Carter Niemeyer is on a speaking tour in California. He is giving his usual clear eyed views based on his many years working with ranchers, Wildlife Services, managing the wolves of Idaho for the United States government, and meeting and working with wolf conservationists. He always tries to bring facts and reason to this contentious issue. Of course most folks know that California now has its first known wolf in many years — a long distance migrant from Oregon who has been named “Journey.”  Interest is intense.

It seems like every time I hear Niemeyer speak, or read of a talk he has given, I learn something new.

The other day he spoke in Yreka, California. The talk, followed by a lengthy Q and A period, was covered by a blog which I was not aware. Carter Holds Court at Miner’s Inn in Yreka. Wolves and Writing. Writing inspired by wolves and other sentient beings.

 
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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.

28 Responses to Niemeyer on wolves in California road trip

  1. avatar Immer Treue says:

    Carter,

    Keep fighting the good fight. You tell it like it is. Wolves truly are not as good as some say, nor are they as bad as what the opposing side says. Education is the key.

    • avatar Mike says:

      ++Carter,

      Keep fighting the good fight. You tell it like it is. Wolves truly are not as good as some say,++

      Strange. All living things are inherently good and serve a purpose to the ecosystem.

      A little bit of false equivalency going on here.

      • avatar jb says:

        All living things in a system likely have some impact on a system-whether that impact is interpreted as good or bad is a matter of perspective. I can assure you that Asian carp are not well regarded in the great lakes, for example.

        • avatar Mike says:

          Asian carp didn’t make themselves “bad”. They were imported by folks looking to exploit them. They just made the best of the opportunity. 😉

          • avatar JB says:

            Mike:

            I’m afraid you’ve missed my point entirely. I wasn’t trying to assert that Asian carp are necessarily bad; rather, that your assertion that “all species are inherently good” is nonsensical. What is good or bad is a matter of perspective; it is a subjective judgment of the value of an object or entity relative to one’s purpose. Thus, Jim Thompson noted that a weed was merely “a plant out of place”. Likewise, a pest or invasive species is merely an organism that we deem to be out of place (and therefore, “bad” in that particular context).

            I would also point out that the property of “goodness” is not inherent because notions of good and bad are ultimately human constructs–there is no good or bad without a person to assign such a label; thus, the property cannot be said to be inherent or intrinsic (because it doesn’t exist without a person to make such a value judgment).

            And yes, Asian carp have made the best of the opportunity given them, which most generally agree has been bad human pursuits and other species in a variety of Midwest watersheds.

            • avatar Harley says:

              You know which fish I find particularly ‘bad’? The snakehead. Nasty fish! Would not want to run across one of those.
              Another ‘bad’ thing are those pesky mosquitoes! Now that’s ‘bad’! Man, I hate those things! And you can toss in tics into that category of ‘bad’ too!

              Belated condolences for the Wings early exit from the playoffs JB. We were in the same boat this year!

            • avatar Mike says:

              JB –

              It’s a philosophical issue at this point. All life evolved together. Individual pieces perceived as good or bad by some doesn’t matter in this context.

              What matters is that life exists, and that key kernel, that first seed, is inherently good from our perspective because life is simply not possible without it. And if this is the case, well…you get the idea.

              Existence is good. I’m sure that’s a judgement value we can all agree on. 😉

              I go into these issues quite a bit in my latest book.

            • avatar Elk275 says:

              MIke

              What is the name of your latest book and where can one buy it?

            • avatar JB says:

              “It’s a philosophical issue at this point.”

              On that point we agree entirely.

              “What matters is that life exists, and that key kernel, that first seed, is inherently good from our perspective because life is simply not possible without it.”

              That’s a tautological argument. We can certainly agree that “life” is good insomuch as it allows you and I to exist. What I disagree with is the notion that such “goodness” is inherent for the reasons I’ve outlined above.

      • avatar Immer Treue says:

        Mike,

        Did you actually read the Niemeyer quote? I’m in complete agreement with what Carter said, and if you quote me, put in the whole damn quote. If you have the balls take it up with Carter.

        As one who says he has contributed to this blog for so long, you have learned absolutely nothing from those with whom you have corresponded. You are both sanctimonious and condescending and are the true wolf advocates worse nightmare. It makes more sense trying to communicate with the folks at B-cubed than with you.

        Jonathon Swift has you pegged,

        “It is with narrow-souled people as with narrow-necked bottles: the less they have in them, the more noise they make in pouring it out.”

        I usually save that for one of my favorite antis, but you hit a nerve man. Your content is nothing short of lint, and I’ll leave it at that.

        • avatar WM says:

          Immer,

          Though we on occasion disagree, you echo my sentiments with precision and accuracy.

