Activists Protest Killing Wolves to Boost Elk Numbers

2014-01-16T03:00:00Z Activists Protest Killing Wolves to Boost Elk NumbersBy BRIAN SMITH bsmith@magicvalley.com Twin Falls Times-News
January 16, 2014 3:00 am  • 

BOISE • Have some “grit” and stop “exterminating” Idaho’s wolves.

That was Pam Marcum’s message to Idaho Fish and Game commissioners Wednesday night.

Marcum’s charge was echoed by numerous other biologists, wildlife advocates and enthusiasts, many of whom questioned the science and ethics behind Fish and Game’s predator management plan.

Many locals complained that the commission was solely focused on boosting elk populations and keeping hunters happy instead of balancing the state’s wildlife. Some said wolves can have a positive impact on the ecosystem, despite hunters’ claims to the contrary.

“Use peer-reviewed science, not political science,” Marcum said.

Several hunters spoke in support of state wolf control. Stabe Hedges said it was upsetting to see so many people supporting an animal that harms Idaho’s economy. He advocated for increased wolf hunting opportunities.

“I personally would like to see the numbers of wolves reduced by 40 or 50 percent,” Hedges said. “I would like to see some of the elk numbers rebound. I hiked 32 miles this year before I saw a single elk, and that’s a vast difference from years gone by.”

The public comment hearing preceded today’s annual commission meeting, which was open to the public.

The commission is set to hear a legislative update and presentations from Fish and Game staff on wildlife such as elk, turkeys, chinook salmon and deer today. Later in the day, it will hear a budget preview and a report on a wildlife collision reduction project.

At 9:35 a.m., the commission is to consider approving its new elk management plan. The plan, last updated in 1999, is a guide for season-to-season management of the state’s many herds.

The plan also addresses changes in elk habitat, how growing elk populations damage crops, and how to more aggressively target predators such as bears, mountain lions and wolves.

Idaho Conservation Leauge’s John Robison said his organization is “deeply concerned” about the elk management plan and its impacts on wolves.

Robison asked for a show of hands from the audience to see who was angered by a recent pack killing at state expense in the Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness. Most people in the packed room raised their hands.

“We believe that this unprecedented public outcry about this decision should force the commission to stop and reassess its approach on wolves, wilderness and predators,” he said.

The commission also should reduce its wolf-trapping program, said Ken Cole, a National Environmental Policty Act coordinator with the Western Watersheds Project. It should require trappers to check their snares more often, he said.

“These animals should not be out there suffering for more than 72 hours,” he said.

Not so — the areas where wolf trapping is allowed should be expanded in southern Idaho, said Pat Carney, president of the Idaho Trappers Association.

“Instead of the state having to pay trappers to go in and trap these other wolves, it would be better if locals could go in and do it instead of having tax dollars pay for it,” Carney said.

The decision to kill wolves in wilderness areas doesn’t make sense “economically and ecologically,” said Jennifer Pierce, an associate professor of geosciences at Boise State University.

“As scientists who have worked in the Frank Church area for decades, the eradication of large predators from this ecosystem is potentially detrimental to all parts of the ecosystem,” she said. “Was there a science-based rationale for killing wolves in wilderness? If so, what was it?”

Copyright 2015 Twin Falls Times-News. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

(39) Comments

  1. Stopdnrtorture
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    Stopdnrtorture - August 22, 2014 6:06 am
    Hunting wolves does not help elk. Infraction it makes things worse. The wolves hunters go after are usually the biggest ones or boldest ones. The problem with this is the biggest and boldest ones are most likely alphas. Alphas keep the rest of the pack from breeding. When the alphas are shot however the rest of the wolves are free to mate. So instead of having one litter a year you could end up with five. Wolves who have lost an important part of their pack like the alpha are more aggressive and desperate. These wolves are more likely to try to take down a bull elk like many people have complained of. If there was a five to ten year stretch were people controlled themselves and didn't hunt any elk or wolves things would start to even out much more then they are now. That will probebly not happen though but we can try to protect as much wildlife as we can.
  2. Tumbleweed49
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    Tumbleweed49 - January 22, 2014 6:28 am
    gamecaller,

