Wolves used as negative imagery in Presidential race ad

The negative myths associated with wolves have long been used as emotive fodder for political gain.

planetpalin.wordpress.com has a post about how this campaign season is no different:

McCain/Palin Campaign Drags Wolves Back Into the Mud

Of course, the footage of wolves in these ads doesn’t seem foreboding to me – it seems to me you could put a picture of a rutabaga in front of the background music the ads use — especially the ad from ’04 used as comparison in the post – and evoke a similar emotive response.  It’s the imagery and the constituency that the message of the imagery galvanizes that’s more interesting.

(Thanks to ‘Kestrel’ for providing the link within the comments)

47 Responses to “Wolves used as negative imagery in Presidential race ad”

  1. Barb Says:

    The wolves look like a bunch of dogs hanging out to me…………..

  2. JEFF E Says:

    this looks as good of place as any to link this
    http://www.idahostatesman.com/newsupdates/story/500487.html

  3. katie fite Says:

    And John McCain looks like he is already deader than dead in this ad. All in pale lighting like he is a demi-god in a religious video …

  4. Barb Says:

    To me, it’s neither a state or a federal responsibility. If ranchers have domestic livestock in open lands, they should expect some predation!

    That’s like taxpayers paying for insurance for private businesses. I just don’t understand this “entitlement” mentality of Western ranchers!

    If this makes them less hostile to wolves, then it will at least serve a purpose. Not sure if it will.

    Bottom line — secure your livestock, especially at night!

  5. kim kaiser Says:

    I just don’t understand this “entitlement” mentality of Western ranchers!

    how can you possible say this and support social welfare, its the same drain on the same system, just a different application of public resource to someone or some industry that cant make it on there on.

  6. Barb Says:

    Kim — Chill out. What do you know specifically what I support?

  7. Barb Says:

    I know this is TOTALLY (!) off track folks (sorry!) but I just came across this great u tube video of Glen Campbell performing one of his incredible classic songs. I remember his music growing up but I never paid much attention to it. I don’t care much for today’s new music at all and lately I find myself looking up “older” musicians from the 60’s and 70’s…. Ralph, feel free to remove — I know it’s off topic… but I just have to share this….

  8. John Says:

    Those who live in the past will never learn from it.

  9. outsider Says:

    last time I checked it was congress that controls the funding bills for these types of things, and who controls congress? If you don’t like it get your congress to quite funding it. Its that simple

  10. JB Says:

    Thanks Jeff E,
    For once, I agree with the Bush Administration.

    ——–

    Kim,
    We’ve already gone through how subsidies for ranchers differ from social welfare programs, but since you want to bring it up again…

    “We have social welfare programs because THEY BENEFIT US ALL. Moreover, very few (if any) people get something for nothing, as WE ALL PAY INTO THE SYSTEM that provides the safety net, and WE ARE ALL ABLE TO COLLECT IF/WHEN WE QUALIFY. This differs from welfare ranching because all of us are paying into a system that supports the tiniest fraction of individuals…” and has no real benefit to society in general.

  11. Barb Says:

    Yes, JB, you’re right, but it’s more than that. The feds are actually KILLING our animals — yes — our animals — at our taxpayer expense.

    Those animals belong to the American public (they don’t really belong to anyone but nature ) and we all need a say so in what happens to them — not a tiny fraction.

    Destroying or brutalizing animals is not social welfare — it’s criminal as far as I’m’ concerned.

  12. Brian Ertz Says:

    Barb,

    compensation does not make ranchers less hostile to wolves. Studies to that effect given Defenders’ compensation programs demonstrates this.

  13. Izabela Says:

    I am not sure how to post the link. Hope this is OK. If not, moderator please delete.
    Related to wolves, envronment and all SP issues :
    http://www.ontheissues.org/Sarah_Palin.htm

  14. John Says:

    There are some ranchers who think that they should be paid copiously for the losses – no matter the real cost of the animal lost, this includes dogs. Others don’t care whether they are compensated or not, they just want the wolf/ves to be shot as quickly as possible.

  15. Barb Says:

    Perhaps the compensation makes them feel even more entitled — maybe Defenders should STOP this practice and instead concentrate on legislation. It seems livestock owners never have anything good to say about Defenders anyway, so why are they wasting their money?

