How NRM Wolf Advocates Bit Themselves In The Ass

What might be the best article I’ve read on the lead up to this spring’s delisting of wolves in the Northern Rockies and parts of Washington and Oregon has now been posted in its entirety.

Previously, Hal Herring’s 4,500-word opus on wolf advocates’ lawsuits that held up state management for years after wolves were scientifically recovered, arrogance over locals’ concerns, estrangement from government biologists and then panic in the face of Congressional settlement of the issue was protected behind a paywall at High Country News. This week, it was published by the Cody (Wyo.) Enterprise as “Enviros ‘helped’ wolf lose protection.”

Herring is a hook-and-bullet journalist who blogs for Field & Stream. Previously he wrote that the delisting — brought about by a rider inserted into the Federal budget by Montana Senator Jon Tester (D) and Idaho Representative Alan Simpson (R) — “is a solution hated by the most radical environmental groups, and deemed unacceptable by the perpetually furious anti-wolf crowd. So it is probably just about dead-on.”

The nut of his new article:

It was a destructive cycle: The lawsuits inspired increasing anti-wolf fury; environmentalists responded with yet more lawsuits.

That model is no way to manage wildlife — or people.

But the beat just goes on. Groups are attempting to get the delisting thrown out as unconstitutional, and the RMEF and others flocking to defend it.

Of course, there are other takes on what happened (the state of Wyoming’s intransigence certainly hasn’t helped move management over to the states) which as wolf populations continue to grow in Washington and Oregon, I’ve dutifully read as well, namely the Christian Science Monitor‘s and Earth Island Journal‘s.

Those are interesting, but Herring’s piece is well worth the time.


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