This all started because the so-called "environmentalist" and animal "rights" whacko's decided to impose their insane idea of "natural" on the whole country. Starting with Yel- lowstone, they were going to put 78-100 wolves in the park, supposedly to help control the elk and other large animals. Those problems came up only after hunting was elimi- nated, which had been managing game populations very well. As usual, this stupid ex- periment went totally out of control and there are now somewhere between 370 and 500 wolves in the park. No one knows for sure. So much for "control".
What we do know is that, in fewer than 10 years, the elk herds in Yellowstone are down from more than 30,000 to fewer than 10,000 head now. The Antelope, never numerous, went from 600 to 200, and the bighorn sheep have fallen from 300 to 40 head. The wolf is multiplying at a rate of 34% a year, so wildlife in the park and surrounding area is being hammered so hard they may never recover naturally, even if we removed the wolf today.
These wolves are not the same as those which were native to this area. These are Canadian Gray/Timber Wolves, not the Rocky Mountain Wolf. The Rocky Mountain Wolf was smaller, weighed about 80 pounds, and hunted in pairs. The 150-160 pound Canadians hunt in large packs, which makes a big difference. The pro-wolf people are also saying that these wolves only kill the weak and sick, but wolves are canines and they often kill by instinct, and for fun. Wolves practice "surplus killing" whether they are hungry or not. They follow the herds, causing them to live in constant fear, since the wolf's pursuit is relentless. One wolf will kill 23-25 mature elk a year, and this doesn't count calves. Right now, in the high wolf density areas, only four (4) elk calves out of 100 are surviving. Now multiply that by 770 + wolves that are believed to be the numbers populating Montana, Wyoming, and Idaho.
Now these "grand experiments", running unchecked, are expanding to the surrounding country side. They are killing livestock and even stalking people. Many who live in these areas are afraid to leave the house and even walk to the mail box without being armed. Yet the whacko's want to put these wolves in every western state. The sad thing is that, even though there is talk of delisting the wolf to allow control, the environmentalists have vowed to sue and tie up the decision in court for years. This will bring more, possi- bly irreplaceable, loss and danger to the west. The people in rural America didn't ask to live like this. Taking a gun with you every time you leave the house or worrying about how many cattle or sheep you will lose each night is no way to live or make a living.
This is terrorism, any way you slice it. This needs to be a focus of our home land defense as much as an attack from any foreign enemy. These "green" animal "rights" groups are doing far more harm to the rural people in this country than any of the foreign ter- rorists are doing anywhere. What I'm saying is that we don't have time to wait on this one. As you read this, they are working to control the decisions made right here in Ore- gon. Each one of you that cares about the real America, whether or not you do any hunt- ing, need to write and call your elected representatives today. Tell them that you want action now and that you expect as much effort put into this as they are putting into anything else that affects the security of our nation. They must stop allowing the false lawsuits to prevent a return to common sense and scientifically sound wildlife manage- ment. They must regain control of the bureaucrats and stop this attack on us by the eco- terrorists.
Don't take my word for any of this! Do the research yourself. Sound science is readily available on the Internet. Look at what happened when they protected the seals and sea lions a while back. We almost lost our salmon runs on the Pacific Coast. We had to start fish hatcheries and help the fish populations in many very costly ways to keep the sal- mon from extinction. Well, I don't know of any way to start hatcheries to replant elk, deer, and antelope. We need to act now and get rid of the wolves, not waste decades while the courts grind through their ponderous ways until every game animal is gone. Please take the time to get involved. Predators of all kinds need to be controlled by humans. This is a simple fact of life. Without rational control, there is no life.
God Bless America.
Michae E. Cook, now retired, is former Sheriff of Coos County, Oregon.
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