  16. Layton Says:

    Barb said,

    “Those animals belong to the American public (they don’t really belong to anyone but nature ) and we all need a say so in what happens to them — not a tiny fraction.”

    “belong to NATURE”?? Who is “nature” and what part of the bill to introduce them did he pay?? But we’ll leave that one alone for a moment.

    Soooooo they belong to the american “public” — I would submit that a good portion of that thing called “public” especially here where these critters have been dumped, DO NOT want them — so I guess it’s OK for the part of the beasties that belong to those folks to be treated the way WE want them to be treated!!!

    Hint — NOT like some kind of royalty.

  17. Barb Says:

    If you don’t understand the concept of animals intrinsically belonging to and of nature, there is really no point in talking with you. Not to name call, but you’re too simple-minded.

  18. Layton Says:

    If I were “simple minded” Barb, I might find your comments illuminating and intelligent — as it is I find a lot of them somewhat boring.

    Now, with the pleasantries out of the way — would you care to discuss the FACT that there are TWO sides to this “American public” that you speak of, and one of those sides does NOT see things the same way your side does?

  19. JB Says:

    Actually determining who “owns” wildlife is very complicated. A while back Robert Hoskins posted a very good essay on the “public trust doctrine,” which is based on federal case-law and asserts that the States hold wildlife in trust for all of its citizens. However, the courts have also firmly established the “right” of the federal government to protect and conserve wildlife–especially when the states fail to do so. The courts have interpreted the Constitution as providing at least three different means for federal regulation of wildlife: (1) via federal treaty-making power (e.g. the migratory bird act), (2) via the property clause (e.g. regulating hunting on lands belonging to the federal government), and (3) via the commerce clause.

    Essentially, federal laws or treaties that pertain to a particular species always “trump” state law. Wildlife, then, is owned by no one but held in trust (i.e. managed) by the states (in some instances) and the feds (in others).

    Wolves provide an interesting case. Wolves were purposely driven to extinction both by federal and state programs (and the action of many individuals), and then reintroduced (and subsequently managed) by the federal government. We are now in a situation where the states can’t seem to get their act together to provide for the adequate conservation of wolves, so the feds are being forced to continue their management role.

    – – – –

    Barb,

    I don’t think it is simple-minded to assert that wildlife do not have intrinsic value. Personally, I believe that the concept of “value” is unique to human beings. To say something has value is to make a conscious evaluation of its worth, which requires pretty complex reasoning. Thus, to suggest that anything (wildlife included) has value without some human being to assign it value is nonsensical. What most people mean when they say a species has “intrinsic” value is that its value isn’t limited to its immediate economic utility. I agree with this perspective.

  20. Layton Says:

    JB,

    You said;

    “Essentially, federal laws or treaties that pertain to a particular species always “trump” state law.”

    Is that really true?? (I’m asking/curious here, not arguing) I know that the “feds” control seasons, methods of take, bag limits, etc. with migratory game — ducks, doves, etc. — but don’t the state laws control game that is basically “resident” like deer and elk herds? I’ve never heard of the federal govt. controlling them.

    Like you said — wolves are a different story, we won’t go into what I think of that 8). At least not now.

  21. JB Says:

    “…but don’t the state laws control game that is basically “resident” like deer and elk herds?”

    Yes, so long as the feds choose not to interfere, but the case law establishing the right of the federal government to intervene on the behalf of wildlife is at least as well established as the public trust doctrine. For example, in 1976 the Supreme Court (Douglas v. Seacoast Products, Inc.) argued that “it is pure fantasy to talk of ‘owning’ wild fish, birds, or animals…The ‘ownership’ language of cases…must be understood as no more than 19th-century legal fiction expressing ‘the importance to its people that a State have power to preserve and regulate the exploitaiton of an important resource.” (As cited in Bean & Rowland, 1997).

    The way I read it, state control of wildlife is really more a result of tradition than any foundation in constitutional law. It resulted from an early precedent (Geer v. Conneticut, 1996) that the courts have since all but dismissed.

  22. Layton Says:

    But what about the fact that over and over courts (I don’t have specifics here) have said that non-resident licenses are a valid concept in that states control the wildlife within their borders??

    By the way, do you work with this legal “stuff” or what?? Just curious.

