HOWL Colorado

Wolves Top Concern for Idaho’s New Elk Plan

Sometimes I like to post articles that are clearly from the “other side”

JEROME, Idaho – Hunters overwhelmingly back more aggressive wolf population control measures, according to comments made on the Idaho Fish and Game Commission’s draft elk management plan.

The commission got its first glimpse of those 442 comments Thursday at its quarterly meeting in Jerome. Predation was far and away the top concern, outstripping other worries, including multiple zone and tags and habitat management.

Many hunters who testified to the commission Wednesday night said the reintroduction of wolves is the biggest threat to the elk herds…

Read the entire article on magicvalley.com: Wolves Top Concern for Idaho’s New Elk Plan

Craig White is, I admit, singularly focused: 

So ultimately what is all the howling
about and what do I tell my friend Chris, and
those hunters who have had a frustrating
experience hunting elk in Idaho? Elk populations
in some key areas of Idaho are declining
where wolf populations are abundant. Unmanaged
wolves do have a severe impact on
some elk populations; and, just as critical,
wolves impact people’s values, attitudes, and
emotions. IDFG will continue to evaluate
and respond to impacts that wolves have on
elk, deer, moose, and any other wildlife population
as much as possible by pursuing
management options allowed by the Section
10j rule (Endangered Species Act) to reduce
wolf populations in areas where wolves are
impacting elk populations. Other alternatives
such as appealing the decision to re-list
wolves or introducing legislation in Congress
with the intent to de-list wolves are being
explored by the state of Idaho and other
affected states. Hunters and others need to
know that IDFG is committed to using the
tools available to improve elk populations
where they are impacted. IDFG will also
continue to ensure elk populations thrive in
areas of the state that have not been impacted
by wolves and that quality hunting opportunities
are available. – Craig White, from the Fish and Game web site.

Craig White cares only about hunters. Wolves are, as you can tell from his own words, quite expendable in the search for “quality hunting opportunities.” This bias is seen throughout most everything he writes.

Only 6 percent of Americans hunt. Some very small portion of that percentage hunts for subsistence out of necessity. Most Americans that hunt do so because they like to kill things – it is a blood sport.

Craig White also famously references the Lolo elk herds and uses it as the poster child of why wolves must die.

He doesn’t, for fear of being called out, directly blame the population declines of Lolo on wolves, but instead blames the problems with recovering those herds on wolves. This is a half-truth at best – why did the populations drop so precipitously prior to wolf reintroduction and dispersion to the Lolo region? how well would they be recovering if wolves weren’t around?.

The problem is that the Lolo region is hardly representative of Idaho as a whole (where elk populations are stable, if not increasing) and yet it is being used as justification for across-the-board management decisions.

Hunters are the quintessential special interest group. They are small in number, vocal and pandered to much more so than their percentage of the population would warrant. Much like the NRA they wield leverage they simply should not have and this article is just representative of that influence.

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