Words for and Against Wolves

Revised 1 December 1996



"In British Columbia, the province's 6300 wolves kill about one-fiftieth of 1 percent of neighboring cattle and one-twentieth of one percent of local sheep each year.

The recovering Montana wolves' rate of predation on livestock is well below the previous figures. They kill an average of just three cows and two sheep annually, a rate that translates to roughly one out of every 25,000 cows (1/250th of 1 percent) and one out of every 5,500 sheep (1/50th of 1 percent) available to them. . . .

. . . According to the Montana Agricultural Statistics Service, state ranchers reported a total of 3,500 sheep killed by loose dogs in 1991. . . . Based on those figures, sheep in Montana are 1750 times more likely to be killed by a dog than a wolf."

- From "Wolves for Yellowstone", by Rick McIntyre, 1993, in "War Against the Wolf", Rick McIntyre, editor, p. 376, Voyageur Press, copyright 1995.

Defenders of Wildlife have set up a $100,000 fund to pay for any losses of livestock due to wolf predation.

- Common knowledge, no source

In central Idaho, harvest of cow elk may have to be reduced 10-15% to accommodate predation by 100 wolves, with no expected reduction in the harvest of deer, moose, bighorn sheep, or mountain goats.

- Wolf Reintroduction Final EIS, p. 4-87.

"There are between 50,000 and 60,000 wolves on the North American continent. They are not an endangered species and should not fall under the Endangered Species Act. And endangered species is one that is about to become extinct on this earth. Wolves certainly do not fit under this category."

- From a speech given by John Murphy, President of the Montana Woolgrowers Association, at a 1992 public hearing on the Wolf Environmental Impact Statement, Helena, Montana, as transcribed in "War Against the Wolf", Rick McIntyre, editor, p. 385, Voyageur Press, copyright 1995.

Bath, A.J., (1987b) surveyed the public in Wyoming counties around the park, and found that 51% opposed wolf reintroduction, while 39% favored reintroduction. Those who opposed reintroduction had a poorer knowledge level about wolves than those in favor of reintroduction.

Unfortunately (in a way), I have found a distinct lack of opposing data concerning wolf reintroduction. There are many tales about how bad wolves are, but no data on it. This is of course strengthens pro-wolf stances, but at the same time, it does not allow for any meaningful debate. Pro-wolf folks throw out data, and anti-wolf folks just dismiss the data as fabricated hogwash and retaliate with horror stories passed down by their great granpappies. These tales of terror then get scoffed at by pro-wolf folks, who throw out more data to refute the tales, and on and on. I will say that anti-wolf people do have a couple of valid points. One of which being that many environmental laws are legitimately 'illegal takings' laws. By which I mean that private property owners are denied rights that are supposed to be granted to them. I could argue that the loss of those rights is worth it for the betterment of the earth and it's ecosystems, but that is wholly my opinion, which I cannot force on others.