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Joecreek
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PostFri Mar 23, 2007 12:47 pm 
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I kind of doubt elk would avoid their favorite eating oppotunities. The elk are harried, everywhere. When the elk move away from the streams so do the wolves.  The wolves don't seek out the streams in order to protect them. They seek them out because they have attracted the elk, and continue to attract elk and will forever attract elk. Cutting elk more than in half has to factor into the math here. Humans, like wolves, also hunt elk in the riparian areas bercause they are the most easilly accessed. The point remains that human culling/hunting could be aimed at riparian areas as the open zone and in such numbers as required to have the net effect and in such seasons as to have human hunting pressure in these areas year round. No one argues that the wolves had this positive effect, it's just not true that it couldn't have been achieved without them. It wasn't tried.  BTW the point doesn't suggest wolves should not be present, only that the overgrazing problem was not a single solution one.
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PostFri Mar 23, 2007 1:13 pm 
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My statement above was based on a conversation I had years ago with an NPS fisheries biologist. Sorry my memory's a bit fuzzy and I can't recall who it was.
Joecreek wrote:
it's just not true that it couldn't have been achieved without them

Perhaps. I'm not convinced that human efforts would have the degree of effectiveness the wolf did, in that particular scenario.

I don't think there are 'single solutions' to such complex issues. Nor do I think wolf re-introduction should take place in other areas ( particularly at ONP ) until the long-term effects have been fully understood at places like Yellowstone. I think the campaign to re-introduce the wolf at ONP simply because there used to be wolves there is a bit short-sighted.

I wouldn't call shooting animals with a high-powered rifle and scope from a helicopter very "sporting", but I tend to give more credence to wildlife managers than "animal rights" activists and arguments that revolve more around ethics and aesthetics than science.
I have to wonder where all those "animal rights" groups were when Washington State game and wildlife management declared open season on feral hogs a few years back and managed to get most all the population wiped out within 3 years.
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Joecreek
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PostFri Mar 23, 2007 1:49 pm 
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Ski, reasonable people can disagree on the merits. Hunters want to see viable but minimalistic predator numbers out of self interest. Everyone should note hunters have contributed billions to produce both habbitat and oportunity. Non hunters have viable arguments as well. There are too many calling for action based on either doom and gloom preditictions for ungulate species and for doom for the wolves upon delisting.  I'm not suggesting that just because of the $ invested by hunters that they have first seat at the table, they don't, but they most certainly have had a dramatic effect in protecting and purchasing habitat and their position isn't marginalized becuase they hunt.

I get very frustrated at emotional pleas about ethics that aren't then applied consistantly. I get even more frustrated and demi or psuedo scientific claims made to try and motivate others ignorant to the biology to take on a cuase. My personal opinion, wolves should be delisted in ID/MT. WY and the feds can continue to war on their deal and wolves should not specifically inserted into other environs until this experiment has had sufficient life cycles to flesh out the unintended consequences regardless of severity. For instance in WA, nothing is preventing wolves from inhabiting the north cascades and by that virtue the entire cascade range. For whatever reason they have not. I suspect that the lack of elk in the northern half of our state has been part of the limiting factor but there's been no attempt to prevent the natural move of wolves southward I assume that the environment has spoken on that subject and no re-intro is called for there.
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Dirty Tough
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PostFri Mar 23, 2007 2:56 pm 
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Alan, I understand that the wolves did a great job in reducing the numbers. Where are all the wolves going to go now that the elk population is in check? They will not stop now that the elk population is in control.

I know what will happen. The rangers will tell the wolves to keep the elk population right at those numbers and the wolves will only kill the excess elk. rolleyes.gif

Sorry but since wolves have no predators except man, and man is not allowed to keep the wolf numbers in check right now, all the prey species are going to take are hard hit.

If it stays the same there are going to be a lot of wolves starving to death in 10 years. That is probably a lot more humane I guess then getting killed instantly with a bullet. Oh, and the elk herd will be gone.

Anyway since this is about delisting I think they should be delisted so the biologists can do their job.
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Dirty Tough
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PostFri Mar 23, 2007 3:10 pm 
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silence wrote:
What's really contributing to the drop in prey populations in Alaska? Weather, disease, HUNTERS (contracted or otherwise) or wolves? Since there hasn't been any definitive scientifically-based studies done there in recent years and hunting is BIG business -- let's just blame the wolves.

Do you really think it is the hunters that are killing all the cows and calves? Maybe Alaska should just eliminate all hunting for moose and caribou, that way the wolves can eat all of them instead of people.

