From KTWO on April 22, 2009 (Earth Day)-
WOLVES AT LARGE: - CASPER AREA
AFTER TWO WOLVES KILLED A YOUNG CALF ON PRIVATE PROPERTY LAST WEEK IN THE LARAMIE REGION, THE DEBATE OF WOLVES IN WYOMING HEATS UP AND HITS CLOSER TO HOME. THIS IS THE FIRST TIME WOLVES HAVE EVER BEEN SPOTTED KILLING LIVESTOCK IN CENTRAL WYOMING. US FISH AND WILDLIFE SERVICE RESPONDED TO THE SCENE OF THE DEAD COW TO INVESTIGATE, AND DETERMINED THE CALF WAS INDEED HUNTED AND KILLED BY TWO WOLVES. THE RANCHER, WHO'S NAME HAS NOT BEEN RELEASED, DID NOT ACTUALLY SEE THE WOLVES...BUT OTHER RANCHERS HAVE SPOTTED WOLVES IN THIS AREA SOUTHWEST OF CASPER. A SPOKESPERSON WITH THE FISH AND WILDLIFE SERVICE SAYS RANCHERS NEED TO USE CAUTION IF THEY SEE A WOLF ON THEIR PROPERTY. IF YOU SPOT A WOLF ANYWHERE NEAR YOUR PROPERTY, CALL THE U-S FISH AND WILDLIFE SERVICE AT 261-6365.
First of all, in Wyoming, wolves are a big, no make that a huge and passionate issue, because they live here, and some of us have plans for them to stay for a very long time. The facts are unimportant in this story, just emotions, and hearsay. As the rancher said, "I got friends that live up in the Jackson area, in that area, and they've seen what it's done to the elk, and the population up there, and we don't want to see that." Not mentioned were the non-lethal ways of predator control, or the fact that domestic dogs kill more cattle then wolves. Nor were the specifics this rancher was talking about, just inflaming generalizations. I did e-mail this reporter, Briana Bermensolo with facts related to wolves, both the pro and the con. But no, they have to hop on the fearmongering bandwagon, and produce a bias, and partial story. This is what they call journalism these days. How sad, both for the students who don't learn how to be impartial, but also include there own, or playing to their audience's bias! Facts no longer matter. And Briana says at the end, "If you see wolves on your property, call the Fish and Wildlife Service." WHY? Are they escaped prisoners from Gitmo, or the state prison in Rawlins? Why not get your camera, and take a picture of these beautiful animals?
Wyoming's Wolf Recovery Plan:
Wyoming Plan Summary-
Wyoming’s wolf management plan is a significant departure for wildlife management in the state because it was created by elected officials in the legislature rather than wildlife biologists at the state’s Game and Fish Department. The current plan divides Wyoming into two different zones. In 88 percent of the state, known as the "predator zone," wolves are considered varmints and can be killed by anyone, at any time, by nearly any means. In the remaining 12 percent of the state—the northwestern corner—wolves are considered to be trophy game animals and are subject to management by the Wyoming Game and Fish Department.
In addition, the state law grants private citizens broad latitude to kill wolves in "defense of private property," which could jeopardize wolf population numbers. What Could Be Improved The Wyoming plan is based on politics, not science, and needs to be reworked by the state’s game officials. We would like to see Wyoming adopt a similar approach to Montana’s—managing wolves like other native game species, rather than varmints to be shot on site.
Federal courts agree. A recent judicial ruling reinstating endangered species status criticized these elements of Wyoming’s plan. The federal government has since retracted its delisting rule and Wyoming is starting over with a new plan.
-From the Western Wolf Coalition- @
One of the greatest threats to wolves are human's fears and misunderstandings about the species. There are many fairy tales and myths that tend to misrepresent wolves as villainous, dangerous creatures. Wolves are responsible for less than 1% of ALL livestock kills, but that doesn't stop the media, i.e.- K2TV (KTWO) out of Casper, Wyoming from airing a story about wolves, and the great "wolf scare" going on here in support of Wyoming ranchers, conservative politics, hunters, outfitters, uninformed reporters, etc.
Wolves and all wildlife need to be protected, and all this misinformation and myths need to be addressed. And the media needs to be a little more impartial, specifically here in Wyoming, because playing to one audience does not make for sound and good journalism!
Ms. Stone from Defenders of Wildlife said, ""Today for example there are probably hundreds of sheep and cattle that have died from dogs, coyotes and a number of other species, but only the wolves are going to make the news,"
And from "My Yellowstone Wolves Blog"- "As the WY story states that wolves (not seen but assumed) killed on "private" property, perhaps we homeowners should begin reporting when their cattle wander onto our private property and do damage. Is there reciprocity? If they can shoot wolves, can we shoot their cattle? They (their wandering cows) are, after all, damaging our property and causing us a bunch of money." - susangeez
For more info, check out this link: http://www.defenders.org/wildlife_and_habitat/wildlife/wolf,_gray.php
Also From Defenders of Wildlife-
Wolf Predation Plays Small Role in Livestock Losses in 2005-
1. In the continental U.S., health issues such as respiratory problems, digestive problems, calving complications and disease were overwhelmingly the most significant causes of cattle death in 2005.
2. Only 0.11% of all cattle losses were due to wolf predation in 2005.
3. Coyotes killed more than 22 times more cattle than wolves killed that year.
4. Domestic dogs killed almost 5 times as many cattle, and vultures killed almost twice as many cattle as wolves did in 2005.
5. Theft was responsible for almost 5 times as many cattle losses as were lost by wolf predation.
6. Predation by coyotes was the largest cause of sheep loss in 2005, accounting for 23% of all losses, followed by health problems & weather-related issues.
7. In states with wolf populations, an average of less than 2.5% of sheep loss was due to predation by wolves in 2005.
We all need to work this out, as it is not totally a black and white issue, rather it has tons of gray area, and it all needs to be addressed. And it is not only for the wolves sake, but in the end, for the sake of humanity!