in Wyoming, Montana and Idaho even after federal wildlife agents and landowners defending their livestock killed about 1,200 since 1995. (I have described in a previous column how wolves have essentially eliminated the late season Gardiner hunt in Montana, and have reduced big game populations wherever they have spread.)
Ed Bangs, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service biologist who has lead the Northern Rockies wolf restoration program since its inception said it best: Wolves fix very few problems compared to the ones they create.
Currently, the states of Idaho and Utah want wolves to disappear. One lawmaker in Utah, for example, has said he wants the wolves removed by the federal government. The State of Wyoming has not been receptive to establishment of wolf populations but is relatively powerless to buck the federal government.
The State of Montana held a wolf hunting season last year where 70-plus wolves were taken by licensed hunters, but the state is bracing for a decision this spring by District Judge Donald Molloy in Missoula who has given every indication that he is ready to shut down any future wolf hunting.
On a brighter note, gaining public acceptance to willy-nilly wolf reintroductions in national parks and on other public lands, designed to replace hunters, faces enormous disproval from the public. Licht tells the AP that the idea needs a few years to germinate. Right now were starting the dialogue, he told the AP.
Lets hope dialogue is as far as this brainless idea goes.
Shoot, shovel, and shut up.
I think wolves should be introduced to liberal enclaves all over this country.
Just one more starry-eyed, pie in the sky scheme gone wrong. We’ll be much better off when these types are denied the right to “save the animals” and managing the animals is left to attrition by hunting.
Agreed, there are plenty of wolves in Alaska and Canada, they’re definitely not endangered or threatened so keep them the heck out of the lower 48.
Nature will take care of itself, it recovered from the loss of the dinosuar and many other species. It has survived ice ages and real warming, floods and freezes and it still goes on, but mankind, nowadays think that they are the creators of the universe and that they can fix it.
I see. I didn't realize the National Park Service was rolling in money to be able to turn its back on the revenue provided by lawful hunters.
Thanks for the ping.
Yep, the Canadian Gray wolf is almost twice the size of the indigenous wolves of the lower 48.
I agree with you on the purpose of reintroducing them, animal rights and enviro nazis are using them to stop hunting.
It is insanity on the part of the NPS. They could make thinning a profitable endeavor but choose to use taxpayer dollars to manage wildlife.
It's a moral purity thing for them.
Wolves kill & eat stuff = good.
People doing same thing = bad.
I haven’t heard much about the Lobos in New Mexico, but they don’t seem to be making a dent in the elk herds where I hunt. That’s fine with me.
—yep—Central Park, NYC needs not only a good sized pack of wolves, but a breeding population of grizzly bears—should help with the crime problem, too—
I was talking with a buddy who was snow-mobiling up near Lake Manitoba and he said he came across a pack of huge gray wolves. He has spend countless time in that area and had never seen them that far down before.
To be effective, you need expensive heli-time, good fresh snow, and a governor who doesn't care what the wolf luvers think. You can count on Palin to do the right thing.
The enviro nazis down there have been making noise lately about there only being forty some Mexican Gray wolves left in AZ and NM. They want to build up the numbers but I believe it’ll be an uphill battle.
It’s a shame the feds and states don’t drop the protection of them and let nature and man take it’s course.
The male Canadian Grays are huge and get up to 140 lbs, three or four of them can take most anything down.
We had 9 wolves in our city mountain park. Back in one of the heavy December snows, a tree fell and crushed the double fences of the wolf enclosure.
Eight escaped. Six returned quickly but two were gone for several weeks and the park was closed. One returned. The park reopened
The other is still gone. I suspect he went down the mountain into the Army ammunition plant that is home to hundreds of deer and even some transplanted wild horses.
Thanks, I hear you and good for Sarah Palin.
That thinning I was talking about in that post was for the elk that the NPS won’t let hunters in to hunt. I know it’s a problem thinning wolves because they get gun shy in a hurry. I personally think the states should treat wolves as they do coyotes, open season year round and no tags required, that’d keep them in check in the lower 48.
Thanks, I read about that. It’s amazing how most came right back, I guess they get accustomed to their environment.
The rule of thumb by F&G up here is every single wolf takes 6 moose every year. We have 15,000 to 20,000 in Ak; 100,000 moose every year; then start thinking about the caribou & sheep. In Sweden they harvest 250,000 moose/year, only have 2-3 small packs way up north and the people up there want them ones killed off. We don't harvest 50,000 moose in Ak, dang wolves have alot to do with it too.
You'll see small packs of 4-5 wolves explode to 30 animals; then elk pops will collapse down your way. Got to keep them under control, very hard to achieve.
I believe every word of that and ID, WY and MT are starting to find that out. Wolves are just beginning to establish themselves in WA and OR, it’s a shame they can’t be stopped now while it would be easy.
Every time I read another article about lower numbers of wildlife and livestock predation by wolves I shake my head.
The enviros scream and yell and reach a little deeper in their pockets for money they’ve ripped off from people with their sham slogans and money drives to file another one or two or ten lawsuits.
They have sympathetic federal judges that consider themselves experts when in fact they’re enviro nazis themselves. Those judges and the enviro nuts will have large pops of wolves they can go out and view every year or two while the people who live there have to deal with them daily. It’s criminal, IMO.
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