And ski is right, shooting animals from a helicopter is not sporting, it is to control the population.
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Dirty Tough
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PostFri Mar 23, 2007 3:12 pm 
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PIB wolf numbers have not dropped in yellowstone. They expanded this year by 18%. That is not a drop.
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PostFri Mar 23, 2007 3:26 pm 
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from Defenders of Wildlife:

"The Alaska Board of Game lifted a statewide ban on moose calf killing in order to decrease moose populations in a large area near Fairbanks where wolf and bear control has been occurring for years. Such “eruptions” of moose populations are typical after intensive predator control. Previous eruptions have resulted in habitat destruction by moose and caribou, and ultimately a crash in the population."

"Since we can’t control the weather, one of the best alternatives is to control human harvest. Although hunters claim they take only a small percentage of moose and caribou, unlike four-legged predators they typically take the strongest and healthiest animals in the herd. This can have serious impacts on the breeding capacities of game populations, making them more vulnerable to both disease and predation."
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Dirty Tough
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PostFri Mar 23, 2007 3:33 pm 
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Amazing it came from defenders of wildlife>
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silence
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PostFri Mar 23, 2007 3:37 pm 
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oh, get over it smile.gif
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Dirty Tough
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PostFri Mar 23, 2007 3:44 pm 
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Really it kills me, cause you have people in your own state slaughtering wildlife with no rules, and you are worried about what Alaska is doing with their animal population. I would take care of problems at home before I worried about my neighbor.
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silence
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PostFri Mar 23, 2007 4:07 pm 
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Alaskans are worried about what happens in their state, but their F & W and legislators don't listen. In 1996, a statewide ballot initiative was passed by Alaska voters prohibiting "land and shoot" hunting of wolves by the public and setting strict standards before the Dept could implement a lethal wolf control program. These standards required that a biological emergency must exist before control efforts could begin. In 1998 and 1999, the legislature passed bills largely reversing the 1996 ballot initiative. The governor vetoed the bill, but the legislature in a partisan vote overrode the veto. In November of 2000, another statewide vote was taken by Referendum, again prohibiting "land and shoot" hunting of wolves.

I think there are plenty of Alaskans who welcome our interest and concern.

Nor typically does WA's "powers that be" listen - citizens pass initiatives and then they're either overturned or ignored. I have much concern for our wildlife in WA (heh, I'm just gettin' started) and hope someday to see wolves here too, including in the ONP.
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Joecreek
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PostFri Mar 23, 2007 4:22 pm 
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Putz, if they delist in the non national park areas they would not have to watch this explosion to die off curve to wait for future "balance" to come. If they delist the wolves they can use data from Canada and AK to manage the wolf pop to a number that will allow for sustained herd levels of deer and elk without having to first go through the outlying ends of the bell curve.

The real end game question is how to manage state resources. Hunters would argue to keep wolves at whatever the minimum viable sustainable threshold for their population so as to also maximise hunting oportunity. Considering the huge input in terms of $$$ that hunters bring not only to the state budge of fish and game but also to the economies of the states, this is a fairly intelligent decission. Especially when you note that wovles will not ever be an environment/tourism draw to visitors as they are notoriosly hard to find/view. The very budgets that are used to maintain habitats of all kinds in the state are funded primarilly with license fees. It's in the interest of habitat, hunters and the state to maximise hunting oportunity within environmentally acceptable outcomes.
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Joecreek
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PostFri Mar 23, 2007 4:27 pm 
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Silence, a public vote has what to do with biology? The fact that the public may not like the asthetics of arial shooting does nothing whatsoever to make it more or less ethical or effective as a management tool. Popular votes at different times would have kept women and blacks from voting... what's popular and what is correct aren't necessarilly tied in any way.

In WA after 2 years the legislators can modify or overturn any citizen initiative and they do, all the time. That's politics. You've yet to prove a single biological point that suggests the killing of wolves is a harm to the environment or that delisting will be a harm.
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PostFri Mar 23, 2007 5:09 pm 
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As I said before, I'm not an expert (I could spend some time looking for supporting info - about how the hunting and killing wolves affects other wildlife and the balance of nature, but I'm happy to put my trust in experts who honestly don't have a political or economic agenda). However, I don't believe you've presented any corroborating evidence to prove otherwise - that's the problem. Folks are just asking for more conclusive data and studies before resorting to these tactics (which could have lasting and/or permanent impacts). Good talkin' with you - got to go.
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Joecreek
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PostFri Mar 23, 2007 8:20 pm 
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generally silence, when someone calls others to action, he doesn't say "believe me." If you have a cause, you don't reference "experts" you trust... so trust you.

I've not seen any specific experts cited, no specific studies and any refutations of those studies. I've seen nothing but a personal "I love wolves". I would feel burdened to do more to flesh out my personal point of view, but I haven't come here asking others to take specific action on a scientific and biological matter.

You don't have to source anything, that's your prerogative. It however means you and your call to action are to be dismissed out of hand. The sky is falling.
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