    That is my understanding also. The Native Gray, referred to my Lewis and Clark, were nearly extinct, they were hunted out. It is also interesting that sightings of the Native gray from competent people were documented from time to time. Some say they weren't extinct. My sources say the Canadian Gray is much bigger and would have hunted down and killed any of our Native Grays, IF there were any left. The native Grays were killed out by Ranchers/Hunters on a problem basis. Shoot, Shovel, Shut up! My Dad used to say. Your post is an interesting subject on our native Grays.
    I used to hunt until a few years ago, lost my hunting partners, Dad and brother Bill. I don't have a thing against wolf control, it's the publicity it is generating, I think BAD publicity. Maybe it is to well reported?
    As stated I don't have a thing against control. Maybe the State is right, maybe they do need to be exterminated. I take exception to the 2 million dollar hunting trip, seemingly bloodthirsty approach to the wolf, and the States education policy. I don't agree with the States approach to these three problems. But the State maybe right, I understand that. Other than that, I'm a pretty happy Senior Citizen. :) Thanks for the post on our Native Grays.
  3. Icemanfan9
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    Icemanfan9 - January 21, 2014 2:35 am
    You do realize that this lean, high-protein elk meat is rife with fat and cholesterol, right? Just like any other meat.
  4. Icemanfan9
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    Icemanfan9 - January 21, 2014 2:32 am
    Especially the slob hunters who don't want to compete with the REAL hunters of the quadruped kind.
  5. Icemanfan9
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    Icemanfan9 - January 21, 2014 2:28 am
    This "reality" you speak of is more like something out of a sci-fi/survival/horror movie. People shouldn't be letting their domesticated animals running loose. That's what the cause of the vast majority of those depredations you speak of. Speaking of which, one farmer in particular in the UP of Michigan, surname Koski, was given three guard donkeys, two of which are now dead, and a third in poor health because of his lazy approach to animal husbandry. And guess what? He's now facing animal cruelty charges. He could land in prison.
  6. Icemanfan9
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    Icemanfan9 - January 21, 2014 2:24 am
    More like out of the last Ice Age.
  7. Treehugger
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    Treehugger - January 19, 2014 6:05 pm
    Uhm... Reality, please get a bit MORE info on "carrying capacities". This term refers to the POSSIBILITY of a certain population level to survive in an area. Ungulates, managed by hunters, usually are ABOVE this "carrying capacity" and therefore have to be hunted - that's the whole reasoning behind "elk management", including winter feeding and complaints of farmers suffering crop damages. The carrying capacity for wolves depends on the ACTUAL number of ungulates available - not on POSSIBLE overpopulations of elk, deer or whatever prey animal local agencies are breeding for the hunters. In other words: The biological carrying capacity for wolves is determined by the social carrying capacity of game herds. If you have too many too big game herds, you will get" too many" wolves. If game herds shrink, for whatever reasons, wolves will either change to different prey - or move to other territories. Your "predator pit" is a MYTH.
  8. Treehugger
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    Treehugger - January 19, 2014 5:12 pm
    desertman10, the apex predator... Well, you're probably right with that statement. Humans ARE the most efficient, dangerous killer around, and most humans don't really like competition from other predators - not even if there is more than enough prey around. HOW many elk were killed by HUMANS in the past years - as compared to the number of elk predated by wolves? I dare to bet human hunters were a lot MORE successful... but of course it's the WOLVES' fault if ungulate populations decline. But, you see, there IS a problem with humans taking over the role of the apex predator: While wolves, cougars, bears or coyotes tend to concentrate their efforts on weakened prey - very young, old, injured or sick - as those animals can put up much less resistance to an attack, humans have long range rifles, even automatic ones with scopes, and much less risk and more success in