RMNP Not Required to Introduce Wolves

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Rocky Mountain National Park (RMNP) is not required to introduce wolves to cut down elk herds according to Federal Judge Marcia Krieger. Several years ago environmental group WildEarth Guardians sued the park service over its plans to use sharp shooters to reduce elk herds in RMNP rather than introduce sterilized wolves. Courthouse News Service has a write up on the ruling and history of the case.

The National Park Service did not violate federal law when it dismissed a plan to release a pack of sterile gray wolves in Rocky Mountain National Park to help thin a burgeoning and destructive elk population, a federal judge ruled. In the absence of natural predators, elk herds in the Colorado park have swelled, leading to overgrazing of the land and increased risk of disease. Park officials have explored ways to control the population over the past several years, ultimately deciding to allow authorized hunters to cull the herd.


hunter25's picture

The plan to introduce sterile

The plan to introduce sterile wolves is a complete joke as far as I'm concerned. There is no management in that kind of plan only the desire to stop sportsmen from hunting. There is no way to control which animals are killed by wolves and how many that they will kill. What happens when the objective is reached? Do we then kill the wolves or wait till they die of old age and then start over again when the herd gets to big? How does a pack of wolves act that can never reproduce and raise young? Would their behavior be the same? To many variables and questions to use a stupid plan like that one.

Using hunters they can decide how many elk and of which sex are removed and then continue to monitor them on a yearly basis. Good job to this federal judge for making the right decision in this case because that seems to be something that does not happen very often

jaybe's picture

Well, maybe we are beginning

Well, maybe we are beginning to see a little bit of sanity in the courts after all on the wolf issue (that may not be the case in many other areas). The idea of introducing wolves - even sterile wolves - into the national parks to thin the elk herd is crazy and would defy logic if it not were for the express purpose of getting more wolves into the system and before the public eye.

There certainly is no consideration on the part of the Wild Earth Guardians for the humane killing of these elk. A hunter's bullet puts an animal down within seconds, if not instantly. A pack of wolves will chase an animal to exhaustion, then hamstring it to bring it to the ground, and then begin feasting on it while it is still alive. Any group that has any real concern for animals would not even suggest such a form of control.

It may be, however, that the group isn't about "animal rights" at all, except to seek to return to the time when animals freely hunted the people who were here, and, as often as not, defeated them. That would make the name Wild Earth make sense.

Three cheers for the court that ruled against them!