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Written for the Yooper Spectator - Sept. 2007
WOLF REPORT 2007
IUNC Wolf Manifesto vs. MI-DNR Wolf Management Plan
By C. J. Williams
For this writer, the discovery of the “Manifesto on Wolf Conservation”, adopted in 1973 by the United Nations’ World Conservation Union’s (IUCN) Species Survival Commission’s Wolf Specialist Group, was the distasteful frosting on a cake baked with deceit by our state and federal natural resources management agencies.
In 1973, long before sportsmen began to suspect there were wolves in their U.P. hunting areas, long before Yoopers began to suspect wolves were killing livestock and pets, and long before MI-DNR personnel allowed themselves to become a laughing stock by denying that wolves had returned to the U.P., an international group of players was already preparing to reintroduce wolves to the lower 48 states, as well as to other countries around the world.
One of those international players is a wolf biologist named L. David Mech who was quoted in a Jan. 10, 1995 Rocky Mountain News article (“Wolf Expert Joins Capture Effort”) as saying he had “relocated about 120 wolves from Minnesota to Michigan over the years”.
Mech later claimed that the reporter, Gary Gerhardt, had misquoted him, but when Escanaba’s Outspoken Sportsman radio talk show host Bill Moore spoke with Gerhardt, who has won many awards for excellence in reporting, the man said he absolutely did not misquote Mech. Indeed, the written paragraphs that come before and after Mech’s statement about bringing all those wolves to Michigan support the reporter’s claim.
Mech, a wildlife biologist who’s studied wolves since 1968 and been a member of the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service’s Eastern Timber Wolf Recovery Team since 1972, also became a member of the IUCN’s Wolf Specialist Group in 1972 and has served as its chairman since 1978.
The Wolf Specialist Group, founded in 1970 purportedly because of the wolf’s extensive range and its tendency to compete with humans throughout most of its range, is one of 100 specialist groups included in the IUCN’s Species Survival Commission (SSC).
The SSC, in turn, is one of six commissions that carry out the main activities of the IUCN, whose alleged primary function is to create conservation policies and ideals and urge member governments to adhere to them in order to help the UN meet most of its Millennium Goals for Sustainable Development by the year 2015.
Of course, the experts coming up with policies and ideals regarding landscape and seascape scale ecosystem management are rewarded with grants and accolades, furthering their personal agendas and providing them with a job until hell freezes over, so their sound-science decision-making process is dubious from the get-go.
Along with the Manifesto on Wolf Conservation in 1973 came the Endangered Species Act (ESA), the result of legislation introduced in the House as HR-37 by the Michigan United Conservation Clubs’ man in Washington, John Dingell (D-MI), and in the Senate by Harrison Williams (D-NJ) as S-1983. Despite the fact that they were very similar, the Williams’ bill was accepted by the House and on Dec. 28, 1973, President Nixon signed one of the most abused Public Acts, the Endangered Species Act, into law.
As a footnote, Harrison Williams was indicted in 1980 as a result of the FBI’s Abscam Sting, and convicted on nine counts of bribery and conspiracy. Harrison met repeatedly with undercover FBI agents and worked out a deal where he would become involved in a titanium mining operation by way of having 18% of the company’s shares issued to his lawyer and promised to steer government contracts to the venture by benefit of his Senate position. Interestingly, Rep. John Murtha (D-NY) was listed as an “unindicted co-conspirator” in the scandal.
That’s just a little history about how Yoopers have been made to unwillingly waltz with wolves, though the good Lord knows Gang Green has been trying to educate us about how wonderful the man-eating killing machines are for the eco-system so we’ll become more and more tolerant of their increasing numbers.
The MI-DNR recently updated its original 1997 Wolf Management Plan, taking in recommendations of the MI Wolf Roundtable, and is welcoming public comment on their new draft of the plan through Nov. 14th.
While the 94 page tome seems overwhelming at first, a lot of it is redundant hype and pages of “literature cited” that can quickly be scanned through on the way to the crux of the matter, which for most folks is related to paying for wolf management, population control, and issues regarding human safety and hunting dog, pet, and livestock depredation.
