In the West, a Fierce Battle Over Wolves. By Kirk Johnson. New York Times.
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Most of the focus has been on Wyoming. So far 3 illegal killings of wolves in east central and eastern Idaho have been detected.

 
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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.

21 Responses to NYT: In the West, a Fierce Battle Over Wolves

  1. avatar vicki says:

    Mr. Bair is full of , well he’s full of it…
    I am concerned about wolves, and I have no desire to see hunting ended. I, like a lot of people, realize that hunters are an important part of conservation. They contribute monetarily, and play a key roll in species maintenance.

    This is the type of blatantly false propoganda that is used to turn hunters against wolves. It was an out right attempt to sway hunters.

    This man obviously doesn’t get cold at night, he’s full of enough hot air to warm the artic.

  2. avatar vicki says:

    Clarification…. I am 100% opposed to hunting wolves as vermin. When the time comes to hunt wolves… which is in no way NOW, they should be hunted as a trophy species. I wouldn’t hunt them, but there are those that would. I am not an anti-hunting advocate…I have no issue with true sportsmen. I do, however, take issue with killing anything just because you can.

  3. avatar JEFF E says:

    I believe this is the first I have heard of Mr. Bair. Is this where BW and Nate Helm gets their marching orders from?

  4. avatar Mack P. Bray says:

    I think John Bair is out of Some Sportsmen for Some Fish and All The Big Game and Predators We Can Legally Kill of Utah. Bob Wharff and Nate Helm probably get their marching orders from Don Peay, the founder.

    A few quotes from Peay – http://newsnet.byu.edu/story.cfm/56452

    “The return of wolves is the No. 1 issue facing sportsmen in the west,” Peay said.

    “I used to hunt up there (Idaho and Wyoming),” he said. “But now with the wolves, I’m not going there anymore. Ecosystem balance is one of those Walt Disney myths.”

    …Peay sees the wolves as a disease to Utah’s wildlife, one that the state Fish and Game won’t be able to control.

    “Why would you introduce aids into the society if you can’t control it,” he said. “Where Utah should spend its money is protecting what it has, not bringing in one more species to break the camel’s back.”

  5. avatar Brian Ertz says:

    “My opinion is that they don’t really care about the number of wolves — they care about the political advantage,” said Mr. Bair, referring to the environmental groups. “The wolf is their silver bullet to do away with ranching and sport-hunting, which they oppose. That’s what this is about.”

    Ranching and sport-hunting is their silver bullet to do away with wolves and other wildlife. Better yet, the vilification of wolves is their red herring to distract the populist ranching and hunting community from the realization that industry is raping and pillaging the natural world ~ of which their interest is as dependent as ours.

  6. avatar JEFF E says:

    Not to mention the Sportsmen for (some) Fish and (some)Wildlife agenda to privatize hunting much the same as in most European countries, in my opinion.

  7. avatar Chuck says:

    What I find funny is that the anti wolf people claim that any of the pro wolf people are anti hunting and that they are are whako enviro’s. I have never once had anyone on this board tell me I should not be hunting or that hunting is wrong. I enjoy hunting, it puts meat on the table for my family, its gets me out in the mountains and away from the every day rat race. Everyone on this board (there are a couple exceptions) is concerned for all the enjustices against wildlife. Yes we all agree that all the wildlife needs to be managed, but at what degree do we manage them??
    We all agree that the more humans encroach on the animals territories the more interactions will happen. Before the humans came along, all this land belonged to the animals. Heck I would love to have grizzly bears roaming their native territory, but do you think they will every re-introduce the grizzly bear back to its native territory?? We also all agree that livestock need to be taken off public lands, its high time that grazing livestock on public land stops. But where does one begin?? the wolves need help, the buffalo need help, the cutthroats trout need help, the polar bear needs help. ok…enough of my rambling.

  8. avatar Rick Hammel says:

    Chuck, my friend, ramble on. You have brought out some very salient points. When I have to travel to the Los Angeles area, frequently, I hear about wildlife (cougars, coyotes, black bears) being shot by police, because the animal is in a residential area. No one from Fish and Game is present to deal with the animal in a professional manner. The police just shoot it.

    Back to wolves: It is good to see the NYT doing an article on wolves. It finally brings national attention to the plight of the wolf. Perhaps some attention will finally get directed towards the true problem: the livestock industry’s control of the various state wildlife manangement agencies.

    Rick

  9. avatar Don Riley says:

    “Meholchick said he sees a definite change of pattern in elk migration, making hunting more challenging,” Idaho Outfitter.

    This is refrain is becoming more and more common. I guess, to some, if you can no longer run up to the north 40 on Saturday morning, get your elk and be home by 2 for the UW football game, then wolves have destroyed the hunting.