  23. John Says:

    If the states can not be trusted with the well-being of their wildlife at heart, then they do not deserve to lay a finger on them.

  24. Salle Says:

    Layton, that is true to the extent that the feds feel confident that the states are managing the species in acceptable ways. Otherwise, the feds have the jurisdictional power to supercede state jurisdiction. It is the case for most state laws and regulatory statutes from traffic laws to housing codes, wildlife management to hunting/fishing licensing. Part of why we call it the united states, they are united by common-law that all are subject to with localized specific ordinances for specifically local concerns within the states.

  25. JB Says:

    Layton,

    Salle has the right of it. On the case I cited above, two justices filed concurring opinions, but differed in their reasoning: they suggested that the States have a “substantial proprietary interest” in wildlife within their borders. These justices suggested that states interests were so substantial that only a direct conflict with federal law would bar state regulatory action. Regarding the cases involving non-resident licenses you speak of, in essence, so long as they do not contradict federal law, the courts have ruled that they’re okay.

    – – – – –

    I’m in academics (social psychology), but wildlife law/policy are a passion of mine. Also, I happen to be reading a book on the topic at the moment, so all the materials are at hand! 🙂

  26. JEFF E Says:

    …..and what the Feds can not directly take control of or regulate at the state level, they just withhold money until the state or states in question cave in.

  27. Brian Ertz Says:

    Layton,

    Federal regulation trumps states when say, the ESA comes to in to play. With other laws it is not usually the case that we see a stand-off with reguard to direct federal/state action – it’s not a question of federal law trumping state law as it is a question of how each will enforce its own in response to conditions created by the other. That is to say, the feds aren’t so much concerned with what the states do to wildlife as much as they are concerned with federal actions’ effect to wildlife. It is federal self-regulation ~ it is often the case that the federal government’s regulation pertains to federal actions which impact wildlife for which federal law claims in the federal interest. one example would be bighorn sheep – while the states claim management of bighorn sheep – the federal government is still obliged to consider the impact of its federal actions (ex: the issuance of a domestic sheep permit on federal public lands within bighorn sheep habitat) to wildlife values/bighorn sheep. this is the case with many wildlife species. whether or not the federal government could preclude/trump state action toward a species for which there is no codified federal interest is not fully settled – but usually the states do as they please. That is not to say that the federal government could not respond to state action by restricting federal actions which are at the heart of the state action. To use the same example – the state of Idaho set policy to kill bighorns surrounding/crossing the boundary of federal domestic sheep allotments on federal land to protect federal grazing allotments ofdomestic sheepman politically connected to the state. While the state may well be able to do this, the federal government (Forest Service) could interpret the state action to kill bighorn surrounding the allotment as an additional negative consequence toward bighorn of its federal issuance of the domestic sheep permit on the federal public land in the first place. This could legally prevent the federal government from issuing the permit given the federal government’s regulation of its own action — not a federal regulation of a state action that would “trump” – but an enforcement of its own of which the state has no say.

  28. Linda Hunter Says:

    Layton your perspective is always interesting and sparks good debates but I wonder if you have ever thought what the public lands and wildlands would be like in the next twenty years if there were no wolves, bears and other predators. I think the biggest result of that would be that MORE PEOPLE would be in the woods as they would have nothing to fear or nothing they have to learn about to be safe. As I go to my book readings and signings I find that there are about 50% of the people I talk to who do not use public lands and wilderness for recreation because of those fears except in groups, once or twice a year. Think what it would to to the rights of hunters if people were not afraid to go into the wild anytime anywhere. My main reason for advocating for predators is the fact that the wild lands are so much more interesting and LESS populated when their are some predators present. That is my first and selfish reason, and the second reason is that because I have seen the difference in wild lands where everything is as it evolved and wild lands with the heavy hand of man in evidence I have learned with my own two eyes which one is healthier. . for me, for hunters and for the earth. I have heard the guys go on about how harmful wolves are to hunting. . but in the big picture I think the opposite might be true just because if the hunting lands are packed with recreationlists the next thing that huge group of people will ask for is no guns in the woods. I don’t want to do any name calling or judging of people on this blog but I would like your thoughtful input on this idea.