Not to diminish the value of carefully going over the entire management plan, but Section 6.9 dealing with managing “actual and perceived threats to human safety posed by wolves” is quite interesting, as is Section 6.7, which deals with wolf depredation and social carrying capacity.
After reading through those sections, chapter and verse, it should be obvious to anyone with a lick of sense that the more Yoopers tolerate wolves, the worse it will become, and that there will be continued concentrated efforts to “educate” adults and children alike so that those who’ve been made unwilling victims of the forced reintroduction of wolves will become more and more tolerant.
There seems to be a consensus of opinion among wolf promoters that there are few incidents in the U.P. of humans having conflicts with wolves, whether it be a personal encounter or problems with wolves threatening or killing livestock, hunting dogs, and pets.
In many cases, people have learned over recent years to mistrust the DNR as a whole, and want nothing to do with any investigating officer. This is unfortunate, as it keeps a majority of Yoopers in the dark about wolf problems in the U.P. and disables those who’ve had a belly full of the wolf nonsense from organizing or joining a sensible wolf management or anti-wolf stakeholder group with clout.
I recently talked with the clerk at the Watton grocery store who told me that wolves are using the porch area right in front of her door as a toilet.
An incident like this isn’t exactly DNR fodder, but maybe it should be. If they’ve enough money to pay for wolf management and the problems that
ensue, they should have enough money to pay for posting news of problem wolves on their Website in a place that’s easily found, just as the Wisconsin DNR does.
In the meanwhile, there’s a relatively new Website, Michigan Online Wolf Petition, which provides forums where information about wolves and the problems they cause can be posted. It may take some getting used to and patience in learning how to post something new or reply to items already posted, but readers with computers are encouraged to visit the site often at the link provided at the end of this report.
As an example of the lack of information sharing in the U.P., consider that there was a meeting in Ironwood on July 5th regarding problem wolves that have been killing livestock and pets in that area for quite some time, lots of them at the John Koski farm near Bessemer where at least seven wolves were lethally removed last spring.
Many at the meeting arranged by Eldred (Al) Clemens, with invited guests Rep. Mike Lahti (D-Hancock) and Wakefield native Rep. Kevin Green (R-Wyoming) attending, believe the MI-DNR’s estimate of 500-600 wolves in the U.P. is too low, a belief countless other Yoopers share. To the best of my knowledge, the Ironwood Globe’s editor was the only newsman to cover the meeting, and yours truly got an e-mailed copy of that article by way of a property rights activist who lives in New Mexico. But hey, let a child be mauled and killed and you can bet reporters will be crawling all over each other to get the scoop.
A woman later attacked Mr. Clemons in a letter to the editor by accusing him of holding a “secret meeting”. Truth is that he was asked to keep the meeting down to a dull roar attendance-wise to accommodate the meeting room’s size and only twenty were allowed to attend. Had it been a bigger room, say the high school gym, it’s likely it would have been busting at the seams. She also attacked Mr. Koski by writing that if he hasn’t learned to manage his livestock after 10 years (presumably during the years he’s had to put up with wolves), he should get out of the business. Well, at least we know where that stakeholder stands.
What really ticks this writer off is that every Tom, Dick and Harry Stakeholder Group and/or individual member of those groups will weigh in on the new Michigan Wolf Management Plan, including those who are against lethal take, but it’s the Yoopers who are being victimized by the DNR’s and Gang Green’s poorly estimated and growing population of wolves in only one third of the state. Put a pack of wolves or two in the “green ways” around Detroit, Lansing, Saginaw, or even Petosky and let’s see who’s howling then!
The draft wolf management plan is posted on the MI-DNR Website at www.michigan.gov/dnr or at the direct link below. Requests for hard copies can be sent to: MI-DNR Wildlife Division, P.O. Box 30444, Lansing, 48909.
Comments can be e-mailed to email@example.com or mailed to: Wolf Plan Comments, Attn: Endangered Species Coordinator, MI-DNR Wildlife Division, P.O. Box 30444, Lansing 48909.
The Real Cost Of Living With Wolves
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