hunting, and moreover prefer big, strong and healthy prey. So, instead of culling weak and sick animals, humans are taking out the BEST of the herd, preventing those from passing on their genetic material to the next generation. The effects of that, of course, take some time to show - but with enough generations they do. Did you know, for example, that deer in Central Europe used to be noticeably bigger and to have MUCH more impressive antlers only one century ago? There's even a term for it - "DEvolution", the breeding success of the small weaklings due to premature death by human hunting of that beautiful, big stag. As long as natural predation and human hunting stay balanced, so do prey populations. Take out the natural predators, as we did in Europe, and gear wildlife management exclusively to the interests of hunters and their outfitters and guards, and you end up with winter-fed overpopulations of small, measly ungulates hunters back then wouldn't have considered worth wasting a bullet on. Aside from that, frequent overgrazing by too many ungulates leads to loss in biodiversity - and that's not "just some weeds nobody's missing", that's other animals down the food chain too, including songbirds, furbearers, fish and so on. There is a reason ALL natural ecosystems come complete with predators - and why trouble is preprogrammed in removing those predators AS WELL AS in re-introducing them to an already unbalanced system. The question is, what will cause MORE trouble: To leave the forcefully removed predators out and let the system stabilize on a lower level - with less DIFFERENT lifeforms, but more of one kind, like elk or deer, OR to bring the natural predator back and hope the system will re-stabilize on the former, high level. In other words: If you want Idaho's wilderness to turn into an elk breeding farm, then go on hunting wolves down to not sustainable, in any way effective population levels. But IF you want diverse wildlife, nature and environment, the "beautiful Idaho" you used to know, instead of JUST huntable prey, you better STOP the "management by massacre" Idaho currently is conducting.
  9. Treehugger
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    Treehugger - January 19, 2014 4:28 pm
    My dear Reality22, there's absolutely no NEED to "pimp diseases" - people tipping over ecosystems by "managing" nature to their personal benefit, people poisoning and polluting air, water and soil for profit, people using the same oceans they are overfishing as big garbage dump, people changing NOTHING about their lifestyle although we know by now it is destroying the biosphere - the web of ALL life on this planet - will DO the job without negligible inconveniences like smallpox and polio. The BAD thing about it is the fact that we are about to kill pretty much ALL life along with ourselves, maybe safe for some extremophiles, so our collective suicide by civilization will not "save" nature... There MIGHT still be the chance to save ourselves and the natural environment we are used to, but for that we would have to CHANGE our ways - and that, dear IR-Reality22, would include to stop "managing" nature and wildlife only for our own, shortsighted advantage. I'm rather pessimistic concerning the survival of our civilization - or species...
  10. Treehugger
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    Treehugger - January 19, 2014 3:57 pm
    "Native" culture??? In the NATIVE cultures of the North American continent wolves usually were revered as brothers and teachers - NOT slaughtered by any means possible. What YOU are talking about is EUROPEAN heritage - the SAME heritage that made our common ancestors wipe out all big predators and some game species in Central Europe because of unbridled greed, irresponsibility and striving to dominate and CONTROL nature - and to destroy what could not be sufficiently controlled. Your "west" was built not only on hunting, but also on land robbery, genocide and slavery - do you want to revive THOSE traditions too? And, dear "gamecaller" (and probably baiter, too), people have lost their jobs, their homes and everything certainly NOT because of wolves. Have you EVER heard of this thing called "economic crisis"? Was a quite big thing, affecting the whole WORLD and not just your little piece of Idaho. A LOT of people lost jobs, homes and security pretty much EVERYWHERE - including in places without wolves to conveniently blame for all bad things. Oh, one more thing - the fact that YOU don't know too much about ecosystems, biodiversity and the effects of ungulate overpopulation does NOT really qualify you to decide about the fate of the RE-introduced wolves, by the way of the SAME species as those that HAD BEEN native to Idaho UNTIL people like you exterminated them to boost elk overpopulations.
