Reasons for Bringing The Wolf Back
1. The Ecosystem is not complete without them
2. Wolves Kill and/or displace Coyotes--Coyotes eat Rodents--Less Coyotes=More Rodents--More Rodents =More Food for other predators such as foxes and many endangered birds of prey
3. The Overall Success of the reintroduction in Yellowstone Park.
4. Seeing a pack of Wolves (or just hearing them) is something you will never forget for the rest of your life
5. They Were Here but we killed them off so we should bring them back
6. You just can't buy the great advertising for the Adirondacks that the Wolf reintroduction will provide.
7. Beaver Control. Beavers cause a lot of damage to trees & Beavers cause Giardia. There was little Giardia when the Adirondacks had Wolves, Now that they are gone there are more beavers which = more Giardia.
8. How can we say the Adirondacks are forever wild if the number 1 predator is absent
9. Tourism $$$ Wolves are tourism magnets
10. They might spread the tourist out. Instead of everyone cramming into the High Peaks & Lake George. The High peaks are under a lot of environmental stress due to the large amount of visitors they receive, The NY DEC is looking for ways to control the crowds, Wolves might do it.
11. With many places in the U.S.A. planning on reintroductions /recoveries (including in New Hampshire & Maine) The Adirondacks without Wolves will lose tourism $$$$$$$. People will go there instead of here.
12. Wolves will help deer populations. They weed out weak leaving the strong to survive & breed. And they kill and/or displace Coyotes which prey heavily on newborn fawns.
13. Polls show that most people favor Wolf reintroduction especially among young people (This is a Democracy after all). I have yet to meet one person under the age of 30 who is against this reintroduction.
14. Polls show most Hunters favor Wolf Reintroduction
15. It adds another touch of charm to the majesty we are fortunate to have at our fingertips. (from the Amsterdam Recorder Jan 8 1997)
16. ETHICAL CONSIDERATIONS- To many, saving wildlife and wild lands is not only important for our own health, but essential in order to pass along a healthy earth to future generations. (from the NH Wolf Alliance)
17. It would just simply be cool to have Wolves here
18. Wolves might be needed in the future to control Deer populations. Declining participation in the sport of hunting (see 8d. below) will mean deer population explosions without controls.
19. Which the Declining participation in Hunting, we will need Wolves to make up for lost tourist
20. We are the poorest area in the Northeast. We should be doing everything possible to improve our economy.
21. They will be coming back anyhow. At least with reintroduction we can keep track of them
22. I know it's unscientific but in my poll section, People who answer that they Strongly favor it or are leaning towards it outnumber people who are leaning against it or strongly oppose it by a margin of about 13 to 1. So far I only got one Strongly Oppose it response.
23. Wolves could prevent prison breakouts. It seems we have been having a lot of them lately. Since most people believe Wolves are dangerous, Just knowing Wolves are out there might deter a convicted felon from trying to escape. (thanks to SP for this one)
Reasons Not to Bring the Wolves Back and my answer
Many of the reasons that I listed, I got from an Anti Adirondack Wolf site called Libertymatters.org . I put a link to their side whenever I used something from them. I highly recommend reading that site for I believe everyone should get both sides of the issue even though I feel they often use half truths and misinformation. I point out some of them.
Many other reasons were put forward by hunting groups.
Some of my answers come from the Defenders of Wildlife . I also put a link back to their sites when I used them.
1. Wolves Are Dangerous to people
1a. Not True! 500 + years since Christopher Columbus only one person has been Reportly killed by wolves in North America.
1b. That one person was attacked by a Rabid Wolf. All Wolves released will be vaccinated against Rabies and in 500+ years not one person has been attacked by a healthy Wolf. Not one!
1c. Wolves have a natural fear of human and will try to avoid us.
