The Following Is A LOBO WATCH “Letter to the Editor” That Was Published In The Houston Herald, Houston, Missouri Earlier This Week…
I am a former resident of Missouri, and took my first whitetail buck there with a muzzleloading rifle way back in the mid 1960s. I fondly remember the abundance of wildlife. The residents of the Show Me State need to fight any efforts ever to allow a nucleus of wolves to be established. It is the goal of radical environmental groups to do just that, and once wolves are there the state’s wonderful wildlife resources will disappear right before your eyes. I’ve witnessed that right here in western Montana where I now live – and fight the idiocy of the wolf recovery project. The same losses are now being felt across the upper Midwest.
The cause of that wildlife devastation is new wave wildlife managers and biologists who have forsaken the North American Model of Wildlife Conservation to work more closely with radical environmental groups to achieve their agendas.
The greater our losses, the more this issue will be in the spotlight. Help the sportsmen of this country, who have footed the bill for wildlife conservation, continue to be an integral part of wildlife management. Organizations such as Defenders of Wildlife, the Sierra Club, and the Humane Society of the United States really suck at it, and only have a couple of real goals – to put an end to hunting and to force rural Americans off the land and into the cities.
Toby Bridges LOBO WATCH
It is the goal of radical environmental groups to see that the wolf is reintroduced into every region of the U.S. where this destructive predator once roamed. And these groups, along with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and many state wildlife agencies have and will continue to violate the Endangered Species Act to accomplish that goal. For the “rewolving” of the Northern Rockies, USFWS manipulated wolf science to make their job easier, by ignoring the subspecies differences of wolves found in North America. In short, they simply brought in a non-indigenous, non-native Canadian subspecies and dumped them into the Greater Yellowstone Area. While the wolf in its native range of north central Alberta was in no way “endangered”, once the agency threw them into an ecosystem where they had never before been found, the very same wolves were given “Endangered Species Act” protection.
In reality, they are nothing more than an invasive subspecies, one that is now wreaking havoc with big game populations. Elk herds across most of western Montana and northern Idaho have suffered an 80+ percent loss – due to wolf depredation and the near total loss of calf recruitment. Other wildlife populations are are now taking a beating as well.
Wolves are now beginning to move down out of Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan as well, and wildlife agencies in the states to the south seem to be ready to welcome them with open arms. The Illinois Department of Natural Resources has already established something resembling “Wolf Zoning” – claiming that any wolf found north if Interstate 80 is considered a “threatened species”, while any wolf found below Interstate 80 is considered an “endangered species”.
During the 2010 firearms deer season, a Missouri hunter shot a wolf just north of Kansas City, which wildlife officials claimed “walked down” from Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. Really? Did that wolf indeed “walk down” from where it was supposedly collared some 600 miles away, and are the wolves being sighted in northern Illinois really “walking down” from northern Wisconsin? Or, are our new wave wildlife biologists and managers giving them a free ride?
Sportsmen in these states will quickly discover just how quickly wolves can destroy deer herds. Wolves across the upper Midwest have eliminated 60+ percent of the great deer numbers found there 10 to 15 years ago. Between 6,000 and 7,000 wolves are believed to now roam the region…but no one really knows for sure, since wolves are among wildlife most difficult to count. Only the degree of damage to wildlife and livestock left behind becomes something of a barometer to give a feel for how many wolves there really are in an area or region.
Last year, New Mexico’s governor and game commission withdrew that state from the federally run and controlled Mexican wolf reintroduction – again due to severe wildlife losses and threats to state residents. Those states now facing the wolf moving in from areas where lessened big game numbers can no longer support such a burgeoning number of wolves need to take New Mexico’s lead, and adopt state legislation against wolf reintroduction. With the damage already done in Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Michigan, it’s clear what lies ahead if wolves are allowed to freely expand their range. Just ask the residents of Oregon and Washington. The state wildlife agencies there were foolish enough to think they could “manage” wolves, and where wolves have moved in from Idaho, big game populations are already on the decline – and ranchers are feeling the bite of the wolf.
Wolves cannot be managed. They must be controlled. And that is easier done before they have the opportunity to destroy the past 75 to 100 years of wildlife conservation.