  11. begi
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    begi - January 19, 2014 1:15 am
    All I can say is mh444 really needs to be evaluated and possibly checked into a nut house. He really has issues with debating.
  12. Reality22
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    Reality22 - January 17, 2014 11:16 am
    doodoo, your comment is the epitome of ignorance! The biological carrying capacity of deer in WI is probably at 5 MILLION deer..... the social carrying capacity is 1.7 million we now have 2.2million. You would not be able to drive in the state of WI with another 3.5 million deer running the state....you would not be able to harvest a decent corn crop in the state with another 3.5 million deer running the state. Stick to blathering about how we are "intolerant" & "haters" . You embarrass yourself with foolish comment like "social carrying capacity has nothing to do with science or a healthy, balanced environment." I shake my head once more!
  13. thundarr
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    thundarr - January 17, 2014 10:52 am
    I don't think it's a matter of tolerance. Personally, I disagreed with wolf reintroduction, but my "side" didn't in out. I can deal with that. Now, though, just like with everything else in life, there are unintended results of the actions we take. The logic that you try to use didn't tell you, evidently, that reintroducing wolves was going to cause problems, not only with people and their opinions/actions, but also for the wolves themselves as people opine/act. Whether or not the initial eradication was right or wrong, while important, seems to me to be irrelevant because that deed is already done and now we have to wade through what was intended (bringing back wolves) with what was unintended (people's feelings and actions about it).
  14. skippa
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    skippa - January 17, 2014 10:31 am
    Killing animals that have done nothing wrong, are minding their own business and exhibiting normal, natural, God given behavior is wrong, period. Your posts just show how intolerant you are of animals that, like humans, have a right to exist. I don't understand why folks like you and 22 hate Wolves so much. There is no logical reason. That is my problem I guess, I try to use logic where there is none.
  15. thundarr
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    thundarr - January 17, 2014 9:16 am
    Yup, I'm a local. What's the point? Does that mean something in particular? How do you know that viruses have had no positive value? If elk were the dominant species, the top of the food chain, maybe they would think that these things that killed millions of humans were good for herd management. In history, there have been mass near extinctions of humanity's ancestors. Where do you stand on climate change? Would a near human extinction be good for the environment and wolves, or do you want to hold onto your reign?
  16. thundarr
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    thundarr - January 17, 2014 9:08 am
    Evidently, Reality, you missed the sarcasm in my post...Let's face it...we pick and choose what is "special to us"...I just think it's funny that the ones who want to allow the wolves to "manage" our wildlife don't want us to have viruses to "manage" the human herd, so to speak. One of my heroes is an old fart mountain man friend of my family who died several years ago. He was part of the initial work to get rid of the wolves, lived in Salmon, has touched more lives than anyone I know. His comment was, "We lost alot of damn good horses getting rid of those things." Bringing them back, to me cheapens the sacrifice.
  17. Yes ma am
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    Yes ma am - January 17, 2014 8:47 am
    The same ignorant unethical idiots doing this to wolves will be the same people responsible for elk extinction. Wolves and elk are meant to coexist. The herds moving is actually a GOOD thing!
  18. skippa
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    skippa - January 17, 2014 8:33 am
