Skip to comments.As wolves approach central Oregon, a debate ensues
Posted on 01/08/2012 2:41:51 PM PST by jazusamo
BEND, Ore. As wolves spread into Central Oregon, advocates and opponents continue to debate their value. Some say the animals, eradicated from the state decades ago, will help bring the ecosystem into better balance. Others argue the predators were eliminated for good reason.
Since wolves wandered into Oregon from Idaho in 2008, the state has spent about $800,000 to manage them, according to an Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife report. That sum will grow by at least a half million dollars over the next couple of years, and the spending could escalate as the number of wolves roaming the state continues to grow.
For wolf supporters, having the animals back in the state's biological fold justifies such costs. For critics, the expenses come in addition to the damage they say the animals are doing to the state's livestock and wildlife.
In evaluating the benefit of wolves in an ecosystem, Bill Ripple, a professor of forest ecosystems and society at Oregon State University, is focusing on streamside plants in Yellowstone National Park. There are about 100 wolves in the park and, as in Idaho, they've been back for a decade and a half.
"Yellowstone seems like a different place than it was before wolves returned in 1995," he said.
The major difference is the resurgence of aspen, willows and cottonwoods along the park's rivers and streams, he said.
Elk regularly munch saplings, Riddle said. And without wolves to keep them in check, the elk devoured most of the young streamside trees.
Now that wolves are back, Ripple said, they've reduced the elk population and trained those that remain to exercise more caution. As a result, elk spend less time snacking on young trees along the park's creeks...
(Excerpt) Read more at therepublic.com ...
Ambitions of a natural balance are based on a land devoid of humans, Allen said, but because there are millions of people here it is up to them to manage animals like wolves.
Well said by Kash.
Hunters manage deer, elk and moose on lands beside National Parks, we don't need wolves to manage them.
Dress them up in sheep’s clothing and they become electable.
Yep, in OR & WA their numbers are still small and it would be effective.
My uncle told me he kind of wanted wolves to move into his area. "I've never shot a wolf before..."
I’m sure the farmers and hunters would be happy to pay a bounty/liscence fee.
Yep, wolves have done a number on elk in Idaho. I hope they can turn that around with the wolf hunts, a year long season would help.
My exact thought too. Wait till wolves move down into the wilderness of the Sierra Nevada range in California. You will see a lot less eco-type backpackers there.
One of my State Senators sent me this map after I reported a wolf in my back yard about a month ago. Wisconsin has 800 identified wolves at large. When the DNR announced that they were releasing wolves here several years ago, their goal was to achieve 100 animals total. The wolves have decimated deer hunting in the northern part of the state.
I understand that wolves have ancillary benefits to ecosystems, but really, what kind of moron would actually support their introduction into one?
“”As wolves approach central Oregon, a debate ensues”””
The only debate should be what kind of vegetable do you serve with wolf steak.
It would be better to return the wolves to Portland, Seattle, and San Francisco.
Rats with fangs...
Only if they join the democrat party...
Great point and right on the money!
Thanks for the link.
That 100 wolves sounds a lot like the original target for wolves in the Northern Rockies except the number was 300. Now the numbers are well over 1500 and the enviros still want them protected.
No, something much more dangerous to all of us, enviro-nazi activists.
If Oregon would start capturing and relocating all the wolves into Portland, Salem, and Eugene, this discussion would soon be finished.
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