In the last few weeks an article has been making its rounds on social media. The title makes the bold claim that three states are preparing to wipe wolves off of the landscape. This could not be farther from the truth. But hey, it is always easy to garner support for an issue when you can stir up emotions and do not have to worry about the truth.
First the title, they claim that they want to “eradicate” wolves. According to dictionary.com, eradicate means, “to remove or destroy utterly.” That is not the case. The three states in question want to return wolves to state management. States manage wildlife very well and in the modern era no state has ever set out a plan to eradicate any species and they are not going to start now.
In there very first sentence they call the proposed piece of legislation “The War on Wolves Act,” but one thing is conveniently missing – any reference to an actual bill. So unlike them I will provide you the information so you can see for yourself. You can read HR 424 right HERE.
This bill is very similar to the one passed back in 2011, that delisted wolves in Montana and Idaho. So this is not the first time it has been done. You would think that those opposing this bill would cite the previous bill as proof that this is a bad idea. The reason they do not is because it has been a success.
Wolf populations continued to grow in both states even with a robust hunting and trapping program in place. Human and wolf conflicts are down across both states and elk numbers are starting to recover. There has been no down side of de-listing wolves in these states. If you do not believe me CLICK HERE
Since they published their little article a federal judge ruled that wolves in Wyoming have exceeded recovery goals and a proper management plan is in place, so they are officially delisted. This ruling pretty much renders half of their argument null.
Now let me address probably the most dubious claim in the entire article. That, “this War on Wolves Act would allow for the same unregulated killing that nearly wiped out the species in the first place.” That is a bold faced lie.
First off, state regulated hunting and trapping does not mean no regulations. They will be managed like every other big game species in the state. The state will maintain a healthy and sustainable population, just like Idaho and Montana are doing.
Second, it was not hunter and trappers that almost wiped out wolves. It was a concentrated effort by ranchers and the Department of Agriculture launched a crusade against wolves. They used any means necessary to wipe them out, including the use of poison, which was extremely effective.
HR 424 is not reinstating the program which wiped out wolves from the lower 48. It is returning management to the states, because wolves have met recovery goals. Yes, they will be hunted and trapped, but they will not be “eradicated.” Any such claim is complete nonsense and a lie.
If you want to read the article I am refuting, CLICK HERE