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September 19, 2014

The Big (Not So) Bad Wolf of Yellowstone

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I came across this striking video of a talk by Guardian environmental writer George Monbiot. The argument for wolves in our public parks is quite simple. It’s makes them better, healthier and easier to maintain.

Last week, every wolf in the Lost Creek pack was killed by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game. After learning that the 11 shot included two that were part of an ongoing government research project, I felt that it was even more important for people to see this.

I know that the State of Alaska is trying to start a war on “federal overreach,” but wolves should not be part of the collateral damage.

Here’s the statement on the killings from the National Park Service:

“National Park Service (NPS) wildlife biologists lost the ability to research radio-collared wolves from the Lost Creek pack, which has historically used Yukon-Charley Rivers National Preserve. The Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G) eliminated all 11 members of the pack outside of the preserve last week as part of ADF&G’s ongoing aerial predator control program in the upper Yukon and Fortymile Rivers region.

The pack had been monitored by NPS researchers over the past seven years as part of a decades-long ecological study, and provided detailed information about the condition of Interior Alaska’s wolves, how they disperse, and the numbers of wolves utilizing the preserve to den and raise pups. Removal of the Lost Creek pack follows similar losses from ADF&G predator control efforts last spring which killed 36 wolves in the area, reducing the population using the preserve by more than half.

Yukon-Charley Rivers National Preserve was created in 1980 by the Alaska Lands Act to maintain the environmental integrity of the Charley River basin in its undeveloped natural condition for public benefit and scientific study, and to protect populations of fish and wildlife, including wolves. As top predators, wolves have an important role in the natural functioning of ecosystems by regulating prey species.

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How Wolves Change Rivers from Sustainable Man on Vimeo.

 

From George Monbiot’s TED Talk. Wolves were once native to the US’ Yellowstone National Park — until hunting wiped them out. But when, in 1995, the wolves began to come back (thanks to an aggressive management program), something interesting happened: the rest of the park began to find a new, more healthful balance. In a bold thought experiment, George Monbiot imagines a wilder world in which humans work to restore the complex, lost natural food chains that once surrounded us.

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8 Responses to “The Big (Not So) Bad Wolf of Yellowstone”
  1. Zyxomma says:

    I saw the video about Yellowstone wolves changing the rivers a couple days ago, and was quite moved. Had there been an open thread, I would have posted it here. Glad it made it here. Lisa Murkowski is either a twit, or paid to behave like one.

  2. mike from iowa says:

    The argument being made about re-introducing wolves in the USA is today’s transplants aren’t the same species of wolves that used to roam America’s west. These are Canadian timber wolves and even fiercer Siberian(Black) wolves that are larger,meaner,tougher,more aggresive,etc. than the buffalo wolves that were here before. They-the people who want to hunt ungulates-claim that elk and deer have been decimated in just the few short years wolves have prowled Yellowstone and other aeas.
    There are quite a few wolves in Northern Minn. and they hardly affect moose populations there. I believe Minn. study of moose mortality will show climate change is by far the largest cause of deaths.

  3. Ted Powell says:

    It’s a shame that Lisa was too lazy to cite specific instances of “stolen quotes”—or is she just making stuff up? That would be a shame too. In polite society is customary to provide some sort of evidence before calling somebody a liar. It’s a shame that Lisa apparently doesn’t know that … or doesn’t care … or is behaving this way because she was paid to.

  4. Ted Powell says:

    every wolf in the Lost Creek pack were shot last week

    English has this convention, that the subject and verb of a sentence agree in “number” (singular vs plural). If you wish to erode this convention, that’s fine; just as long as you’re doing it deliberately.

    Either
    “every wolf [singular] in the Lost Creek pack was [singular] shot last week”
    or
    “all the wolves [plural] in the Lost Creek pack were [plural] shot last week”

  5. juneaudream says:

    I hang my head this morning..at this news. Sad..and yet..the gathered informations..are not totally lost..but..’on hold’..they are..until the political war zones..are looked at..with educated eyes. Down here..there are some wolves..bless their random selves..and it is rare,very rare..to look up in the morning mists..and see one..equally startled..silent as a statue..watching us..also..startled..watching-back. Those who are..up, ranging in the local ranges..and the hills..have no collars..and thus..range as they used to. Unless one is in their old ages here..none believe..there are the random traveling wolves. Manytimes..it is..better that way..for the wolves..and..for us. Peace..good hunting..and seek the warm dens..and good-pupping females..keep the PACK..alive..and well…

  6. Lisa says:

    Did you know Levi’s ghostwriters stole quotes from your book and put them in different contexts? It’s a shame they manipulated the boy and made him a liar. It’s a shame liberals have proven themselves to be utter liars.

    • mike from iowa says:

      Who the hell are you-Lisa the Lycanthrope? Since the subject was wolves.

    • Zach Roberts says:

      From my book? I have not written a book yet.

      I’m not sure that I’d consider Levi a liberal just because he’s not a fan of the Palins.

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