CNHI News Service

Opinion

January 23, 2013

Wolves still need protection

It has always been human nature to vilify creatures we don't understand. From grizzly bears to great white sharks, whole species have been hated and feared for no other reason than their looks and attack stories that seldom take into account the science of animal behavior.

For years the wolf has borne the brunt of this irrational fear, thanks to everything from fables like "Little Red Riding Hood" to movies like "The Grey."

So I was pleased when contemporary mystery writer Nevada Barr attempted to demystify the wolf in her 2008 novel, "Winter Study," based on the seven-week period each year when scientists follow the lives of wolves and moose living on Isle Royale in the Upper Peninsula. Over more than 50 years, the study has revealed the true nature of the little-understood wolf and its struggles to survive in Michigan. 

An essential part of the state's ecosystem, wolves were hunted to the brink of extinction in previous centuries, like cougars and wolverines before them. But thanks to federal protection, the species has been making a slow recovery.

Now, just a year after the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service removed wolves in the Great Lakes region from the endangered species list, Michigan politicians and special interest groups want to reverse the wolf population's fragile status, throwing away all the money spent and all the progress made over the last half-century. With only 700 wolves in the state, new legislation signed in December designates the wolf as a game species and authorizes the Natural Resources Commission to establish a wolf hunting season.

The bills's sponsor said that the wolves are "threatening" populated areas in the U.P. This, despite the fact that there has never been a recorded wolf attack on a human in Michigan. In fact, according to experts, wolves are afraid of people and do all they can to avoid them.

Text Only
Opinion
  • taylor.armerding.jpg Warren's populist pitch on student loans is off key

    Sen. Elizabeth Warren's populist rhetoric pumps up students about their loan burdens, but she conveniently neglects to mention the real problem - the exorbitant cost of college - much less how she's benefitted from those high prices.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • taylor.armerding.jpg Obama's equal pay exaggeration leads us all into danger

    The president's claims of national shame over gender-based pay inequity spring from distorted calculations, as well as some convenient political math.

    April 11, 2014 1 Photo

  • taylor.armerding.jpg Voters beware of oligarchs and bogeymen

    Scaring voters to distract them from issues is a tired - and bipartisan - ploy sure to be in heavy rotation this campaign season.

    April 4, 2014 1 Photo

  • taylor.armerding.jpg Put teens to work by laying off minimum wage rhetoric

    Idle teen workers may be a national problem, but frugal private employers aren't the reason for it. Minimum wage hikes - like the one championed by President Obama - squeeze these marginal jobs out of the economy.
     

    March 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • taylor.armerding.jpg Legal marijuana can be government's new cash crop

    Officials holding out against legalized marijuana may "evolve" their thinking because of one number: Colorado says it gathered $2 million in taxes from pot shops in January, as business was just getting started.

    March 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • taylor.armerding.jpg Banning a 'B-word' teaches girls the wrong lesson

    Striking the word "bossy" from the language doesn't help young girls learn to speak up or become leaders. It teaches them how to be, well, bossy.

    March 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • taylor.armerding.jpg Giving businesses choice is not legalizing discrimination

    The owner of a California gay bar should be allowed to refuse service to legislators he considers "crazy, ignorant or stupid." The problem is the popular double-standard that supports his version of "discrimination" while raging against anyone who disagrees with him but wants the same freedom.

    March 7, 2014 1 Photo

  • taylor.armerding.jpg Obama twists Constitution to cut U.S. military

    President Obama's plan to slash the military to pre-World War II levels endangers the country, especially when our enemies don't know the war is over.

    February 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • taylor.armerding.jpg Benefits of hiking minimum wage are an illusion

    The president's latest economic fantasy says raising the minimum wage will incentivize work, lower unemployment, juice the economy and may even lower taxes. All while businesses swallow billions of dollars more in labor costs.

    February 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • taylor.armerding.jpg Coastal residents should pay true cost of flood insurance

    The environmental champions in Congress took a big break from their moral scolding this past month with a gigantic “Never mind!” after their constituents discovered the law requiring them to start paying the true cost of living in flood-prone areas.

    February 14, 2014 1 Photo

News
Sports

Features