Wild cards: What we’re really doing by reintroducing wolves

“But is it really ‘bringing back the wolf’ when the wolves wear radio collars and generate better genealogical records than most humans do, and when their whereabouts at any time can be ascertained with GIS coordinates?” . . . from “What we’re really doing by reintroducing wolves.” Writers on the Range. George Sibley.  Missoula Independent.

Sibley writes a clever article/essay regarding all the information that has been generated about wolves, even down to the individual  wolf, and whether such well observed wolves can be properly called “wild.”

I don’t know because “the wild” is a human mental construct of outdoor things unmodified by humans. If the radio collar is placed by Wildlife Services so the wolf can be easily located and killed (this accounts for the largest number of collars), I’d say “no. It isn’t wild.”  If it is a Yellowstone Park wolf where the collar only modifies the animal’s behavior slightly, then maybe “yes” or “it depends.”

Sibley also argues that while the polls in Washington State show a lot of generalized support for wolves, anti-wolf people show up and dominate the public meetings. Apparently this is not true, but some might believe is so based on a couple unrepresentative newspaper articles. Here is some email objecting and giving some facts.

Mr. Sibley is mistaken when he writes about the Washington hearings: “one frazzled wildlife official noted, ‘The 80 percent of the people in this state who are supposedly for the wolves coming back are not the ones coming to the meetings.” The people showing up are mostly the grandchildren of those who eradicated the wolf from the West 70 years ago.”
Yes, there have been meetings (Yakima, Colville and a few others) that were dominated by the ant-wolf crowd. But there was Spokane, Seattle, Mt. Vernon, Sequim, and Vancouver that had more wolf supporters (in the case of at least Seattle and Sequim, it was 97% pro-wolf, 3% anti-wolf) than anti-wolf people. All in all, I feel the hearings were balanced and that was the opinion I heard from Harriet Allen, who has been at every meeting, when she reported back to the Fish and Wildlife Commission.
David G. Graves
Northwest Field Representative
National Parks Conservation Association
Protecting Our National Parks for Future Generations

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Opinion Bill Schneider: A Wolf Plan that Works

A Wolf Plan that Works. “It seems as if most people in the New West would prefer to see the wolf controversy resolved, and agencies could quickly do this. Will it happen?” By Bill Schneider. New West.

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Interesting. I don’t necessary agree. RM.

Here is an article on the same subject from today’s Casper Star Tribune. Breeding controversy. By Chris Merrill.