Thursday, January 26, 2017

Why the Latest War on Wolves? Three Reasons You May Not Know

by Leda Huta 

...Back to the question: why this unrelenting war on wolves?
Some believe that ranchers and wolves can’t coexist. And yes there are individual ranchers and ranching groups that oppose wolves. But the truth is that only a fraction of one percent of cattle are killed by wolves. Things like weather and disease are the real dangers. Ranchers from Michigan to Idaho who follow best practices for ranching in wolf country have few conflicts with wolves.
So what is really going on here?
For starters, state fish and wildlife agencies have historically received the bulk of their funding from hunting and fishing license sales, as well as ammunition tax revenue. So hunters often have an outsize influence on the agency decisionmaking (so much so that, in many parts of the country, these agencies are called fish and game—not wildlife)...
Second, wolves aren’t just seen as one cog in the wheel of nature. They’re seen as a symbol of the federal government. Since wolves were reintroduced by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service into Yellowstone and managed by FWS in other regions, they’re deeply associated with “the feds” and deeply despised by those who hate all things federal.
Third is mythology. Wolves are smart, family-oriented, and communicative. Their personalities are clear...
But we treat wolves differently than all other species. It isn’t about science. It’s about the mythology—the stories we tell ourselves. As children, we read Little Red Riding Hood. And we haven’t let go of our childhood fears...

This boils down to: 

---You and your livestock are statistically insignificant, so you must succumb to a predator 

---State agencies' only motive is to protect their budget and hunters want no competition from the wolf when it comes to killing wildlife, and

---Any opposition to the wolf is childish and caused by your inability to mature beyond a fairy tale

That first one bothers me the most. Our whole political system was based on the individual and individual rights. Each individual carries those rights, not just those who are statistically significant. Those systems who thought otherwise have wrought many historical horrors, and that's no fairy tale.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Couldn't agree more with your assessment.
Wolves are just another method of redefining American's property rights, taking away by regulation.