  29. Barb Says:

    Linda, I agree with you. Hunters don’t also seem to realize that caribou and other animals usually move around; and when these animals realize that hunters are in an area, they move away from it — and the hunters complain there are “no deer, etc. because the wolves ate ALL of them!” I mean, gosh, if wolves were eating ALL the deer, caribou, whatever — wouldn’t they be awfully fat???

  30. Layton Says:

    Linda,

    You said (in part);

    “I wonder if you have ever thought what the public lands and wildlands would be like in the next twenty years if there were no wolves, bears and other predators”

    Let me clarify something here — I have NEVER advocated any kind of total annihilation of predators — sure, I don’t think much of wolves, I don’t deny that. I believe there were valid reasons that the “old timers” got rid of them. Maybe they carried it to far, but there were valid reasons.

    I do however advocate much more “open season” on wolves. Why should they have the freedom to “kill and multiply” that other predators (or other animals) do not?

    Bears are regulated by seasons and methods of take, as are big cats and most other predators. Why not wolves? They have certainly proven their ability to reproduce effectively and to multiply and fill in other areas as they go.

    I just returned from a fairly long trip thru the back country of Idaho and Montana (not backpacking, just traveling). I covered about 1000 miles, about 50/50 dirt and concrete roads. Most of it in what has been considered prime elk hunting country.

    While I was traveling I had occasion to talk to lots of folks along the way (imagine that, me BSing with people 8) ). Fishermen, hunters, picnickers (sp?), etc. They did not know me and I had never met them, they had no reason to know my views on wolves.

    Without fail the response (whether I brought up the subject or they did) was that the wolves had drastically hurt the elk herds. Why would they say that? I surely didn’t prompt them. I didn’t have any anti wolf stickers on my motorcycle and I wasn’t prompting them toward my viewpoint.

    Sure, it’s anecdotal, but it was 100%!! Is EVERYONE wrong? Except of course the folks that post here? I just don’t think so. I personally believe (and think I see) that there is a drastic crash in the elk population coming. I work in the woods all summer every summer, I know what I see. In one area where I work, I used to see moose almost every trip, I haven’t seen ONE there in the last three years!

    NO, it is NOT that “they have changed their habits and the lazy hunters can’t see them from the ATVs anymore”. I’m in the boonies, far from people and other distractions and I’m telling you that they are not there.

    Hey, sorry for the sermon – especially on a Monday – but that’s how I feel and what I see. I don’t want the wolves extinct, but I DO want them subject to hunting seasons and controls as with other predators.

  31. Jon Way Says:

    That is interesting Layton, then your sample size of talking with people must not include the people that contribute annual to record numbers of elk shot in recent years in that very state that has no elk anymore…

  32. Layton Says:

    Atta boy Jon,

    Contribute all you can —– oh, I guess you did.

  33. vicki Says:

    Layton,
    They are giving you an uneducated response to a general and demographically prejudiced question. If you had them all sit down, given data to study , and thenasked the same question, you’d have a more diversified response.If you asked epople in a different area of the counrty you’d get a different response. Your test population is quite polluted. People tend to say what they have already heard, or been told.
    So, if there is no education, or information, to contradict the unfounded information people have been subjected to…expect a one sided response.
    I am sure if you went into a bar and asked people who were drinking if alchohol should be banned by the FDA they’d say “no” 100% of the time. But research suggestes that it is unhealthy MOST of the time. Same with wolves, beneficial to MOST, save “quantity” hunters, and ranchers with other real motives.
    If you asked a group of PETA members if they knew how many people are attacked and killed by animals each year, they’d be clueless too. (But no one advocated the extermination of hippos, gaters, lions, and domestic dogs.)

    People are predisposed to media and political retoric, and without equal representation of facts, you get a response that is in line with what they have been shown or told.
    If everyone was only ever shown ads on T.V. that said “Big Macs are the best source of protein, we should all eat one a day….” we’d see an increase of people thinking McDonalds was a healthy lifestyle choice too.

