LETTER: Utah Wildlife in Peril

I want wolves in Utah and I am disgusted by Utah officials who are organizing a manhunt for a wolf who allegedly preyed on livestock.

The majority of Utahans and Americans want to conserve wildlife, and care about ecosystem over economic gain for a few individuals – ranchers. I am tired of federal and state officials not making science-based decisions, and instead pandering to a powerful minority – ranchers.

Wolves are often erroneously blamed for livestock predation. Often times, they feed on carrion from livestock that have died from other causes, such as respiratory problems, but any bite marks in the carcass left behind brings a murder conviction and a death sentence from ranchers and their subservient wildlife officials.

Contrary to long standing cowboy culture mythology, science tells us that ranchers may actually benefit from wolf presence. Coexisting with wolves may actually reduce livestock predations because the majority of predations are caused by coyotes, whose populations are uncontrollable by humans.

Wolves are apex predators, and their presence will reduce overall carnivore populations by displacing coyotes and limiting their own population (which they naturally do based on resources).

Instead of eradicating wildlife and allowing ranchers to take over anything that is left in terms of undeveloped land in the Western US, maybe we should conserve wolf habitat and the healthy ecosystems that will ensue.

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  • AH June 7, 2020 at 9:14 pm Reply

    Wait until your food supply dwindles. Then you’ll blame those same ranchers for not protecting their livestock better ? Personally I would rather eat than protect a few wild wolves, but that’s just me ??‍♀️

  • Fred Sellick June 8, 2020 at 10:06 am Reply

    You used to see large herds of elk and even see moose. Now in Yellowstone Park you seldom see moose and as we’ve observed from our visits few elk if any. Not all is because of wolves but the park ranger we talked to and others say wolves have caused a devastating reduction in herds. So as is always the case, science sometimes gets things wrong. I like wolves but we need to protect our wild life who would be in peril with the introduction of wolves. Coyotes kill small animals. I have never seen or read of coyotes taking down deer, elk, moose, or even livestock. Wolves run in packs an do!

  • Hayduke June 8, 2020 at 11:07 am Reply

    Very well written. Humans do not like competition, and wolves ‘compete’ with humans for a spot near the top of the food chain.
    I would disagree with the previous comment of worrying about wolves threatening our food supply. Not only is a relative small amount of beef raised on rangelands inhabited by wolves, but beef cattle are a very inefficient food source and could easily be replaced in our food supply.

  • BB June 8, 2020 at 1:08 pm Reply

    There is empirical evidence to the contrary that has come from Idaho ranchers that contradicts what this article states. Wolves don’t kill just for food, but they will also kill for sport.

  • Carmen Colorado June 8, 2020 at 7:16 pm Reply

    Based on the most recent data published by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, factors like diseases, birthing problems and weather conditions kill seven times as many cattle in Utah than all predators combined. In Idaho, where the wolf population is estimated at 1,000, the USDA confirmed 162 cows and 109 sheep were killed or injured by wolves in fiscal year 2019 out of 2.63 million cows and sheep. In other words, even in states with growing wolf populations, livestock losses due to wolves are incredibly rare. Perhaps more of you should pay attention in math and science class. And as far as the food supply goes, if it wasn’t for subsidies, most agricultural operations would have been shut down years ago.

  • Karen Tuttle June 13, 2020 at 4:09 pm Reply

    I want the wolves protected. Have ms. Leann
    Cut her fucking blond hair off. She has no business in this job. How dare her!
    It’s people like her that explains WHY species are endangered.

  • Michael E Stallcup June 13, 2020 at 4:16 pm Reply

    Why in the world would you kill the wolf???
    They haven’t been seen for nearly 5 years here in utah and you want to jump up and kill it. Shame on you and shame on Utah for allowing it.

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