Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Blame It On The Wolves!

Ravalli Republic -- Wolves, Constitution Hot Topics at Forum

... hosted by the Ravalli County Fish and Wildlife Association, Monday night.

"Not one had a good thing to say about wolves, but they were all in favor of the Constitution," summarized Ravalli Republic reporter Perry Backus.

A comical observation, but what did you expect from a dog and pony show hosted by an organization that has forgotten that wolves fall under the heading Wildlife and deserve as much respect and conservation effort as elk and deer.

"We are totally losing everything we have in this state simply because we have this protected animal," says Bob Lake, republican running for the senate in district 44.

Everything... really, Bob.  Every Republican needs a boogieman to campaign against, whether it be the liberal elite, pinkos, the feds, biased media, taxing Dems, etc.  In the Bitterroot Valley, it's a four legged predator that comes out of the mountains to raise taxes, stymie capitalism and teach evolution in the classroom.

"We need to get the wolves out," said Dan Cox, Libertarian candidate running against Lake. "The best way to maintain the estimated $11.3 million that hunting brings into Ravalli County is to get as far away from the federal government as possible."

As business is practiced now, wolves may present a hit to the pocketbook to business owners and outfitters that directly profit from the hunting industry in the valley.  But to most members of the Ravalli County Fish and Wildlife Association and other hunters in the valley, the only thing they suffer from is a little penis envy.  The wolf is a great predator, one that perhaps rivals man in the ability to take down an elk.  Hunters don't like the fact that their annual migration into the mountains in search of big game and tall tales has become a little more difficult.  They use money as justification for not giving wolves equal status as elk in the wild. They have forgotten that taking an animal is not a right, but a privilege.  They have forgotten that competition is at the heart of what it is to be a sportsman.  They have forgotten that WE nearly removed them from the lower 48.  And they are looking for something or someone to blame for their fears and are letting their emotions get the best of them.

... but what else is new.

After looking at websites of candidates seeking election in Ravalli County, it appears that the only platform necessary is "Wolf bad.  Constitution good."  Jeff Burrows writes on his website that "we are faced with a number of issues from non-native wolves destroying big game in the forest to outrageous taxes... We must return to a government that works for the people and not the other way around."  He also writes that "up until about a year and a half ago, I had never even read the US or Montana constitution.  Since then I have been diligently studying and trying to learn what these 'rights' were that have been slowly taken away from us."

I applaud that Burrows is taking an interest in his federal and state constitutions, but the fact that he states that he never read either constitution up until this past year makes me wonder what he was doing in school, because federal and state constitutions are covered in most civic and U.S. history classes.  His lack of attention in school may also explain why he considers wolves non-native.  I wish him luck in his paranoid search for these rights that are being "slowly taken away from us."

Burrows is a Republican anti-establishment candidate running for MT HD 87 and is committed to the abolishment of the IRS and federal reserve, the return to a commodity backed currency with an emphasis on local barter and credit clearing system, and is seven kinds of crazy.

But the title of head loon for the evening went to Richard Stamey, Republican candidate for MT HD 89, with his comments:

"They should be killed.  All of them.  You should be able to shoot, poison, kill any predator that comes on your property, period."

I hate that varmint!


Anonymous said...

Do you really live in New York and call your blog "West Fork Blues"

Francis H. Woods said...

Wow, insightful comment... Read up, Anon.

And please, bring something to the table next time other than - "you ain't from around here are ya boy."

Anonymous said...

Actually reading your blog -- with all of its arrogant, better than thou kind of nonsense -- you must be from New York City. Big city folk always seem to know how the rest of us should live our lives. What you don't get is that the elk and deer needed to feed all of these wolves that you think are a wonderful addition to our backyard wouldn't even be here without local sportsmen's groups like the one you look down your nose at. The founders of the Ravalli organization transplanted the first elk into the valley back in the early 1900s. Every year they dig into their own pockets to help pay for monitoring and other studies. I wonder how many wolf lovers spend a dime to help wildlife in any way.

Francis H. Woods said...

You didn't read. But I should not have expected it.

Arrogance? Arrogance is nearly exterminating big game from the West and then deciding which animals get to stay.

When you cut to the bone, the all-encompassing gripe of certain valley residents is fear of change, whether it be fear of new residents, wolves, zoning, etc.. There are two ways to deal with change. You can either embrace it and steer in the direction that is best for everyone, or you can act crotchety, hoot and holler, and point out how good things used to be. It's been my experience that those that choose the latter tend to be more vocal (loud) and don't bring anything unique to the discussion.

Montanans and hunters in the Bitterroot in particular have gotten used to a good thing. Without the presence of a natural predator and due to better grazing land due to the fires of the past (2000 in particular), hunters have experienced record elk numbers, and thus, greater success in the field. We don't have a memory of what the wolf-elk balance was pre-wolf. It's time to rediscover it.

Yes, "big city folk"... 'Rooters don't like to take what comes from their mouths, but they are perfectly willing to take what comes from their wallets.

Anonymous said...

So you're a historian too? Apparently not a very good one. Or are you just one of those lamenting the fact that europeans moved into the american west. Francis H. Woods -- guess you might be native american. that would explain your dislike for the typical sportsmen. What you didn't say is just how far do you, Francis H. Woods, reach into your own pocketbook to make a difference for wildlife. You ever spent a dime to save some habitat or helped pay for research. If you're not a sportsmen, I doubt it. But that's ok. Stand there on the sideline and write how nasty we all are for not wanting to watch elk herds disappear to feed some fantasy of people who spend their days walking the pavement.

Francis H. Woods said...

So, you consider yourself a 'sportsman'? What is your definition and how much did you pay for the title (since you keep bringing up money)? You can read-up on my definition if you wish. It's posted in the sidebar. You don't have to look too hard.

You know, I do fantasize...

I fantasize about the woods, mountains, and rivers where hunters, fishermen, campers, and hikers come to enjoy themselves. I fantasize that people show their gratitude by respecting their playground and all of its natural inhabitants, not just the ones they can put a price tag on.

I am interested in why valley residents like yourself fear the presence of other predators (wolf, grizzly). I sum it up to: fear of change. Prove me wrong. I tire of your chest thumping and generalizations, though. Write back when you can bring something to the table.