1d. The Adirondack park is so big & the forest so dense Wolf & Human encounters will be rare
1e. Hunters groups that oppose Wolf Reintroduction and Libertymatters.org always use this argument, That Wolves are Dangerous even though they know the facts don't support it (Libertymatters.org uses a few obscure reports from the 1800s to try and make it's point). I find this Hypocritical because 66 people have been killed in hunting accidents in the last Ten years in New York State Alone. 1 in 500 years vs 66 in 10 years. The odds are so small that anyone will be killed by a Wolf, However the Odds are 100% that dozens of people will die in hunting accidents in the next decade. So if these Hunters are so concerned about the safety of the people they would be against their own Sport. Simple Question: If you were out in the Woods which would you be more scared of? If there were 20 Wolves or just 1 Hunter within 100 yards of you? I would take my chances with the Wolves, they won't mistake me for a deer.
1f. Well this one is a real stretch but since we are talking about really low odds here, Wolves might save someone's life. People die in car accidents from hitting deer & moose all the time. Wolves eat Deer & Moose. So who knows maybe the wolves will eat a deer or moose that later could have wandered into the road.
2. Wolves Kill Livestock
2a. There will be an insurance policy to pay any damages proven to be done by Wolves
2b. There is little or no livestock where the wolves will be released. Most of the livestock in upper New York State is in the valleys around the Adirondack park, Such as The Champlain Valley and The St. Lawrence Valley. The Areas where the Wolves would be released is dense forest where there isn't any farms. For the Wolves to get to them they would have to cross large plains with people which they are unlikely to leave themselves unprotected in the open
2c. Where Wolves have been reintroduced or returned less then 1% of livestock owners have reported losses due to wolves.(from Defenders of Wildlife)
2d. Since Wolves kill and/or displace coyotes they could help livestock. Coyotes cause more livestock damage than Wolves do (From Defenders of Wildlife). Coyotes also prey on livestock that wolves wouldn't such as Chickens & Ducks.
2e. Most of the Livestock in the Adirondacks are Dairy Cattle. There are few sheep ranches (I only know of one small one, I am assuming there are a few more but that one may be the only one). An adult Cow is more than wolves can handle. Also the cattle ranches here are a whole lot smaller than the ones out west which offer the calves more protection.
2f. Finally. The Adirondacks and the surrounding valleys get plenty of rain so there is more plant growth which allows livestock to be raised on smaller plots (add the high taxes of NY state) of land where out west where it is drier livestock has to travel over long distances to graze. It's Easier to protect livestock in a small area. Most livestock in the Adirondack Park are fenced in where out west they roam in the open. There just isn't the thousands upon thousands of acres of free ranging livestock ranches here that there are out west.
3. The Problems they have had at yellowstone
3a For One the Adirondack Park is 2.5 times the size of yellowstone and the largest wilderness area in the USA outside of Alaska.
3b The Adirondacks is mostly dense forest which what wolves prefer while in and around Yellowstone there is less cover and open meadows which causes them to roam. (see 2b above)
3c Due to the differences in 2b there isn't a lot of livestock where the wolves most likely will be released in the Adirondacks. While out in YS park there are large cattle & sheep ranches around the park which the wolves can easily get to.
3d These Valleys surrounding the Adirondack park form natural barriers which will prevent the wolves from wandering out of the park
3e. Due to the vastness and density of the Adirondack woods Wolves most likely never get used to humans and stay away from homes and farms. Where as in Yellowstone contact with people is constant.
3f. Despite a few small problems at Yellowstone over all so far wolf reintroduction has been a big success.
4. Wolves mean more Land Controls and Less Private Property Rights
4a. No land control laws have been proposed or any further ones needed! The State owns 3 million Acres plenty of room for Wolves.
4b. Timber Industry will not be affected by Wolf reintroduction.
5. Most of the people who want Wolves back are from downstate not the people who live here
5a. Not true! according to polls most people in the Adirondacks support wolf reintroduction, even though they are a silent majority. Even so New York State funded by taxes from downstate & all over pays counties and towns in the park property taxes on the land it owns so ALL New Yorkers should have a say about wolf reintroduction
5b. This is actually the best reason to bring the Wolves Back. In the Adirondacks we depend on tourism. If people outside the park want wolves then we should give it to them and in return they will give us what we need most Tourism $$$$. If we Don't someone else will.
