Since I posted my last blog regarding the upcoming wolf hunt in Idaho and Montana, I've been getting a number of comments. In fact, I've gotten one of the highest numbers of comments on this, that I've gotten on anything since I started this blog two years ago. At that time, I wasn't even thinking about blogging on the subject of wolves, their ecology, and reintroduction efforts. And my blog is still, mainly a "writing" blog, with what might be called subfields related to my books. So mostly it will be about writing, medieval times, Neandertals, and related subjects. But since wolves have trotted themselves back into Washington State(and in some future Great Science Fiction Masterpieces, wolves are going to play their part, whatever that is, I feel it incumbent upon me to blog about them.
As I said, most of the comment I've been getting in regard to my previous blog has accused me of "not researching", getting my facts wrong, etc., etc. I am not denying that I didn't put a lot of "facts on the ground" into my blogging efforts; however, since I often get information from other sources that prompts a blog, I linked back to the relevant blog(which anyone can see if they look at the previous post), which summarizes facts and figures here. Unfortunately, some people who read my blog comments didn't like the way I blogged, and wrote rather vituperative comments, both in the comment section, and on Ralph Maughan's Wildlife Report(scroll through the comments section, and you will see what I mean). I find this rather distressing, but on the other hand, I will not be intimidated by them. Furthermore, it has always been my policy to respond to anyone who comments, at least on this blog, whether or not I agree with them. I feel this is only fair and courteous. The only exceptions are obvious spam, which is the only reason I've instituted comment moderation.
I can understand the feelings of those who feel wolves are a threat to their livelihood. Farmers and ranchers face a lot of economic problems, and in the Intermountain West, where this wolf hunt is supposed to take place(Idaho and Montana, there is at present, and always has been, a lot of anti-predator sentiment. This, of course, includes wolves. A lot of people in Montana, Idaho, and Wyoming, opposed the reintroduction of wolves to Yellowstone National Park, though the vast majority of all people who voiced any sentiments at all on this subject, were in favor of this idea. I know this, because I visited Yellowstone at the time, and signed an informal poll. It turned out later, that 90% of the people who signed on to that poll, favored wolf reintroduction. But on the other hand, there were heated "town meeting" type debates, both in Montana and Idaho, and in some cases, the "antis" tried to pack the halls. I know this also, because when such a meeting was held in Seattle, the city thought it prudent to send a couple of police officers to the scene. Fortunately, the police officers had nothing much to do; the vast majority of people there(and the place was packed), again, favored wolf reintroduction
Still, there is a noisy group of people, such as the Governor of Idaho(no, I didn't think to link to the YouTube video at the time I saw it, unfortunately(, who are ready and eager to start shooting wolves. I am pretty sure that most of these noisy would be wolf hunters, have farming or ranching interests of some kind, and the fact that wolves have been taken off the Endangered Species List(though they are still listed as Threatened), has only egged these people on. One of the people on that video actually advocated pretty much shooting every last wolf, not just the 220 wolves that are "officially" being allowed to be shot. And he also advocated aerial hunting, as is unfortunately done in Alaska, thanks to the former governor of that state. I have been told this won't be happening in Idaho, but still. . . .
Which brings me back to the negative commenters. It seems to me that these people have their "own" agendas. That is fine. They are welcome to disagree with me. But some of them don't seem to be any longer on facts than they accused me of being. So if one is going to argue a counter position on this, or anything else, I would like to see their "facts on the ground" Someone else "slammed" me anonymously. I am no longer going to accept "anonymous" comments; they will be treated as spam. I don't care whether or not your "handle" is your real name or not. But you have to have one.
Finally, as I said earlier, I have no intention of being intimidated by this, nor do I have any intention of being chased of Ralph Maughan's, or anybody else's site. I will strive to be polite and courteous at all times, to anyone who passes through here. And, needless to say, I will continue to blog about the state of wolves in North America and elsewhere, when that seems needful. A blog, after all, is not an article in a scientific or academic journal(and yes, in the course of my research, I've read any number of those). It is at bottom a place to express opinions. They should be based on "the facts", whatever they may be, but they should not necessarily be bound by them. So expect more "lupine opinion pieces" in the future.
I will leave this for now,