We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Oh yes..wolves are wonderful stewards of the land. So far they've pretty much decimated the elk and moose herd here in Wyoming. They kill for fun. There's no other explanation for it since they rarely kill their prey. New born elk and moose calves are particularly vulnerable and all they want from them--if that--is their face. They savage and kill sheep and cattle and even pet dogs. And very occasionally a coyote.
That doesn't sound like wolves at all. The only animal that I know of that eats the face are weasels. And possibly carrion birds that eat the squishy bits first. Which is why they wait til the carcass is in advanced stages of decomp because of their inability to tear into just dead flesh easily. And they tend not to leave if there's something to be consumed. I've almost smacked enough of them with on the roads while they eat roadkill.
I briefly read this article and one thing stood out to me. The sentence about how reduction of the wolf population made killings of cattle and domesticated animals increase. Is this because the wolf packs had smaller numbers and therefore, went for easier prey? (which they are going to do anyway if they want to survive).
Or is this just a skewing of numbers? ( we let them kill more wolves and more farmers claimed loss immediately after so they are of course - cause and effect - when they might not be).
"Inventing problems which only government power can fix"--my little county is in turmoil over an initiative to create a new groundwater conservation board. We're small and rural, with a not-very-exciting coastal aquifer (really a lens of below-sea-level fresh groundwater sitting on top of a lot of salt groundwater) that is local to our county and not an obvious target for voracious companies that might want to harvest water to sell to distant cities.
The voters have turned the proposal down once already, but the proponents are still trying to convince us we need a board to protect the groundwater. Maybe we do, but so far the arguments amount to "trust us"--well, that, and "don't you care about the water? and the grandchildren?" In the meantime, the groundwater levels have been stable for 50 years and there is no clear and present threat. I was pretty encouraged to see that the local voters saw a clear and present threat in the proliferation of government.
I like wolves, look for them when we go to Yellowstone and have seen them a number of times in Alaska. Perhaps wolves can be reintroduced to the lower 48 but honestly I doubt it. Except perhaps in Yellowstone and a few areas of the NW. The problem as I see it is they must become a protected species. This presents problems for ranchers and others living in remote areas. The problem in a nutshell is that the rancher/landowner can't kill them when they become a problem and the state won't reimburse the rancher for losses. This problem will become exacerbated as the population grows and an ever more intrusive and abusive government takes away ever more property rights from the landowners to "save the wolves". IMHO 'THAT' is exactly the intent by the activists and politicians, i.e. to create an excuse to seize property and power.
We have wolves in the lower 48 and the cost per wolf alive today is in the millions. Does that make sense? It should cost a few thousand to trap and transport a few wolves but for some reason when the federal government does it the cost is around $5 million per wolf (before they are done pissing away your tax dollars on the program).
We have no wolves here in the Texas Coastal Bend, but we have plenty of coyotes, along with the occasional wildcat and lots of crocodiles. No shortage of predators. A good thing, too, or we'd be overrun with deer and wild pigs.