6. "We shouldn't have Wolves because people who want wolves are college educated with heads full of mush" (statement from a hunter from Ticonderoga who I won't name at the essex county meeting)
6a. Sorry trying to be serious here but after hearing that I had to put that in. Hard to argue with logic like that.
6b. We should have wolves because anyone who would make a statement like that can't be right about anything
6c. In general college educated people make more money and spend more money. That's exactly the type of tourist we want to come here.
7. Wolves will decimate Deer populations and/or there aren't enough Deer for Wolves & Hunters
7a. There are over 2000 Wolves back in Minnesota & Wisconsin and Deer populations are still good. From 1973 to 1993 annual deer harvests rose from 67,106 to 188,109 animals, and the wolf population grew from less than 1000 in 1973 to almost 2000 in 1993 and Wisconsin's fall deer population increased from 605,000 animals in 1963 to one million in 1993. (from Defenders of Wildlife)
7b There are more deer out there then hunter's think. Most hunters rarely go more then a mile into the woods or up steep inclines. This means in the Adirondack park there are thousands of square miles which most hunters never hunt or even see, which contain many times more deer then they believe.
7c. Wolves take only the unhealthy and weak deer leaving the strong to survive
7d. O.K. maybe the wolves will reduce the deer population however there is a lesser known re-introduction program in the works which might change this THE ELK
7e Wolves will help deer populations. They kill Coyotes which prey heavily on newborn fawns.
7f. Studies show Wolves will kill only 5%-7% of the deer. Up to 15% of all deer die in the winter usually the weaker ones(from Defenders of Wildlife). Since Wolves take the weaker deer it can be concluded that most of the deer wolves will eat would have died anyhow during the winter.
7g. This is a very greedy and selfish reason hunting groups give for opposing Wolf reintroduction. I am not going to argue against anyone's right to hunt. However hunters do not have more rights than everyone else. For Hunters to argue that everyone else should not have the ability to enjoy wolves because they might take some of the deer the hunters want to shoot is just plain wrong. The Adirondacks (including the deer) belong to EVERYONE not just hunters, most of the people that live here and most the tourist that come to the Adirondacks are not hunters. Hunters (The Minority) right to enjoy the Adirondacks their way does not override everyone elses' (The Majority) right to enjoy the Adirondacks with Wolves.
7h. And Despite what is written on Libertymatters.org website No Where has hunting been stopped or curtailed due to the presence of Wolves. It doesn't give specifics just says "So Many Places in the Western Hemisphere." So Maybe Hunting was stopped in Brazil or Argentina? But no where here in the USA.
7i. Libertymatters.org also Falsely suggest wolves are the reasons for reductions in the number of people hunting in areas that have them. This is either scapegoating or fear mongering on their part for suggesting this. In states with wolves and in states without wolves participation in the sport of hunting is declining all over the U.S.A. This is happening for many reasons which are beyond the scope/purpose of this website to go into, But not one of those reasons is the presences of Wolves.
7j. In Fact while hunting as whole in the USA is decreasing, States that have Wolves have seen an increase in hunting. Example from 1973 to 1993, hunting license sales increased from 325,405 to 559,808 in Minnesota. (from Defenders of Wildlife).
8. The Adirondacks will lose tourism because with Wolves there will be Less Deer. Not as many deer means less Hunters will come here so we will lose tourism.
8a. Doubt it! Even if there was only 1/100th the population of deer out there then there is now all you hunters will still be out there trying to kill them.
