Comment on Writers on the Range column at hcn.org, "Conservationists wrong to oppose wolf hunt" by Mike Medberry
Mike Medberry's column on reasonable wolf management is a breath of fresh air. I too think there is a lot of middle ground for responsible management. But the states sure haven't shown that intention, and I suppose the conservation groups find that they have little choice but to react to that lack of integrity. For example, the Idaho Fish and Game Commission stated in public meetings that they would use every tool in their toolbox to reasonably manage wolves, but when you look in that toolbox all you see are guns and dirt cheap wolf tags. Fish and Game manages for a select sector of society, the hunters and fishermen. Where are other people's interests represented, and by which agency charged with managing the wolf?
I would add to Medberry's comments that there is a need for some new science to improve our understanding of this experiment. The delisting plan was based on a best estimate of a sustainable population, three decades ago, when we had no idea how many wolves could live in the modern and fragmented habitat. The wolves themselves have shown us those numbers were way off. And there is little if any recognition of the economic value to the states and residents that management for larger wolf populations could bring. It is a simple fact that a lot of people would like to see wolves in the wild, or hear them, or just know that they are there.