No offense intended to anyone, but drunk driving fatalities and statistics has nothing to do with wolf management. For one thing, there are a whole lot more drunk drivers on the road than there are wolves. But most important is that drunk driving fatalities do or any other terrible thing justifies mismanagement of wolves. Two wrongs have never have and never will make a right. They will still be tallied as two wrongs. It's like saying, ignore the termites that are slowing eating your foundation away and only worry about the fire that's burning your house down. You need to address both issues appropriately. Drunk driving has nothing to do with wolf management, period.
For anyone out there reading this who doesn't live in wolf country and whose lively hood isn't affected by wolves, I ask... would you want a pack or packs of wolves roaming your neighbor? I want an honest answer. Do you want wolves to be turned loose to breed and multiply in your forests and fields virtually unchecked.? Do you want them roaming near your children?
I actually like having some wolves around, mostly to hunt. But they need to be managed properly. Wyoming had a great plan IMO... Make them a game animal in areas near the Park and Predator/Varmint status in the rest of the state. If we could do that here we could effectively reduce their numbers and we would start seeing elk and moose came back. And the ranchers would have a lot less losses. The wolves would learn in a hurry to stay off ranch land and stay away from cows and other livestock.
What's going on here now is utter madness and a crying shame.
BB, you said this...
Game populations are at an all time high by artificial management such as can be found on the Utah DNR website and their response to the hunter survey on elk.
First off game populations are not at an all time high in areas were wolves roam freely. They are at almost all time record lows. They have already placed hunting restrictions on a nearby elk district that used to be one of the most popular in the state, district 310 to be exact. I'm not up to speed on some of the other areas. My guess is that available moose tags will be reduced if they haven't already, in many districts, as well as elk. Game populations in these areas were very good until recent years and now they are dropping quick, so the implication that wolves are not having affect on these populations is totally bogus and it angers me to see and hear people making such claims. It is false information, period.
BB, if you are a student of animal sciences you will know that typical prey and predator populations are cyclic. When there are few predators, prey populations increase, and when prey populations increase, the predator populations also increase... until the predators start killing off large percentages of prey and then reduce their populations, which in turn leads to reduction of predator populations, and then the prey populations begin to rebound and on and on.
We as humans, have the power to control those swings with good management. We don't need large numbers of wolves. A few here in there is plenty. If you or anyone else want to save wolves, then please take them to YOUR state. We LIVE HERE,and it's WE who have to live with the wolf consequences... the real consequences... not fairy tale consequences.
Artificial manipulation of the gene pool produces Perdue chickens and herefords and it is being used on game animals for the satisfaction of hunters but the wolves are going to put a monkey wrench into that artificial management. So there is a faction of the hunters who are upset because the elk are going to be smaller, faster and spookier in a few generations under natural selection management by the wolves. And the human predator/interactions will increase in frequency.
Just what exactly is "Artificial Management"? Management is management. It's because of management that we have good populations of game. And it's because of poor management that we will loose much of our game plain and simple. The fact is that wolves kill and they are very good at it. They kill and eat a lot of elk and moose... elk and moose that no hunter will ever have the chance to hunt. To say that they are just changing the nature of the populations is bunk. They are systematically eliminating the populations and it makes me mad. The elk population in Yellowstone has been reduced by two thirds. Did you get that? Two thirds! And it will not increase as long as the wolf population remains the same or increases. It will continue to decline until there are almost no elk left. Then the wolves will die off and move out until the elk come back. Then the wolves will be back again. This is a man made catastrophe. Yellowstone had good numbers of animals but they are systematically being wiped out and in a few years the Park will be void of animals, including the precious wolves.
For every wolf that runs, "x" number of elk die each year to feed it. A pack can go through an elk a day and that adds up to 365 in a year. Do the math. Elk and moose can not sustain good populations for very long under that kind of pressure.
On the subject of killing people, there have been very few attacks and killing of humans by wolves over the years, but this is the first time that wolves have had such a high level of freedom and protection. They will in fact learn to loose their fear of man and become more dangerous. I don't care what the blasted statistics say in the past... if I lived in wolf country with children, I would be very concerned and I would take the law into my own hands to protect mine. There are no statistics that tell us how wolves behave when they are not threatened with hunting. This is a whole new deal.
Finally, here's my definition of "Artificial Management".... letting wolves run free without fear. That has never been the case in the existence of wolves and man history ever. Man has always preyed on wolves and their populations were checked and they had much more fear. The situation we have now is what I would call "Artificial"