Wolf management is nonsenseBy Frank Galusha
01/16/01 -- Coverage of the travels OR-7, the collared wolf now reportedly in Shasta County, has been absurd. Historic? Not! A given name: Crazy! Gleeful environmentalists? Nuts! Cattle ranchers needlessly alarmed? Baloney! A wolf management plan? Waste of taxpayer money!
Over the past few years I have accumulated six photos of huge Gray Wolves killed in states where they have been reintroduced. I’m sure there are many more on the internet.
Attempts to manage Gray Wolves in other states have failed and they are likely form packs in California. It’s humorous and satirical to try.
If you want to absorb some commonsense instead of absurdity, try reading this letter presented to the Siskiyou Board of Supervisors and the DFG last week by James Foley, a property and mining rights advocate.
I am a resident of Klamath River, CA. I have retired and moved to California from Alaska after residing there for 32 years.
While in Alaska, I had a lifelong occasion to both hunt and trap many different kinds of game animals; among them was the Gray Wolf. I am very knowledgeable about the habits and lifestyle regarding this magnificent animal. I have first-hand experience with wolves in close proximity to humans, pets and livestock.
The Wolf cannot be reintroduced to its former ranges in California without serious consequences, since the conditions of those ranges have changed. This has been proven in every state where the Gray Wolf has been reintroduced. Ranches and farms now sit squarely in the former range of the wolf.
The wolf is a true wilderness animal, to attempt to reintroduce it in close proximity to human and livestock situations in California would be a recipe for disaster. It goes without saying that deer and elk would also suffer since they have never been exposed to a predator of this caliber. Montana, Wyoming and Idaho all report severe impacts on wild game herds in every place where wolves have been introduced.
Given CDFG’s mandate to protect and enhance wildlife for use by the people, it cannot justify trying to manage the Gray Wolf in the light of the many reports of game herds in other states being decimated by this same animal.
Unlike hunters, wolves hunt year- around -- 365 days a year. Wolf predation is not limited to two weeks, one month, or whatever a hunting season length may be, it is year round. Once wolves are established there is no way that CDFG can effectively manage wildlife that could easily be managed before by implementing hunting seasons. A wolf recognizes no season, or limits.
The gray wolf and hunters are competitors; when it comes down to “either or,” the wolf will win and the hunters will just have to live with the consequences. There is no provision in this management plan for hunters.
History tells us that wolves and men cannot peacefully coexist. That is the reason why wolves have been displaced in every place where man has proliferated. This is not, as some assume, a bad thing. California has changed since the time when wolves roamed free here, and it will never be the same again. It is time to face this fact. Gray wolves are not the small brush wolf that once inhabited our state; gray wolves are huge by comparison.
Wolves are a magnificent animal. They are the epitome of true wilderness. As such, we do them a great injustice by trying to reintroduce them into geographical areas that are no longer suited to them. There exists today, large tracts of true wilderness where wolves thrive; this is where they belong.
They need true wilderness to survive and prosper. They need to be free from the threat of death and harassment forced on them by well-meaning but thoughtless people who simply cannot see the devastating results of their actions.
There is no reasonable excuse for introducing or even allowing something that has such a capacity to change the very lives of whole communities, businesses, and individuals. It is government’s job to protect, not purposely expose its citizens to harm and economic loss.
Foley has it right but he will probably be ignored or ridiculed. Not here! What he says makes sense. Allowing wolves to take up residence in our Western States is tantamount to inviting the return of Tyrannosaurus Rex (Maybe Grizzle Bears).