I remember all the debate before wolves were reintroduced into Idaho. There was some crazy talk going on back then, from fears that wolves would eat kids at bus stops to fears that wolves would starve to death because they couldn't find food.
None of those fears were realized, and now, 13 years later, it's time to put another irrational fear to rest – that all the wolves will somehow perish if they are delisted.
Wolves are not the mythical, evil beast as some portray them, nor are they an animal that should be put on a pedestal. Wolves are flesh, bone and fur, just like any other animal, and should be treated the same.
It's time for lawsuit-happy, pro-wolf groups to back off their stupid court challenges and own up to the fact that they knew the rules when wolves were reintroduced. When population goals were met, wolves would be delisted. Those criteria have been met several times over, and trying to stop the process is dishonest and a discredit to the hard work these groups did to bring wolves back to Idaho.
Need an example? The Sierra Club issued a press release today saying "There is almost no genetic mixing between the three subpopulations of wolves in the region. Without genetic interchange between the populations, wolves will be forced to inbreed, compromising the health and viability of the population."
Where was this argument when the Fish and Wildlife Service reintroduced 35 wolves into Idaho? It seems that 35 wolves would be much more prone to inbreeding than 800. It also ignores that fact that wolves probably roam over more territory than any critter without wings. It's a weak, shallow argument that should embarass Sierra Club members.
I'm sure it's not the only irrational argument we will hear from groups that got their way getting wolves back into Idaho, but now want to change or twist the delisting rules when the rules don't suit their purpose.
All sides of the wolf debate will be better served if they let the delisting process go forward, and ultimately, so will the wolves as they become a permanent part of Idaho's landscape.