    Look, I am not a naive person. I personally feel that there will eventually be a big game hunt for wolves. I also feel that the costs of “managing” wolves should be accounted for in those tags. After all, the cost of repairing damages of public lands compliments of cattle fall to the tax payers…we wouldn’t want more of that right? (Retorical question.)
    Anyhow, you say people tell you they THINK wolves are damaging to the elk populations. Prove it, or ask them to. They can’t. Not your word, not theirs…but a legitimate scientific count and study. It ain’t gonna happen. Ask how they KNOW that, not just why they assume it.
    See, I believe that wolves are dispersing elk. Wolves were here, without human ramifications, two centuries ago, and guess what??? Elk were too, and they still are. Only I have seen what happens when elk over populate. I have seen a deer with CWD. I have seen starving animals. I’d rather watch a wolf eat them than watch them suffer a lingering death.
    If you asked people ten years ago about global warming, I am sure you would have gotten a laughable reply. I doubt that is the case so much now. Why? Because there is information to the opposite being supplied.
    Your arguement doesn’t hold much water with me…but I get what you are saying. No offense.
    By the way, I have no doubt you are capable of chatting with folks. You do it here all the time…

  34. Ryan Says:

    “If you asked people ten years ago about global warming, I am sure you would have gotten a laughable reply. I doubt that is the case so much now. Why? Because there is information to the opposite being supplied.”

    If you aked people what the causes of global warming are and the answers you get would be laughable.

    http://www.space.com/scienceastronomy/sun_output_030320.html

    I believe this plays a much bigger role than Al Gore gives it credit for.

    As for wolves hurting big game populations, look at the correlation between moose numbers and wolf numbers. I do belive they are having an impact, only time will tell how much.

  35. Layton Says:

    Vicki,

    “They are giving you an uneducated response to a general and demographically prejudiced question.”

    First of all — I wasn’t even ASKING a question, the information was volunteered. Second, I was taken with the fact that the response was 100% one direction.

    Come on, you can argue the “anecdotal” vs. “empirical” thing all day long and the fact of the matter is that, at a certain point, when ALL the anecdotal evidence points one direction, even the most hard core scientist has to lend it some credence. I was a support engineer for a large computer company for over 20 years — I had the task of convincing lab engineers that problems were occurring in the field loooooonnnnggg before the empirical data showed them to be occurring — I think I know of which I speak here.

    “If you asked people in a different area of the country you’d get a different response”

    Yes, I’m sure I would, but talk about an uneducated response!!! Who would have a better chance of knowing what they were talking about — someone from Montana/Idaho or someone that lives and spends time in the outdoors in New York/New Jersey??

    These were not all hunters — some were, the archery season was open — they were from all over the place, berry pickers, gawkers and a LOT of them were fly fishermen, there was some sort of a tournament going on on the North Fork of the Clearwater and Kelly Creek.

    By the way Vicki, you say that you believe the wolves are dispersing elk — what we/I am seeing here is that you don’t see — like you used to — small bunches of 3 or 4, you mostly see large herds. The elk seem to have adopted a “more eyes, more safety” philosophy. But — that’s anecdotal too 8) .

  36. Linda Hunter Says:

    Layton I find it interesting that people think that wolves are damaging the herds. Where I live we have no wolves yet yesterday I was talking to a man who lives near the National Forest and he asked me if I had seen any elk this summer because he hasn’t. He has been asking people because he wonders where they went and so far, no one has seen them in the usual places. Remember, we don’t have wolves here. So I am really curious. I don’t have time to go out and look everywhere but I think I will go later in the week and see if I can track some.

  37. Ryan Says:

    Linda,
    Its been that way all across the west this year, the hard winter combined with excellent forage in many locations has really spread the Elk out. I also believe the late spring is pushing off the rut until later. Last year I heard more bulls bugle in late october than september.

  38. vicki Says:

    Ryan and Linda,

    I noticed the same thing in Colorado. There are even still a few elk, and many deer in velvet. I also saw many deer had been born later. Elk too. I saw one calf yesterda that was still sporting spots, right next to a bull that was bugling. We used to be able to go religeously to the area where we hunt and we’d find full swing bugling going on the second Saturday of September. This year the harems weren’t even being rounded up until last weekend and very few bulls were bugling.

    I don’t think we could blame that on wolves…but people will try.

    Layton,
    You expect me to believe that you were just ambling along minding your own business and people ran up and asked you “So Mr. Stranger, have you noticed that the bad wolves have eaten all the elk? We shall surely starve.” ??? I think no. Conversations are initiated. And I am certain that not everyone you spoke to brought up the topic out of the blue.

