For wildlife there are few appointments as important as the commissioners of Fish and Game, Game and Fish, Wildlife, or Wildlife and Parks, and various other names in states.

Too often those people have no formal training or experience in what they will be overseeing. They tend to be “good ol boys and gals” instead. Sinapu reports a hopeful change in Colorado.

New Colorado Wildlife Commissioners bring hope for conservation. Wild Again

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About The Author

Ralph Maughan

Dr. Ralph Maughan is professor emeritus of political science at Idaho State University with specialties in natural resource politics, public opinion, interest groups, political parties, voting and elections. Aside from academic publications, he is author or co-author of three hiking/backpacking guides, and he is President of the Western Watersheds Project.

10 Responses to New Colorado Wildlife Commissioners bring hope for conservation

  1. avatar Chad says:

    Finally, Colorado is relying on scientific expertise rather than political savvy.

  2. avatar Rick Hammel says:

    Finally, we have wildlife commissioners that care about conservation!! Too often in the past, they only wanted to maximize hunting. At least, Governor Ritter is moving in the proper direction.

  3. avatar Vicki says:

    Governor Ritter is on his way to becoming one of the few honest politicians. He is trying to keep campaign promises, and it is great. He may not have all of the answers, but he is trying to find them.

  4. avatar Renae says:

    Governor Ritter is on his way to destroying the human population.Scientific Expertise? NOOOO Scientific LIES!! If this earth did not need everything that GOD gave it to survive he would not of put them here!!! You are treating the vegetation that grows here like your garden.IT IS ALL LIVING CREATURES GARDEN!!!! Lots conservative peoples website wildlife links lead to Predators and they are not the only wildlife here.They are also getting away with lying about the way a wolf behaves. Here is a link that shows you proven wolf kills. Notice how many Pictures have no bones showing. A pack of wolves must not eat much.Its not pretty ugly.Oh and did you hear wolves only kill to eat. http://www.propertyrightsresearch.org/2004/articles11/my_official_oregon_wolf.htm

  5. avatar DV says:

    Renae,

    I find it interesting how your personality changes on this website – that being something of a reasonable rancher who likes wolves but struggles to survive – to a total rabid anti-wolf person on the Casper newspaper message boards.

    Wolves do occassionally kill more then they can eat. The reasons for this are unclear, but the theories are these:

    1. Wolves are caching food for later use. Sort of like how humans use a refrigerator.
    2. Wolves use an easy opportunity for a kill to train young wolves how to hunt. Hunting is a learned skill.
    3. Wolves – like dogs – have a natural chase instinct that OCCASSIONALLY leads to additional kills.

    Wolves are not gods, but they are far from the devils that they have been made out to be for milleniums. In the early part of this century trappers used to put fish hooks in poisoned meat by dens. When pups ate the meat, they would try to pull away which would rip out their stomachs. Not exactly humane, and definitely not necessary. After WWII returning soldiers used to hunt wolves in Minnesota, refering to them as NAZI’s.

    What you see now is the reverse of the pendulum – the wolf as god information – Farley Mowatt’s movie and book Never Cry Wolf was, for the most part accurate, although I think it’s safe to say wolves don’t just eat mice to survive!

    From what I have researched – and it’s been quite a bit – wolves lie somewhere in between. Closer to the Farley Mowatt model by far then the image ranchers in the late 1800’s had of them, but I suppose by human standards, not perfect.

    Yet who are we to judge. Humans are far from a perfect species. We kill each other by the millions in wars, we are unfaithful to our families, we manipulate, we harm the planet, etc. Yet we get all high and mighty when a wolf kills a few deer more than they can eat?

    Another thought. Perhaps the wolves make a kill but then someone chases them off, takes a photo, and posts it on the web “proving” how wolves don’t eat what they kill.

    By the way, as a rancher, have you heard of the new research regarding ways to keep wolves off your land? By implementing a stereo howling system, farmers in Europe have successfully prevented wolves from attacking livestock. Wolves are territorial, and howling is the way wolves communicate to other packs: “STAY OUT.” In theory, this technology should work for ranchers too. Perhaps Ralph could get you more info…it’s very much in its early stages but early reports look promising.

    Cheers – DV

  6. avatar Vicki says:

    Renae, I live in Colorado. I voted in this past election. I voted for a Governor who cared about the environment, as a whole. He is committing to cleaner air, and a cleaner environment. He never bashed ranchers, to my knowledge. And if he keeps his promises, he’ll bring jobs and cleaner energy to Colorado. I know somepeople have questions about the environmental advantages of ethanol, but atleast he’s trying to change something. I’m sorry you don’t see that as a good thing, but I hope my kids can grow up in a world with more promise and a healthier environment. Everyone is effected (even cattle) by the environment.
    DV, that is truly interesting… howling sounds. Inovative! I’ll be curious to hear more about the results of that research.
    Thanks.

  7. avatar elkhunter says:

    We howl for coyotes. Which I imagine it works the same fo rwolves. Usually when you howl, the idea is that you are trying to scare the other wolf/coyote off, so most often than not, they will come to the sound to protect their territory, unless obviously a very timid wolf/wolf pack, but mostly when you howl you are trying to trigger an aggressive response, whether its protecting denning areas, hunting areas, so I dont think that would really be effective, plus wolves would probably be very curious as to who this new wolf was, and that might attract them. That has been my experience, it might be different in Europe though.

  8. avatar Vicki says:

    You howl for coyoyes? I thought it was much more coomon to use varmit calls… ? (Which sound like injured rabbits.) And it usualy only brings in one coyote, or atleast that’s how I remember it. Wouldn’t this then be kind of different in theory? If a wolf did come to the howls, they’d find people and they don’t seek human contact. I am still optomistic.

  9. avatar Vicki says:

    Opps, My spelling and typing are terrible. Coyoyes… geez. I eant coyotes.

  10. avatar DV says:

    Apparently there are different kinds of howls. Some wolf howls are calling howls, some are defensive howls, some are territorial howls. The key is to discern the right one and play back the right one. Which is where the people who study wolves come in.

    Just like not all human voices are the same, neither are all wolf howls.

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‎"At some point we must draw a line across the ground of our home and our being, drive a spear into the land and say to the bulldozers, earthmovers, government and corporations, “thus far and no further.” If we do not, we shall later feel, instead of pride, the regret of Thoreau, that good but overly-bookish man, who wrote, near the end of his life, “If I repent of anything it is likely to be my good behaviour."

~ Edward Abbey

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