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Real Predators Will Feast On Real Livestock Anti-Wolves: Far From Cuddly; They’re Killing Machines

FRIDAY, JAN. 20, 1995

Wolf lovers have seen too many Disney films.

They’ve been lulled by Rex Allen’s folksy narration into thinking that wolves are harmless and cuddly - particularly during the formative years.

(I can hear Rex now: “Here comes ol’ Akiata. She’s keeping a close eye on her pups. She knows cruel farmer Jones would love nothing more than to plug them full of holes.”)

Urbanites don’t care that stockmen now must coexist with a transplanted predator. So what if the wolves chomp a cow or two? they say. We’re willing to pay a little more for our hamburgers.

They wouldn’t be as flip if varmints prowled their safe suburban neighborhoods feasting on pets. Or if their livelihood depended on getting as many $1,000 animals to market as possible.

Wolves are ravenous killing machines whose territory extends up to 400 square miles.

Sure, they will provide some environmental balance to Yellowstone and the Frank Church/River of No Return Wilderness Area - if by environmental balance you mean ripping the guts out of little Bambis while they scream for Mama.

But they won’t stop there.

Every livestock owner within 100 miles of release areas must worry about Brother Wolf, along with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service regulations he brings with him. (Ranchers joke that they’re willing to take Canadian wolves if the Canadians are willing to take the Fish and Wildlife Service.)

The wolves are being reintroduced as an “experimental, nonessential” population, which allows some to be moved or even killed if they became a habitual problem to livestock or big game herds. But the Sierra Club and the Audobon Society already have sued to protect them under the Endangered Species Act.

Environmentalists, armed with an endangered animal like the spotted owl, can devastate natural resource industries.

The federal government should agree to reimburse stockmen for livestock killed by wolves, but it refuses to do so - nor will it allow ranchers to shoot these varmints if they attack dogs or “guard animals.”

The wolf is no romantic symbol.

It’s just another nuisance wished by idealistic city dwellers and bureaucrats on the hard-working ranchers who provide meat for our diets.


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