    Elk in both Yellowstone and Lolo continue to decline because of habitat destruction caused by humans. IDF&G did a study of the Elk there in 2012 and Wolves were fourth on the list after Bears, weather and Coyotes. Now a bounty hunter has been hired to eliminate some of the last Wolves that live in Lolo after killing over 80% of that areas Wolf population in the last two years. Despite the fact that the scientific study done by the state showed that Wolves play a minor role in the declining Elk numbers. Arthur Middleton released a three year Elk study last year that was done on the Yellowstone herds and that also showed that Elk numbers there continue to decline because of habitat destruction. There was no mention of the predator populations having any significant impact on those herds and the Yellowstone Elk herd numbers continue to decline even though Wolf numbers in the park are at their lowest levels (about 80 Wolves) in more than a decade. Killing off the predator population and feeding the Elk in the winter (managing animals and ecosystems based solely on social carrying capacity with no regard to science or biological carrying capacity) results in over populations of ungulates and destroyed ecosystems (like Yellowstone).
  19. skippa
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    skippa - January 17, 2014 8:21 am
    Must be smoking the cheap stuff and inhaling Laurie. Sure, I want Plague brought back too!
  20. skippa
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    skippa - January 17, 2014 8:19 am
    And what is the good reason that game herds are kept at social carrying capacity? Social carrying capacity has nothing to do with science or a healthy, balanced environment. That's like saying it's OK to put a fat kid in a candy store because he likes to eat! If it isn't healthy for the kid then he shouldn't be put in the candy store, same goes with wild life species numbers. Just because it feels good doesn't mean it's OK or that we should be doing it. Keeping all animal species at their biological carrying capacity is what makes for a healthy, well functioning environment. Keeping wild life species at their social carrying capacity results in a corrupted, dysfunctional , unhealthy environment. That's Biology 101 Laurie and what you advocate for (domination and complete human control of the environment) doesn't work. History will show you that. That's why all three species of Wolves have had to be reintroduced. That is why Elk have been reintroduced twice now in Wisconsin in less than 75 years. Because managing animals based solely on what humans want doesn't work.
  21. skippa
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    skippa - January 17, 2014 8:08 am
    Perhaps you have forgotten about the 19,000 Elk who occupied Yellowstone before Wolves were reintroduced. No longer migrated, destroyed the plants by overbrowsing. If humans hadn't done everything possible to artificially boost Elk numbers in Yellowstone (by killing off predators and feeding wild animals in feed yards in the winter), Elk wouldn't have overpopulated Yellowstone and destroyed that ecosystem. The Gray wolf that was brought in from Canada is like bringing in a Black Lab where a Chocolate Lab once lived. Alittle bit different but still a dog (in this case both are Gray Wolves). Perhaps you can document how Wolves have ruined the economy in the northern Rocky Mountains? You are blowing smoke gamecaller as Wolves have been shown to increase the local economies vibrancy because of tourist dollars ($6 in tourist dollars for every $1 spent by hunters). How are animals being put before humans here. Leave the animals alone, that's all that folks like me want. Stop killing animals that have done nothing wrong. Got a problem animal, deal with it. That doesn't mean go out and seek out and kill animals that are minding their own business. Hunting for food (subsistence- fair chase) is fine but killing animals because of hatred and intolerance and for fun and recreation (sport and trophy hunting which is all that Wolf hunting is about) isn't OK anymore (it never has been). I live in Wyoming and have for over 40 years and what the state is doing to Wolves and other predators and the environment is not acceptable and needs to immediately and permanently stop!
  22. Reality22
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    Reality22 - January 17, 2014 7:12 am
    Do you want to know who the real wildlife destroyers are...... ? It's the thundarr wolf pimps that are the true anti-wildlife wackos. Here are some dirty little secrets the wolf pimps don't want you to know. Why, because its bad for the 'donate now' button.

