Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Northern Rocky Mountain Wolves: A Public Policy Process Failure By Wendy Keefover ~ WildEarth Guardians



Wolf 527, killed on Buffalo Plateau on Oct. 3. Credit: Dan Stahler / National Parks Service

May 10, 2012
This is one of the most comprehensive articles written about Wolf Wars. Please read!!! Great job WildEarth Guardians!!
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Northern Rocky Mountain Wolves: A Public Policy Process Failure

How Two Special Interest Groups Hijacked Wolf Conservation in America

By Wendy Keefover • WildEarth Guardians
Wolves, once welcomed and restored with verve in the Northern Rocky Mountains, are now killed by the hundreds by well-armed hunters. Idaho and Montana have issued over 62,000 hunting tags on a wolf population that totaled less than 1,300 individuals.
While empirical data show that wolves kill only miniscule numbers of domestic livestock and generally prey upon only the weakest native ungulates, the myth of the savage predator and the wile of lobbying groups prove stronger than truth for some important decision makers. Northern Rocky Mountain wolves go untolerated and unprotected, yet, without wolves, ecosystems are impoverished, the public is deprived of prized wildlife viewing, and decades of federal investments in wolf restoration are at risk. The Northern Rocky Mountain wolves may not long endure such intolerance.
The American West, and indeed the planet, suffers from a lack of apex carnivores. In July 2011, twenty-three biologists issued an admonition in Science with the publication of their article, “Trophic Downgrading of Planet Earth.” Authors forewarn that events not previously imagined, such as changes in fire regimes, exotic species invasions, carbon sequestration, and other calamities, will befall earth’s ecosystems as a result of the loss of apex consumers—both aquatic and terrestrial.
In this report, we explore facets of wolf policy, biology and ecology. We look at the economics and human values associated with wolves, and offer five pragmatic solutions to end unfounded violence upon wolves.
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Photo: Dan Stahler / National Parks Service