05 September 2013

A Range of Options

The simplest answer isn't always the right one.

In dealing with wolves, we can take the easy route and exterminate them again, or we can look for solutions that allow us to live with them. The second option is infinitely more complex in terms of both its challenges and its opportunities.

Living with wolves requires planning and work, but it also has impacts that reach far into our ecosystems. For example, the presence of wolves decreases bank erosion along rivers because they keep elk from eating all the vegetation beside the streams.

Here's some news from Conservation Northwest that shows living with wolves is possible if we embrace more developed ideas. To sum it up, the article talks about the use of "range riders," who are individuals that watch over livestock herds. The strategy virtually eliminates predation by wolves.

The easy road is to ignore science and delist wolves, turning them over to state governments whose intention is to kill wolves, not manage them.

We have more and better options though, and it's in the interest of both humans and wolves that we choose them.

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