    Minnesota has been killing over 200 trouble making wolves every year for depredation and habituation (getting into trouble)….. Yup, almost 300 last year (before the 1st hunting season) and they have been killing over 200 of the vermin for over half a decade all on the Governments dime. Keep in mind that they had estimated the population this year at only 2100 before pups were born this spring. Now….... does that sound like an animal the “manages itself”?

    Wisconsin has been spending tax dollars on wolves at a rate well above $1000 per wolf PER YEAR for depredation, depredation management & species management for at least the last two years (before the 2012) hunt. Now… does that sound like an animal that “manages itself”?

    Michigan had at least 115 domestic animals killed by wolves in 2008. If the life span of the adult wolf is 8 years at this rate over the lifespan of the wolves of Michigan 920 domestic animals would be killed and maimed (8×115). The population of wolves in Michigan in 2008 was 515 wolves….. Therefore, adult wolves in Michigan have the potential to have at least 178% on average chance of depredating on someone’s livestock or pet over its lifespan,,,,, (920/515)*100 percentage… Keep in mind that the 115 for 2008 was DOCUMENTED depredation , hence the AT LEAST Now…. does that sound like an animal that “manages itself”.
  23. Reality22
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    Reality22 - January 16, 2014 6:53 pm
    desertman10 Excellent post.... the pimping of wolves is done by bigoted people that have a hate for sportsman and ranchers. Thank you for helping putting them in their place.
  24. Reality22
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    Reality22 - January 16, 2014 6:28 pm
    skippy ..... when are you going to only talk about where wolves are saturated? The local people know that the elk herds in places like the Missouri Breaks are soaring for the local ranchers have been more excepting of those elk. They have NO wolves! But, in places like Yellowstone and Central Idaho elk herds have plummeted ...... Northern Yellowstone herd 19000 to 3921 DOCUMENTED.... Lolo Elk herd once 19000 now around 1000. (Both places are now predator pits management is needed.
  25. Reality22
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    Reality22 - January 16, 2014 6:15 pm
    The gig is up doodoo, Managing wolves to the point of predator pits is not managing them. Your wolf science JUST don't fly for anymore. We all know that game herds are kept at social carrying capacity for good reason! To keep wolves at their biological carrying capacity when game herds are kept at social carrying capacity is not management... it is wolf science! Dr Charles Kay has been totally vindicated for his 1996 paper that the likes of Jimmy Beers had so much issues with. The predator pit of Yellowstone are now longer any closer to "Natural" than it was without wolves.....
  26. Reality22
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    Reality22 - January 16, 2014 5:56 pm
    skippy..... Don't you and your ilk always complain about to much human influence...... I would think you and the other wolf pimps would be pimping smallpox and polio. It's right up your alley.
  27. gamecaller
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    gamecaller - January 16, 2014 5:22 pm
    If wolves are so valuable to the ecosystem then how did anything get by before their reintroduction? I think too if it was the NATIVE gray wolf and not the Canadian species then maybe so many people would understand things better. I say lets reintroduce dinosaurs. Maybe they were valuable to ecosystems. As a hunter seeing the amount of people who have lost jobs, lost their homes, lost everything they have due to economic influence of these animals it disturbs me. When you value an animal over human life then you all are truly messed in the head. The west was built on traditions such as hunting. If you all don't like move elsewhere and leave our native culture alone!
  28. skippa
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    skippa - January 16, 2014 2:42 pm
    And Elk numbers have continually been going up (over 45%) in the northern Rocky Mountains since Wolves were reintroduced - source RMEF. What's your beef with predators?
  29. skippa
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    skippa - January 16, 2014 2:40 pm
    Humans exterminated Wolves and they are a necessary and valuable ecological resource. What facts and science do you (or IDF&G) have that shows Predator Derbies, Bounty Hunters and shooting and trapping pups and pregnant females year 'round is nothing more than brutal, archaic, destruction of native wild life species and the environment?
  30. skippa
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    skippa - January 16, 2014 2:35 pm
    Must be a local. It appears that you are equating Wolves with viruses that have killed millions of humans and have no positive use or value. Wolves have been shown to be a positive influence in every environment that they inhabit, something that can't be said about smallpox, polio and humans.
  31. skippa
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    skippa - January 16, 2014 2:31 pm
    There were less than 250 Gray Wolves left in the lower 48 states when Wolves were placed on ESA in 1974. After that took place both Red Wolves and Mexican Wolves were declared biologically extinct in the wild in 1983. Today, after 20 years of reintroduction, there are less than 75 Red and 75 Mexican Wolves in the wild and both subspecies suffer more than a 90% human mortality rate in the wild (even though both species are protected and are not allowed to be hunted or killed). Gray Wolves in the lower 48 states suffer more than a 75% human mortality rate currently. If a Federal judge hadn't stopped the shooting of Wolves from airplanes in Superior National Forest in Minnesota in 1964 all Gray Wolves in the lower 48 states would have been lost. Taxpayers and voters (the large majority) want balanced, healthy ecosystems that contain a natural balance of all wild life and plant species. Local wild life management policies are based almost completely on social tolerance and politics and lack much current, fact based science. Hatred and intolerance by humans, which is based entirely on myths, legends and superstition and not on current, fact based science is the only reason Wolves are having any problems with survival. That is why pups and pregnant female Wolves are shot and trapped year 'round in Idaho and Wyoming while Elk are fed in the winter time in feed lots. Wild life management practices that are right out of the Stone Age.
  32. desertman10
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    desertman10 - January 16, 2014 1:27 pm
    The biggest detriment to your argument is that you can't engage in a rational debate without attacking a person's character. You do disservice to the cause you represent.

