Of wolves and extremism

We've taken plenty of grief from wolf advocates over our Jan. 18 editorial that said it's time to remove the wolves from the endangered species list and give the states jurisdiction over the wolves.

To hear them spin it, we naively signed off on a death sentence for Idaho's burgeoning wolf population of roughly 800. That somehow, because we support delisting, we're somehow anti-wolf.

The whole argument baffles me, because, like the wolf advocates, I'm glad to see this predator return to its rightful place in the Northern Rockies ecosystem. I'm excited by the prospect of hearing or seeing the wolf in the wild — as I was able to do a couple of Octobers ago on a trip to Yellowstone National Park.

I do believe, however, that we have come a long way from the mid-1990s, when the federal government reintroduced 36 wolves in the Idaho wilderness. Should wolves continue to expand their range into closer proximity with people, under continued and controversial federal protection, this will only serve to deepen the divide over wolves.

I believe, and our editorial board believes, that it is time to allow states to manage the wolves — a view shared, according to a Statesman story Sunday, by two prominent wolf biologists.

I can say this without pride of authorship, since I did not write the editorial in question, but I think one paragraph posed a very good question: Will extremists on either side of the wolf debate ever be satisfied?

I'm starting to wonder.

We know virulent Stanley outfitter Ron Gillett and the rest of his Idaho Anti-Wolf Coalition won't be happy until the wolf is once again exterminated — a ridiculous notion that makes no sense biologically or politically. But I don't think the wolf, or the West, is well-served by extremism at either end of the spectrum.

These folks will grumble...

until they're deceased.

Who has had the harder time adjusting?

BSU opinion surveys show that over time Idahoan support for wolves has gone from very strong enthusiasm for their reintroduction to plurality support to a growing ambivalence as the population increases and wolf conflicts spread. Interest group bickering and news media overexposure (this newspaper being a guilty party) has to be a contributing factor to that growing ambivalence.

Some ranchers and outfitters have made a rather remarkable adjustment and they are the ones who have been the most financially affected. So too, a few environmentalists have learned nuance, and shown appreciation for the complexities of acutally managing something rather than advocating for an ideal.

But it seems there are still interest groups on both sides, as well as some right-wing politicians who have had a difficult time adjusting to the reality of dealing with something that is here to stay. The Governor comes to mind. But he has learned to keep his mouth shut as of late. Finally, some environmental groups have never learned how to transition from insurgent to being in control. And they oppose delisting because they don't know how to turn the page.

A wolf eats 1100 pounds of meat a month

As Dr. Graue of the Uidaho stated repeatedly:

"There is no free lunch."

Each wolf eats one elk and 4 deer a month.

12 months times one elk = 12 elk;

12 months times four deer = 48 deer

12 elk times 800 wolves = 9,600 elk

48 deer times 800 wolves = 38,400 deer

The Fish and game code sets the value on deer and elk. But the wimps at Idaho Fish & Game won't collect the money from the enviros.

The Idaho sportsmen built the game herds with donations, fees, etc., but Idaho Fish & Game won't protect their investment.

It's time a Grand Jury looked into F & G's

They don't eat ALL of the elk!!!!!!

If you fed your German Shepherd 1100 lbs of meat, he would bloat and die.

They travel if packs and share.

When did you get out of third grade? That's feeble.

That comes from a lifelong Democrat too. Cheez!


Government eats the lives of poor people

& that doesn't seem to bother anyone. Throw the son of a state Senator on the ground & all the sudden we have an ombudsman. Well, we already paid him but he showed up when the Senator called this time. If they would have shot the kid it would have been more in line with police policy?

The Boise police will drop you like a dirty pair of shorts & that isn't getting near the attention wolves are. Fish & Game are killing Cougar kittens, police in East Idaho are shooting dogs tied to the fence. I wonder where a guy can get a permit & how much it would cost?

Killing fish so we can water the desert makes sense. If fish & wolves could contribute to campaigns none of it would matter. They'd be living like royalty, poitician in pocket.

Somehow I know...

you'd prefer it to some backwater hellhole like Cambodia under Pol Pot