Satan's Dog. Is the gray wolf entangled in a war of symbols?
Satan’s Dog. Is the gray wolf entangled in a war of symbols? By Ben Cannon. Planet Jackson Hole.
This article shows the insular nature of the western anti-wolf cause, and it makes me resentful too in the other direction. How dare this old fool pretend to speak for the West?
. . . but then the article says “Brown is a member of an aging ranching population where financial and social influences have taken a heavy toll. The reintroduction of the gray wolf in the mid ’90s was perceived by some as the return of a nearly forgotten threat to the ranching livelihood.”. . . . “Brown does, however, represent a vestige of the strong political voice the ranching culture continues to have in a state where the ranching industry – long a powerful cultural influence in Wyoming – is diminishing”
Yes, but how much wildlife will left before this cultural influence diminishes enough that it can be overcome?
Dr. Ralph Maughan is professor emeritus of political science at Idaho State University. He was a Western Watersheds Project Board Member off and on for many years, and was also its President for several years. For a long time he produced Ralph Maughan's Wolf Report. He was a founder of the Greater Yellowstone Coalition. He and Jackie Johnson Maughan wrote three editions of "Hiking Idaho." He also wrote "Beyond the Tetons" and "Backpacking Wyoming's Teton and Washakie Wilderness." He created and is the administrator of The Wildlife News.
3 Responses to Satan's Dog. Is the gray wolf entangled in a war of symbols?
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Gosh, Ralph, if all it takes to make you resentful is this demented moron, I doubt you’ve ever spent much time in Catron. Brown would be the norm and really pretty tame by the standards down there. Down there they believe that the earth was given to man to use up and, when it is used up, they will be saved by the Second Coming. If you try to conserve the earth, they believe that you are doing the devil’s work by trying to prevent the Second Coming.
Many of them down there also subscribe to “progressive divinity” wherein they believe that, with each successive generation that stays faithful to a primitive schism of LDS, the children grow closer to being divine and therefore lighter in hair, eye, and skin color. You can also find a pocket of this silliness in the Bonneville area east of Idaho Falls. Some of the women there won’t go out in the sunlight and won’t allow their children out to play without being fully covered to prevent any hint of tan showing when they go to services and exhibit themselves to the other neighborhood lunatics. They’ll even dye their kids’ hair a pale platinum blonde to enhance the charade.
Then, Catron also has its share of those who follow “Adamic lineage,” which is a belief that Eve mated with Adam to produce blonde, blue-eyed, white descendants, but also with the devil to produce everyone who has any form of darker complexion.
See, now doesn’t old rancher Brown look tame by comparison? Unfortunately, the comparison doesn’t stop with a review of lunatic beliefs. The different success rates between the northern wolf reintroduction and the Mexican wolf reintroduction are the graphic, outcome-based, reflections of these differences.
Mikarooni pretty much said it all. Fundamentalism is the greatest threat to planet earth. Using the word “soaring” , in the Jackson paper article, to describe the wolf’s increase to 1500 animals is a stretch. “Soaring” should be saved to describe the world’s human population that has a net increase of 10 million every 6 weeks!
While ranch fundamentalism is important, let’s not forget what’s happening at the practical level: ranch fundamentalism goes in service of raw political power.
Ranchers have pretty much been able to call the shots in state governments for over a century, since statehood for all the western states. They’ve manipulated political and economic institutions in the states for their own benefit, particularly the legislatures, to which they turn for continuing subsidies.
For a long time, it was the sportsmens groups and state game departments that offered the only opposition to the ranchers in the West. These days, that opposition has foundered.
What is really turning the key politically and economically is the changing demographics; a diversity of social groups in the West is cutting seriously into the ranchers’ power and privileges. Thus, we see things like the slaughter of bison, predatory animal status for wolves, test and slaughter of elk, and slaughter of bighorn sheep that come into contact with domestic sheep. Not to mention heavy depredetion hunts of ungulates that eat private grass.
Ranchers are a fading oligarchy and they’re doing everything they can do to hang on to their power and priviliges, and if that means killing off wildlife by the thousands, then they’ll do it. Hell, they’re doing it now, with all the style of Attila the Hun.
It is this political power of ranchers that we conservationists have to go after.