    But, give Meholchick credit for understanding what is happening in some areas and not claiming the wolves have killed all the elk. There is a change in elk behavior in general, not just migration patterns. I believe a lot of it is attributable to the wolf reintroduction. It is particularly noticeable in the Spring. We don’t see the large groups of soon to be mammas forming up in the nurseries. A lot of single cows back in the woods, birthing and nursing alone. We have seen a lot of that in Yellowstone as well.

    I think behavior modification is a good thing even if some hunters miss the ball game.

  10. avatar Hal 9000 says:

    Yes, the loudest voices on the extreme ends of this issue want to pidgeonhole people.

    Case in point, some try to say if you’re for wolves, you must be anti-hunting. B.S. I was raised in a hunting household. I’ve hunted ever since I was old enough to, and plann to keep hunting until I’m too old to do so –which with any luck, should be around age 80 or so.

    And I was thrilled as a kid at Christmas when I heard they were bringing the wolves back.

    I agree with Vicki on the wolf hunting thing. Even though I don’t want to do it myself, I have no problem with guys who want to get out there on a real, honest fair-chase hunt for wolves. What a challenge that would be.

    Some of what we’ve been seeing in Wyoming — guys chasing wolves down on snowmobiles or just using the elk farms (feed grounds) as wolf-bait stations — really ticks me off. Wolves aren’t vermin. And even animals we should consider “vermin” — like rats or mice, deserve more respect than that.

  11. avatar Hal 9000 says:

    Is there any way to comment on that NWT article? I really want to get it out that Mr. Blair and SWF do NOT speak for all hunters. They most certainly do not speak for me.

  12. avatar vicki says:

    Hal 9000,
    I am not sure, you can try to lonk to the Times, and see if they have an area for reply on their electronic edition.
    Otherwise, you could write a letter to the editor, good luck.

  13. avatar Susan Rediger-Blackburn says:

    God only knows what or who lives in Central park. I have been to eatery ON the Green (very nice) but might be the only safe place there. Maybe the could use a couple of our wonderful creatures. Lord knows New York could use a dusting and cleaning. When did he get his numbers!!!!

  14. avatar Hal 9000 says:

    I don’t know what any of this has to do with Central Park. Unless that is another rendition of the old “indroduce wolves to Central Park” joke that was worn out in … ummm… about 1997.

    Anyhow, if I went there, I might see a New York lady or three who would make me want to let out a wolf-whistle. Would that count?

    Vicki.. they linked that article to the “howling over federal plan to expand wolf killing” blog on the Dot Earth section… so I left my comments there. I hope SWF reads them. (Ha, ha.)

  15. avatar Susan Rediger-Blackburn says:

    Hal 9000 ,
    sharp as a tack. Its call sarcasm. Its a tension reliever. Like black or dark humor. I am sure women just loved to be whistled at (NOT). Take a deep breath and SMILE. Jeez!

  16. avatar C. Walton says:

    Well, I am glad you feel better. But seriously, that whole “if restoring wolves to wild areas is a good idea, why don’t we release them in the middle of New York City?” is seriously played out. And it never made any sense in the first place.

  17. avatar HAL 9000 says:

    Susan… yes, mine was sarcasm too. Whistling at women is not only rude and crass — in NYC, it would probably get me shot.

  18. avatar Susan Rediger-Blackburn says:

    O.K. MEN. Lets move on. I bit stereo typical don’t you think HAL 9000. Just like all hunters or people from WY DON’T want wolves. Come on now. I stick my Name and neck out there for the love of wild. Yet I also have a word called empathy for my town, Ranchers and all those I think some are trying to LABEL. Action + EDucation= Results. What have you done lately for Mankind. That is the real question (HAL 9000 its not all about you). I mean this OPINION that I have and am pretty darn have the right to voice without sarcasm or put downs.

  19. avatar HAL 9000 says:

    Jimminy Crickets… I was being cheeky. Sorry, I thought this was about having a sense of humor and all that.

    I agree, ranchers are people too.

  20. avatar Susan Rediger-Blackburn says:

    Hal 9000 Truce. Peace out my man. Love to all 🙂

  21. avatar jimbob says:

    On your points about anti-hunting, I think many people on both sides are too emotional about these issues. Two issues: one is the personification of the animals—I definitely do not agree with that. Hunting should be allowed, but should never be a reason to artificially boost populations in an ecosystem. The second issue is I was taught that the only reason to EVER hunt was to eat. How many wolf killers are eating the animal? To shoot and not eat is true waste and barbarism. It is the lowest common denominator of ignorance. Our population is too large for “trophy hunting”.

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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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