the idiot vs. the wolf

Driving into work this morning I heard a story that really got to me. It’s about the successful reintroduction of wolves into Yellowstone and Central Idaho that started a few years back.

The history of the wolf (Grey wolf to be specific) in America is pretty tragic. Basically, as Western expansion reached a fever pitch, the U.S. Government systematically killed wolves in order to make ranchers feel that their livestock would be safe – eventually reducing the population in the lower 48 to zero. (There are some other species in the Southwest like the Red Wolf.) The ironic thing is that unless a wolf is sick, it almost never attacks domesticated animals like sheep or cows. Furthermore, there are none (or very very few) instances of any healthy adult wolf attacking a human. It just doesn’t happen. The wolf, folks, has basically gotten a bum rap. Greed and ignorance bred myth, and that myth has stuck. (You can find the same sort of self-serving and inane myths in this country attached to racial groups in order to explain away our ill-treatment of them.) And so the grey wolf is now on the Endangered Species List, as it should be.

The Department of Fish, Game, and Wildlife or whatever it’s called won the right to reintroduce the wolf on an "experimental basis". I’m not sure why they chose to go for the "experimental" designation – perhaps to more easily get the courts to agree. Apparently this experimental thing allows ranchers who catch wolves killing their livestock to shoot the wolves. Fine. OK, no big deal because that just doesn’t happen much. The reintroduction goes very well and about 150 wolves are currently thriving, and are finally forming into packs.

Now as we all know, nature is a balance, and has a way of regulating itself. The cute and fuzzy part of that balance generally wins the hearts of the people – gets the sympathy ("run Bambi, run!"). But the thing is this: predators are probably more important than the grass eaters, and when you remove one of those predators, no one’s chasing Bambi and thus the cute and fuzzy population increases. Soon there are too many Bambi’s, not enough food, disease spreads, and one night you’re driving down Old Route 284 in your daddy’s Grand Prix coming home from seeing a double feature of The Haunting and Deep Blue Sea with Cheryl Hancock from Katonah who’s a junior and finally let you touch her breast during the part where Owen Wilson gets sucked into the fireplace and now as you put your hand to your nose to smell the Obsession that she obviously sprayed directly onto her nipples still clinging to your skin, you look up to see an 8-point buck standing in the middle of the road. Next thing you know the car is splayed on the side of the road rammed into a tree and the deer has crashed through your windshield, both of you too stunned from the impact to move.

Then the deer starts frantically kicking...

OK, so now the fuckers at the Department of Agriculture (or whatever) are suing to have the reintroduction repealed, basically at the behest of ignorant scared ranchers who can’t truly fear for their livestock (the government has already promised to pay for any loses due to wolf attacks) – so who knows their real objection to the wolves. They won the first round and now the case is going to a higher court. And on what legal basis can they have this repealed? Check this shit:

The DOA (should be their anagram) claims that since there were a handful of lone wolves who’d made it down to Idaho from Canada on their own before the reintroduction, the wolf is not a candidate for the program. Technically this is true. However, it is a massive stretch to claim that a handful of solo wolves constitutes a "population" as the language states. This is what the wolves’ fate now rides on. And what does the DOA say when asked why they are battling so hard? "Well, we think that government agencies should have to follow the exact letter of the law."

Like when does that ever happen you hypocrite coward greedy cow-fuckers!? I mean I feel for the plight of the farmers and ranchers, but if I’m not mistaken, the most vocal opponents are not the struggling family farms, but the rich ranchers who could afford to lose a Bessie or two. These are the same people who pay good money to hang off a helicopter in Alaska "tracking" wolves through the snow to shoot them for the thrill (wolf hunting is legal there as they’re not endangered in Alaska).

I’d really like to drop one of these fuckers off 250 miles from Juneau in the middle of the woods with nothing but a Swiss army knife. Now go track a wolf, dickhead.

This is where I let Larry King take over my body for a few minutes.

Larry is too upset by the above story to make stupid observations about random things right now.

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