The New York Times is weighing on the wolf hunts taking place in the Northern Rockies, including right here in Montana. In a Thursday morning editorial titled, “License to Kill,” the Times argues that the hunts will lead to the “slow extinction” of wolves in the West.
Specifically, the Times calls the decision to hold the wolf hunts political.
The hunts are not based on biology. They are political hunts, the result of pressure from ranchers, who rarely lose livestock to wolves, and from hunters, who believe that only they should be allowed to kill the elk on which the wolves feed. Problem wolves that kill livestock should be destroyed. But until scientists can determine how many wolves are needed to sustain a thriving population across the Northern Rockies, the hunts must end.
Reaction to the Times editorial in Montana, may flow something like this article reported by the Associated Press earlier this week. Biologists with the Arizona-based Center for Biological Diversity said the pockets of wolves in the Rocky Mountain West are not enough, and added:
“If the gray wolf is listed as endangered, it should be recovered in all significant portions of its range, not just fragments,” said Michael Robinson, one of the petition’s authors. He said the animals occupy just 5 percent of their historic range in the lower 48 states.
You’ve often heard Montanans say, “Well, if they like wolves so much, maybe we should reintroduce them to Central Park in New York City.”
Northern Ag Network’s Haylie Shipp interviewed Robinson for more information about that petition. Click here to listen to that full interview.
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Meanwhile, the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation says the petition should be a warning to all states. David Allen, RMEF President and CEO, said, “prepare to be sued” by these animal rights activists.
“We urge USFWS to be very cautious in this evaluation and reject the rhetoric of the Center for Biological Diversity, Defenders of Wildlife, Earth Justice, Humane Society of the U.S. and other animal rights groups. Wolf re-introduction in the greater Yellowstone region was a classic example of ‘let’s get our foot in the door and then move the goal line,’ and should be warning enough. This is a fundraising strategy with anti-hunting, anti-ranching, anti-gun impacts, and the public needs to understand and see it for it is,” added Allen.