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Grizzly bears, black bears, wolves, coyotes, cougars/ mountain lions,bobcats, wolverines, lynx, foxes, fishers and martens are the suite of carnivores that originally inhabited North America after the Pleistocene extinctions. This site invites research, commentary, point/counterpoint on that suite of native animals (predator and prey) that inhabited The Americas circa 1500-at the initial point of European exploration and subsequent colonization. Landscape ecology, journal accounts of explorers and frontiersmen, genetic evaluations of museum animals, peer reviewed 20th and 21st century research on various aspects of our "Wild America" as well as subjective commentary from expert and layman alike. All of the above being revealed and discussed with the underlying goal of one day seeing our Continent rewilded.....Where big enough swaths of open space exist with connective corridors to other large forest, meadow, mountain, valley, prairie, desert and chaparral wildlands.....Thereby enabling all of our historic fauna, including man, to live in a sustainable and healthy environment. - Blogger Rick

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Saturday, April 6, 2013

As is happening in Washington State where ranchers and hunters are calling for "Wolf Control" despite none being needed(browser populations are stable), George Wuerthner points out that Elk herds in Montana have grown by over 50% since 1992(89,000 Elk in '92 and about 145,000 Elk in 2010)................................Wolf hatred translates to boldfaced lies from manic politicians, ranchers, hunters and State Wildlife Commissions despite sound science staring straight at these "pinheads"

Lies about wolves are pervasive

Recently I attended a hearing in Helena where I heard numerous people, including many in the state Legislature, asserting that wolves were "decimating" Montana's game herds. Unfortunately due to the widespread repetition of the lies and distortions, the only thing being decimated is the truth.
According to MDFWP in 1992, three years before wolves were reintroduced into Yellowstone and Idaho, there were an estimated 89,000 elk in Montana. By 2010, elk had been so "decimated" that MDFWP estimated that elk numbers had grown to 140,000-150,000 animals.

Indeed, in 2012, according to MDFWP statistics, out of 127 elk management units in the state, 68 are above objectives, 47 are at objectives, and only 12 are considered to be below objectives. And even among these 12 units, the causes for elk declines are often complex and involve more than wolf predation. In at least a few instances, overhunting by humans is the primary factor.
Beyond hunting, the presence of wolves has many other benefits. Wolves cull sick animals such as those with brucellosis and Chronic Wasting Disease from herds that could threaten both humans as well as livestock. Wolves shift ungulates away from riparian areas, resulting in greater growth of willows and other streamside vegetation. This, in turn, creates more habitat for wildlife including songbirds, and beaver. Healthier riparian areas also results in greater trout densities.
It is disturbing to me as a hunter and ecologist that MDFWP repeatedly fails to aggressively counter the distortions and misinformation.
George Wuerthner

1 comment:

lonna421 said...

It seems like people who hate wolves, out of fear, misunderstanding them, long handed down prejudices, or just plain ignorance choose to only believe what they hear or read that is negative about the wolf. They don't want to listen to wolf experts who have studied them for years and have an indepth knowledge and understanding of this truly magnificent animal. They don't understand that wolves are highly intelligent, highly social, and extremely beneficial to the environment, or that eco-systems where wolves are present are much healthier and diverse than those without wolves. And trying to educate these anti-wolf idiots about the truth about wolves is like trying to find a needle in a haystack for lack of a better analogy. There is an abundance of good information out there via documentaries, peer reviewed articles, and reports with which they could easily have access to. But rather than find out that their long held prejudices have no truth to them and are based primarily in myths and lies, they choose to remain stuck on stupid while the wolf pays the price for these idiots hatred.

This must change America.