8b. Any tourism that is lost (if any!) will be made up many times over by tourism gained by the wolves
8c. Hunting season is only 6 weeks Wolves will draw people all year
8d. The number of hunters is declining. There are 1,000,000 less hunters in the USA today than there was 10 years ago (source US Fish & Wildlife) . In fact the New York DEC estimates (and there estimates are usually right) that by the year 2008 if this trend continues there will be 60% less hunters in NY than there are now. There is nothing to suggest that this trend won't continue, so beyond 10 years the number of hunters will most likely be even smaller. The future or even existence of hunting in 20, 25 or 50 years is uncertain. So hunting in the future can not be considered a dependable source of big income. While Eco-tourism is fast becoming a booming industry. Do we want to base our future on a booming Industry or a dying one.
8e. If we brought the Elk here first we could charge big $$ for the right to hunt one of them
8f. You can hunt anywhere in the U.S.A. not every place has Wolves
8g. Money for hunting license fees & ect goes all over New York State. Money that is brought in from Wolf Tourist will stay right here.
9. Wolf Restoration Cost will be Enormous $200,000 to $1,000,000 per Wolf
9a. Estimate written on Libertymatters.org I don't believe this but let's say it's true. Then let's do the math. A lot if not most money will come from the feds and the Defenders of Wildlife or other private organizations but for the sake of argument let's say New York State pays for it alone. If we put say 50 Wolves in and in NY the population is ~18.5 million people. So the total cost of Wolf restoration per person will be between 54 cents to $2.70. Add the money from the other groups and this "Enormous" cost goes down.
9b. Now Balance 9a with all the tourist $$$ and tax revenue that will come in
9c. You don't have to be college educated with a head full of mush to realize what a great investment this is.
10. Wolves are blood thirsty beast that kill just for Fun
10a Not True, A wrong misconception, Unlike people Wolves only kill to eat and to feed their Pups. They don't kill just for sport.
11. We should oppose Wolves Because Deer Suffer when eaten by Wolves
This reason was brought up a lot on the Libertymatters.org website including their Adirondack Wolf reintroduction section and I have seen it written by hunters in the letters to editor section in the paper. I don't know exactly what point they are trying to make & what it has to do with Wolf reintroduction, It's seems to be some kind of vain attempt to get people to hate wolves. So I'll try to answer this the best I can. I find this the most hypocritical point they make. I am not going say when wolves kill it's a pretty sight but that's nature & nature is cruel. Using that Logic you can say......
We shouldn't eat meat because the way cows, pigs, & chickens live and die is cruel. (Somehow I don't think the people at Libertymatters.org are vegetarians)
How many Deer that are shot by hunters get away and die a horrible death over many days? (No word on the Libertymatters.org web site about this one)
This Website says this about Wolves but advocates one of the most cruelest & evilest of man's creation THE LEG TRAP.
Almost everything in nature is just as cruel or even more cruel than the way wolves kill.
11b. Deer dying of starvation during winter is just as bad.
12. What's the point most people will never even see the Wolves.
12a. Good News for the Wolves
12b. This was another point made on the Libertymatters.org website (again I'll give it a try and answer it)
Using that logic what's the point of doing or preserving anything from the Statue of Liberty to the sewer system. Most people will never see anything or anyplace you can name but it's good to know it's there.
12c. Most people will never see the Adirondacks so what's the point of the park?
12d. Wolf calling is a popular event and draws tourist and their $$$$
12e. Think of Las Vegas or Atlantic City. Why do people go there? One reason is the chance to win big money. Even though that chance is very, very small people still go. The same can be said about wolves. Even though the chances are small of seeing one, just the chance of seeing a wolf will draw people there.
13. There are Wolves already here
13a. While no one can say for 100% that there are no wolves here it is highly unlikely. Most so called wolf sightings are Coy-Dogs (pet dogs that have been abandoned or lost that live in the wild). When Wolves Howl you can hear it for miles and no one has heard their calls for over 100 years so their presence in the park is doubtful.
13b. The St. Lawrence Valley & River north of the park is a huge barrier which prevents wolves from moving back into the Adirondacks from Northern Quebec
13c. If Wolves are here, I guess all the Wolf Opponents were wrong about the havoc wolf reintroduction will cause in the Adirondacks.
13d. And no; The New York State DEC is not secretly releasing Wolves from Black Helicopters.
