The New York Times
reports that Norway plans to kill most of the two dozen wolves
currently living in that country. The wolves have wandered over
from Sweden where they are being reintroduced.
(Free registration required to read the story.)
Here's another link to the story (doesn't require registration)
Of course, living amongst the wolves would color the perspective of the people. It's interesting that the wolves are the targets, despite the listed statistics: only 800 of 30,000 livestock killings last year. According to the article, lynxes and wolverines were far worse.
It's probably due to a combination of folklore (wolf vs. man tales) and the wolves themselves. When wolves howl, it can be heard for miles. This can give anyone who hears them the impression that the wolves are somehow close by. Lynxes and wolverines don't do that. That researchers, scientists, and evironmentalists would contradict the local public about the wolves' impact could make the public feel betrayed and lied to, hence the distrust and demand for such action.
The cattle industry in the Rocky Mountain area has had the same complaints about wolf re-introductions for years. Such people make up a far smaller portion of the population.
Never directly contradict someone or tell them that they're wrong without giving them an out. Maybe they can have the wolves captured and release somewhere else?
Jason Trowbridge, Undergraduate Tired Person
My goal is to be the kind of person that my dog thinks I am.
nmratman says: "The cattle industry in the Rocky Mountain area has had the same complaints about wolf re-introductions for years. Such people make up a far smaller portion of the population."
Don't underestimate the power of the agricultural lobby. Or the importance of agriculture to a state's economy, no matter how small the number of actual producers (take into account the processors, the retail businesses, the hired help, ect.). Especially with the ag economy essentially in a massive recession right now, the loss of a relatively small number of cattle can make or break a producer.
Back in Norway, I can tell you the farmer's response to the statistic without even thinking about it: Without wolves, that's 800 less dead animals!
Just a little devil's advocating. I haven't studied the wolf reintroduction mess in enough detail to have an informed opinion of it. Full disclosure: I'm in the ag industry myself, though not in the cattle business.
Don't underestimate the power of the agricultural lobby. Or the importance of agriculture to a state's economy, no matter how small the number of actual producers
I didn't intend to belittle the agricultural business, as I personally use products derived from agriculture and ranching at least 3 times a day. Certainly my perception on the number of people involved in agriculture is probably skewed, as between the desert, water-rights contriversies, and occasional impending water shortage, there's not too much farming in the surrounding area.
To clarify, I find it interesting that:
Very similar situations have occured and are occuring in the U.S. Part of my childhood was spent in cattle and oil country in Colorado, and there the big thing was coyotes. There were bounties on coyotes still in the early 70s. I had classmates who earned all their summer pocket money by turning in sets of coyote ears to the county agent.
And let's not forget the state of Alaska going after wolves with automatic weapons from helicopters a few years ago...
Just a little tidbit for you furs:
In my local paper yesterday, there was a small article
saying (roughly translated):
"Killing all of the two tribes(?) living in Østerdalen is in violation
of Norwegian law, the Bern-convention(?) and the treaty of cooperation with Sweden, a professor of law states.
Professor Ole Kristian Fauchald at the institute of government law writes that whole families of wolves cannont be eliminated unless there is proof of all individuals doing harm.
His statement is comissioned by the Norwegian WWF (world wildlife foundation), though it shows that (hopefully) not all Norwegians are mad.
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