    Here's a little friendly advice: It's better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and remove all doubt.

    That fact is, I love wildlife. I love to see it. I love to hear it. I also love to responsibly and ethically harvest lean, high-protein elk meat.

    I intend to do everything in my power to insure that my children enjoy the same great experiences that my ancestors and I have enjoyed as Idahoans for generations.

    I am the apex predator.
  33. desertman10
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    desertman10 - January 16, 2014 1:06 pm
    That is some very interesting research, although I don't think it applies to the situation in Idaho very much.

    The elk populations in Idaho were managed successfully by the Fish & Game through controlled hunts for decades prior to the reintroduction of the wolves.

    Hunting is prohibited in Yellowstone, so the elk herds were left to run amok.
  34. skippa
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    skippa - January 16, 2014 12:38 pm
    Idaho, Montana and Wyoming manage their wild life species based almost completely on social tolerance and politics. There appears to be little if any current, fact based science used when wild life management decisions are being made at the local level. Allowing Predator Derbies and Bounty Hunters are two examples of management practices that are used that have no scientific backing. Managing the state's wild life populations on a species by species basis, with no consideration as to how these species interact and effect each other and the environments that they live in is further evidence of the lack of science based wild life management. These, and many other reasons, are why wild life management policies should be made at the federal level and not the local level. Local attitudes and management policies have remained the same for the last 100 plus years and that is not fair or reasonable to the animals involved or the environment.
  35. beans4u
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    beans4u - January 16, 2014 12:16 pm
    Obviously, wolves were not endangered when they were "reintroduced". Otherwise there would not have been legal hunting of them in Alaska and Canada. Even, horror of horrors, from aircraft. I heard a wildlife biologist tell some school children that caribou are endangered. When questioned, he admitted that he was referring to Idaho. Next they will tell us that coyotes are endangered (in NY City).
  36. SKC_ID
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    SKC_ID - January 16, 2014 11:44 am
    I don't know if you would consider this to be science-based rationale, but it is very enlightening:
    http://www.pbs.org/wnet/nature/episodes/in-the-valley-of-the-wolves/reintroduction-of-the-wolves/213/
  37. thundarr
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    thundarr - January 16, 2014 11:19 am
    Personally, I feel that we are doing the smallpox and polio viruses a huge disservice by trying to eradicate them. I think we should lead a charge to reintroduce these viruses to the world. They can help manage wildlife by being native predators. Anyone who disagrees with me is obviously an anti-wildlife wackos, anti-wildlife terrorists, and destroyers of wildlife.
  38. Olin Gardner
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    Olin Gardner - January 16, 2014 10:50 am
    I believe there is something wrong with mh444 and that person should not be able to post on this subject. A person who can only resort to ugly name calling, who is disrespectful and who can only insult without using the facts and who is anonymous should not have such a loud voice in this matter. Who in their right mind would say those things. You mh444 are the radical.
  39. desertman10
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    desertman10 - January 16, 2014 9:50 am
    Was there a science-based rationale for REINTRODUCING wolves in wilderness? If so, what was it?

    Pro-wolf groups keep talking about the danger of altering the ecosystem of Idaho's wilderness by reducing wolf populations. Where were they when the decision to reintroduce the wolf was made. Talk about altering the ecosystem!

    The only thing that the Fish and Game, and the majority of Idahoans want to do is unravel the devastating impact that the wolves have had on the rest of Idaho's wildlife, as well as the economy. Indeed, the vast majority of us much prefer the image of a herd of elk over that of a mangy pack of dogs.

    Many Idahoans, myself included, have come to terms with the fact that the wolves are probably here to stay. Fish & Game should be commended for taking a proactive approach at getting the wolf problem under control.

    In the end, it comes as no surprise that we see such vitriol and hate speech coming from the pro-wolf camp. I think it is human nature to resort to personal attacks when you are up against an opponent with things like facts and science on their side.

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