    You say the wolves are gathering into large herds. I have seen that my whole life. I grew up in Arizona, and I saw it there. I live in Colorado, and see it here. Go to Wyoming, Montana and Utah (Idaho less often) pretty darn regularly. About the only place I haven’t seen this happening as much has been YNP. You’d think if your theory held true, there would still be huge herds in the Gibbon area. The herds that used to be the Elk Meadow’s name sake are not so numerous or easy to see. If your theory were true, wouldn’t it be obvious in the place in the lower forty eight are most highly saturated? I guess what you see as evidence of huge problems of wolves decimating elk is quite normal to me, and to the twelve people I just asked too.

    At any rate guy, you talking to a handful of people only constitutes a handful of 100%. It is not scientific.

    I didn’t say they were all hunters, I said the opinions being thrown out for people to absorb are largely from the mouths and minds of “quantity” hunters and ranchers with other motives. See, a true sportsman would welcome the challenge of hunting a true trophy…not see wolves as the enemy for making the hunt a bit harder and the tags a bit fewer.

    And, FYI, those people from other places might actually take the time to learn the facts…not just listen to the neighbor up the way and assume it is gospel. SO would citizens of a state automatically be experts? No more than the catholic school girl would be qualified to become the Pope. Where you live doesn’t make you an expert, or educated…what you take time to research and learn does.

    You live in Wyoming right? But suddenly you are the expert on Idaho’s elk because you live within a three state radius of them? That’s the approach you take. It sounds baseless to me.

    Look I understand that the people you asked-oops the people that approached you unsolicited gave you a consensus, I just don’t see it as real proof of anything except that those people lack information that is unbiased. I am absolutely cartain you didn’t give them any.

    Ryan,
    Do a bit more looking back. The problem with moose in the GYE has been documented far longer than wolves have been back. They are quite populous in other areas were there are wolves.
    The numbers began to show a large decline in the early 1980’s, far before wolves could be the problem. There are a number of theories, icluding that they have eaten themselves out of food. Willows take a long time to grow back. Also, there are theories that the mosse migrate as part of a normal cycle to compensate for what they eat. There are also a number of theories having to do with vegatation changes following the 88 fires. Either way, whatever the theory, numbers declined before wolves repopulated, and grizzlies remain the moose’s number one predator.

  39. vicki Says:

    I meant to type that you say the wolves are causing the elk to gather into larger herds…

    Also, Layton, I have read your posts, know your position and know that you haven’t changed anyone’s here. SO what is your objective? Even when I find some small tid bit to have in common with you, you seem to enjoy jerking it away. You are like a kid who thrives on negative reinforcement, don’t you get any other attention from anyone?

  40. Layton Says:

    Vicki,

    “You live in Wyoming right? But suddenly you are the expert on Idaho’s elk because you live within a three state radius of them? That’s the approach you take. It sounds baseless to me.”

    No, as a matter of fact I live in Idaho – have most of my life – was born here — and I am ABSOLUTELY CERTAIN that I never claimed otherwise. I guess you just made up your own “facts” on that one too.

    Vicki, I just really don’t give a rip if you believe what I say or not. Whatever trips your trigger. I told you what I heard, I told you how I heard it and you can take it or leave it as you wish. Somehow you seem to think that I took the time to “load” things my way and then tell you about it —- wrong!! If you can’t stand the truth I feel sorry for you.

    Yes, I believe you when you say:

    “You say the wolves are gathering into large herds. I have seen that my whole life.” (I understand that you meant the elk were gathering in herds)

    And, OK, I’ll believe you when you say:

    “See, I believe that wolves are dispersing elk. ”

    Just do me a favor — tell me WHEN you want me to believe which scenario. My observation for the last three or four years has been as I said – the elk seem to be in bigger herds, not small groups.

    As for my objective in being here — really I guess the biggest part of what I am here for is to watch folks on the “wolfie” side make contradictory quotes and then throw it back at them. 8) No, that is only part of it, I LISTEN to what the other side is saying and sometimes I learn something — you ought to try it.

    I enjoy conversations with some folks here, usually the ones that are backed with facts and have the class to point them out – no matter if they agree with them or not.