          _____

          Mikey, there is a lesson here..
          ….gurgle..glug..glub..glug…poooffftt.

          Mike, you ever hear of flesh eating bacteria or MRSA (living things eating other living things) and the angst they cause? I am looking for the “inherent good” as you assert.

        • avatar Mike says:

          Immer –

          Your angry, emotional response is something I didn’t expect to see on this site anymore.

          I hope we can raise the level of discussion beyond what you’ve displayed here.

          • avatar Immer Treue says:

            Mike,

            Angry/emotional, no. Measured, direct, and with a salient point, yes.

            When you respond to a person’s comment, respond to the entire comment, which was a reinforcement what Carter said. Don’t hide behind the veil of piousness. If your walls are composed of glass, don’t throw rocks. Hypocrite.

            • avatar Mike says:

              Immer –

              I’m not interested in engaging in insults.

              I hope in the future you approach these discussions with a much friendlier tone.

              My complaint was of course this false equivalency with pro-wolfer’s and anti-wolfer’s. You simply can’t lump in the group that saved wolves from extinction in the lower 48 (no matter how fanciful some of the descriptions of wolves may be among this group) to a group that actively seeks to make wolves extinct.

            • avatar Immer Treue says:

              Mike,

              I wondered at some of the vitriol that was directed at you before, as some of the diatribe went on and on and on. I wonder no more. I am in total compliance. In as friendly a tone as the cyber world will permit, you are an idiot.

            • avatar Harley says:

              I’m gone for a bit but I see… things haven’t changed too much. I think I may stick with eagle watching lol!

              How ya doing Immer, getting ready for summer? They predicting a warm one up by you? I really hope this earlier spring wasn’t a preview of what summer is going to be like!

            • avatar Mike says:

              Immer –

              You’ve gone off the wall and insulted me before.

              I’m not going to sink to that level. What I will say is that I hope you get your temper under control and bring the discussion to a more respectable level in the future.

      • avatar Ken Cole says:

        I don’t care much for cattle or sheep. Ticks and mosquitoes bug me too.

        • avatar Mike says:

          ++I don’t care much for cattle or sheep. ++

          Well, Canadian wolves have to eat.

          ++Ticks and mosquitoes bug me too.++

          Trout love them.

  2. avatar WM says:

    There is also this very well done article on Carter’s presentation, from a local newspaper:

    http://www.siskiyoudaily.com/news/x1266610634/Visiting-expert-calls-wolves-a-limited-threat

  3. avatar Salle says:

    This talent and drive to tell the truth about wolves, the biological, political and social issues surrounding them… is why Mr. Niemeyer will always be one of my all-time heroes in this world (of which there are far too few).

    Thanks, Carter.

  4. avatar Beckie Elgin says:

    Happy to see that the Wildlife News noticed my blog. Wolves and Writing was started only two months ago and is my way of sharing information about wolves, as well as inspiring hope for those of us who support them. I’ve been reading your blog for a long time now and find it eminently intelligent and thoughtful. Thanks so much for what you folks do!

  5. avatar Jello says:

    “It is with narrow-souled people as with narrow-necked bottles: the less they have in them, the more noise they make in pouring it out.” – Alexander Pope (English poet and satirist, 1688-1744)

    Thanks, ImmerT….love this one.

  6. avatar Immer Treue says:

    Here is Carter’s quote.

    +++Carter said many wise things, but one that I really enjoyed was, “Wolves aren’t as good as we hoped, and not as bad as we feared.” +++

    I agree with this quote. In terms of humans, and one cannot take them out of the equation, wolves have caused some problems. Unfortunatley too much focus is put on this aspect of the issue, and not enough on the good they do in terms of keeping elk/ungulate numbers down and allowing floral restoration, prevent stream degradation, etc.

    As many have said, and I reiterated, education is the key and its going to take awhile. And Carter is on the cutting edge in terms of bringing education to hot beds of wolf controversy. Falling back on his quote,“Wolves aren’t as good as we hoped, and not as bad as we feared”, people need to know and understand this.

  7. avatar Barb Rupers says:

    ++Mike,
    Strange. All living things are inherently good and serve a purpose to the ecosystem.++

    I have always considered that life forms function in an ecosystem – that does not imply that they have a purpose.

  8. avatar Eric says:

    Well said, mike. It’s absolutely false equivalency to imply that working hard to put wolves on the ESA is somehow the “other side of the coin” to the canadian grey wolf nonsense.

    And as far as education , some of us didn’t need to kill wolves to realize it was wrong. 😉

    • avatar Immer Treue says:

      And as far as education , some of us didn’t need to kill wolves to realize it was wrong.

      Then, you are not the one that needs the education, are you?

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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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