Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Sueing for wolves in RMNP

A nonprofit group sued the National Park Service on Tuesday because it plans to cull elk in Rocky Mountain National Park instead of reintroducing wolves to naturally control the herd..

WildEarth Guardians, a.k.a. Sinapu, claims that park officials did not adequately consider reintroducing gray wolves into Rocky Mountain National Park to solve the elk population problems.

Park Service biologists considered reintroducing wolves as one alternative to control the elk but nixed the idea because reintroducing a self-sustaining wolf pack was not feasible, because there was no regional wolf reintroduction plan. (The plan to cull elk took six years to finalize, so just imagine.)

But the lawsuit, the bureaucratic excuses, and the culling may miss the larger wolf point. Independent of any human plans, signs suggest the wolves are coming, from the north, and possibly from the south. Maybe it's best to just wait and see what happens.


Evan Plaice said...

That's a disappointment. I personally presented the environmental impact statement in a student group to a large audience @ RMNP 5 years ago that included how reintroducing the gray wolf as a keystone species to the area would minimize the effects of chronic wasting disease by means of how wolves selectively kill their pray. IE, wolves intentionally single out young/old/diseased prey (to prevent injury) when they hunt therefore accelerating the rate of natural selection while sufficiently trimming populations to reduce disease amongst the herds. My guess is, there are politics involved with the local free range ranchers (like MacGregor Ranch) that still control large plots of land that share borders with the park. They can't really claim ignorance on the topic because it has been addressed to the park staff already.

Anonymous said...

Would love to get a hold of a copy of that Evan, was it peer reviewed ? Did you get it published anywhere.


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