  41. vicki Says:

    Layton,

    Maybe you didn’t see it, but ther was a question mark, see it? Right after the I asked about where you lived. I wasn’t making up anything, just asked. Maybe it’s hard to keep things straight with all the protesting you do on behalf of Wyoming’s recently litigated and over turned shoot on sight policies.

    I do listen, suprisingly I have even defended your position or right to have it once or twice. Why? Because you had made a valid point or had a right to make it, or because you provoked a positive pool of thoughts from others who favor conservation …but it has been a while since I have felt compelled to do it. Gee, I wonder why?(Sarcasm intended)

    Appearantly you “believe” but don’t comprehend what I was saying. I was saying that the vast majority of my life I have seen large herds of elk. Now, I see smaller groups. No less elk, just a different configuration in areas where wolves are more populated. So again, from what I have seen, I believe that the wolves are spreading the elk out. Opposite observation from you, but it is just my observation.

    I just visited Rocky Mountain National Park over the weekend. It is well known for it’s over populated herds of elk. The herds were just as big as usual. No wolves in sight, and no reported sightings for nearly a year. I am seeing no change there, so what would we equate the large herd size to, since wolves couldn’t be the cause? If you have a theory, I am very open to hearing it. (No sarcasm intended here.)

    When have I ever “made up my own facts”? I challenge you to point out one time? Listen, you believe what you want, and I will do the same. But please, don’t try to discredit me or others with unfounded accusations just to make your points look valid. I have not now,nor would I ever “make up” a fact. If that’s all you’ve got, you need to figure something else out.

    As far as facts go, I can handle those just fine. I didn’t get any scientific facts from you though. I only read what you stated people told you. I just disagreed with the validity of what they had said. And as for the truth, I am great with that too. And the fact is, you made a statement about people’s opinions that are not based on facts you or they can support. The truth is, I just pointed that out. Who has a problem with it? Not me.

    I think that the people you spoke with really believe what they told you. I believe you really believe that what you say is right. I don’t know if I buy that anyone just brought up the issue without the conversation having been led that way….but whatever. That isn’t really the point. The point was, they were basing their statements on slanted information, in my opinion.

    You don’t need to care. I don’t need you to care to validate a darn thing. But if you are going to throw out information, would you not think that people will dispute it?

    Someone who leans toward the “all conservationists are unyielding and won’t see reason, they are all crazy greenies” opinion would certainly be a hypocrit to believe no one else should question their opinions. If you don’t feel that applies to you, you will surely take no offense.

    At any rate, I didn’t read this blog today to have it’s good messages be over shadowed with negativity. So I will end on a good note, I hope you had a good trip and it was relaxing for you.

  42. vicki Says:

    the first sentences should have read,” maybe you didn’t see the question mark right after the question I asked.”

  43. catbestland Says:

    Ryan and Linda,
    I guess all of your elk came down here to Colorado. They are everywhere and I have seen more calves this year than I ever have. We had a tough winter too.

  44. Barb Says:

    A big problem is that people “take sides” and can’t separate fact from what they want to believe. They will twist everything to fit their vision/worldview and ignore the facts. I’m sure I’m guilty of it myself, but for those who preach killing wolves is “good to increase elk and moose populations” don’t take into effect the ethical issues of this at all. They also don’t take into account the fact that so many carnivores were destroyed in the 1900’s at tax dollars (mostly unknown to the general public unless they were involved) that wolves practically became extinct! I said it’s time to take back our “right” to enjoy and protect the native wildlife that God/Nature blessed us with.

    Obama has his good points and bad. So does McCain. But issues important to me are not being addressed by McCain so I am voting for Obama this time. Neither candidate is “God himself.” They’re just men, (as Michelle Obama said!)

  45. Ryan Says:

    Cat,
    I just said there more spread out thats all and there was a winter mortality in the areas I frequent. Don’t worry though I’ll be there third season to help with a little population control.

    Linda,
    I wasn’t refering to GYE as its not on my high list of places to visit.. (not a big fan of seeing people on my wilderness adventures). The moose numbers I am speaking of are more in Idaho and other states. Idaho is cutting tags in many units and there are becoming more and more reports of lack of moose in wolf inhabitated areas.

  46. frank mayfield Says:

    Ryan, do you have numbers for that statement about less tags?


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