Wolves in Rocky Mt. National Park, by Jim Beers,
retired USFWS biologist
April 10, 2006
From the Craig Daily Press (Craig, Colorado) -
"With an elk population nearly double what
biologists say it should be,
Rocky Mountain National Park officials are looking
for ways to manage
the overgrown population.
Re-introducing gray wolves is one of the options
How long has Yellowstone Park been in place? Over
a hundred years and it is
much like this other old western, mountainous
National Park. Now suddenly
the "elk population" is "nearly double what
biologists say it should be"?
Based on what? The other animals? The
vegetation? Erosion? Disease?
Truth be told it is none of these.
Today, when you hear "biologists say" that is
governmentese for "we are
going to do this and since you are too dumb and
too powerless to do anything
about it you better sit down and shut up or
else". In other words, as
Malthus says about "sound science" in Chapter 2,
Verse 24 "that man (or
woman) should never get in the way of wilderness
or wolves or anything else
"biologists say (it) should be".
We know there aren't too many elk for hunters.
Ranchers and other neighbors
may think there are too many elk but since when
did any "biologist",
especially a National Park Service employee, give
a hoot in Hades about such
folks. We know the National Park Service and the
US Fish and Wildlife
Service never advocated any control of elk or deer
or bison in these Parks
for decades no matter that they carried diseases
or knocked down fences or
ate winter hay or denuded entire hillsides or
creek bottoms, no the Park is
and must always remain "sacred ground".
Hunting could have been adopted at any time the
Park Service tinker belles
and US Fish and Wildlife Service "biologists"
would have pushed it with
Congress but they never made a peep. Hunting
would have maintained the
herds at any level (increasing or decreasing them
and keeping them in better
health with strong reproductive rates) and
generated REVENUE for state
conservation programs and Federal Park operations
and maintenance while
protecting Park plants and minimizing erosion and
overgrazed valleys and
stream banks. But hey, some guy would take along
his kid and enjoy himself.
The meat would be eaten. Hides would make
moccasins and gloves and hats.
Teeth would decorate watches and hair would grace
turkey calls and hats.
Local economies would have benefited ten times
more than the lies currently
being publicized about "wolf economic benefits".
Better that urban
imaginings be catered to in order to keep the
Federal dollars and power
increases flowing to the bureaucrats.
So suddenly these anti-rural Federal overlords
conjure up an elk problem
and, well what do you know, they will consider
"Re-introducing gray wolves".
How wonderful, how fortunate we are that our
benevolent overseers are
seeking to "protect" our National Parks that they
ignored for so long. And
what a fortuitous coincidence that wolf
introduction is suddenly an
available option. I will just have to sit down
and write a poem about our
good fortune and read it at the next "Wolf
This is as transparent as Saran Wrap. It is all
academic anyway. The wolf
infection of the Rockies will get there soon
enough but this will just
justify more money and Federal (synonymous with
radical NGO) authority in
the meantime. So "they" can promise to delist
wolves or approve Lower
Slobovia's Wolf Plan as soon as wolves fill
(pardon me reach "optimal" or
"sustainable" levels in) Oregon and Washington and
Colorado and Nebraska and
Colorado and now (drum-roll please) the Rocky
Mountain National Park where
they will be embarking on this much-needed and
highly important elk
reduction effort (as the wolves pour out of the
Park into the surrounding
area and reproduce much more than anyone will be
able to "prove" while they
decimate livestock, dogs and big game hunting and
soon more people).
The really great thing that goes unmentioned is
that Defenders of Wildlife
can hire more boys and girls (with NPS or FWS
grant money) to "partner" with
the State and Federal "biologists" to convince
everyone that their eyes are
deceiving them and that things are getting better
as they deteriorate all
around. All the hunting conservation organization
staff folks can likewise
apply for the jobs it will create to "measure" and
"monitor" impacts and
give Power Point Presentations that say nothing)
and the State fish and
wildlife staff guys can all go to seminars, paid
for with hunting and
fishing excise taxes, on how to look interested
but never say anything
except to murmur while always keeping your
shoulder with the patch on it
turned toward the guy with the camera.
If you made this stuff up, who would believe it?
10 April 2006
- This article and other recent articles by Jim
Beers can be found at
http://jimbeers.blogster.com (Jim Beers Common
Sense) or at
- Jim Beers is available for consulting or to
- Jim Beers is a retired US Fish & Wildlife
Service Wildlife Biologist,
Special Agent, Refuge Manager, Wetlands
Biologist, and Congressional Fellow.
He was stationed in North Dakota, Minnesota,
Nebraska, New York City, and
Washington DC. He also served as a US Navy Line
Officer in the western
Pacific and on Adak, Alaska in the Aleutian
Islands. He has worked for the
Utah Fish & Game, Minneapolis Police Department,
and as a Security
Supervisor in Washington, DC. He testified
three times before Congress;
twice regarding the theft by the US Fish &
Wildlife Service of $45 to 60
Million from State fish and wildlife funds and
once in opposition to
expanding Federal Invasive Species authority.
He resides in Centreville,
Virginia with his wife of many decades.