14. Wolves don't know boundaries and will leave the Park
14a. This was covered in section 2&3. The St. Lawrence Valley & River to the north& west , The Champlain Valley & Lake to the east, Hudson/Mohawk rivers & valleys to the south will be a deterrent to keep wolves from wandering out of the park.
15. Wolves are not an Endangered Species
15a. Another point that has little to do with Adirondack Wolf reintroduction brought up on the Libertymatters.org Website. Arguing this reason is moot, It doesn't matter there are no Wolves here when once there was many.
15b. Wild Turkeys were never an Endangered Species but nobody complained about their reintroduction.
16. What about Rabies?
16a. A scare tactic used by Wolf Opponents. All wolves released will be vaccinated.
17. The Defenders of Wildlife are an Outsider group from Washington D.C.
This is said a lot around here and Dale French (Author of the Essex Law & the leading opponent here of Wolf Reintroduction) of the WASHINGTON D.C. based Alliance for America uses this a lot
17a. Welcome to the 20th century. With the invention of the Car, T.V., The Internet the Adirondacks are part of everywhere. The Adirondacks are not a distant isolated Island. What we do and what everybody else does effects everybody. Especially since are number #1 industry is tourism. We can not put a wall around the "Blue Line" and expect to prosper.
17b Xenophobia is not a good reason for anything
17c. How nice of the Defenders of Wildlife for wanting to do something for us. Lord knows nobody else does.
17d. The Wolves biggest opponent Dale French is a member of the Alliance for America Which are also from Washington D.C. and he just got one of their Washington D.C. law firms $10,000 of our tax dollars for a pointless study of the APA. At least the Defenders of Wildlife are paying for their Wolf study out of their own pockets and it's going to our local economy and not taking our tax dollars. Kind of Hypocritical of Dale French & others to call the Defenders outsiders when they themselves serve Washington D.C. "Outsider" interest at the cost of the Essex county taxpayer.
18. Why Not just let them come back by themselves?
18a. If we reintroduce them we could keep track off them. (i.e. confirm livestock kills and protect them from hunters ect..)
18b. The St. Lawrence Valley & River north of the park is a huge barrier which prevents wolves from moving back into the Adirondacks from Northern Quebec. For Wolves to get here they would most likely have to come through NH & Maine (which they are starting to do) then cross VT and Lake Champlain.
18c. Wolf Reintroduction will be great advertisement for the Adirondacks, while waiting for them to return naturally Maine & NH will get all the good Advertisement.
19. We Don't need Wolves to control Deer/Coyote Populations We can have more Hunting.
A suggestion brought up on Libertymatters.org .
19a. As stated in Answer 8d above the future of hunting is uncertain. It's not a good idea to base any policy on something that can't be counted on. There simply might not be enough Hunters left in the future to adequately do the job.
19b. Expanding the hunting season would hurt our tourist industry. While I am not going to suggest that right now hunting is not a good thing for our tourist industry, I will point out that it is not all positive. The problem with hunting is that due to the danger associated with it, it is incompatible with all other activities that draw tourist here. When it is hunting season starts all other activities pretty much cease. And what is not counted in the income from hunting figures is how much money is lost due to hunting driving away non-hunters that would otherwise come here during this time. Right now the Adirondacks benefit from hunting tourism (In the future with a declining number of hunters and an increase in eco-tourist this might not be the case). However there is little evidence that an increased hunting season will bring in more tourism. An increase in the hunting season will drive even more non-hunters away and with a decline in the number hunters predicted in the future the Adirondacks Tourism industry will suffer.
None of my comments or the purpose of this page is to be against Hunting. I am not advocating the elimination or any further restrictions on hunting. I am not "Attacking" Hunting in it's self but the hypocrisy of some hunters & hunting groups about some of their reasons they use (more like scare tactics) for opposing Wolf reintroduction. They use these tactics they know are hypocritical and sometimes false to try and scare non-hunters & hunters who favor wolf reintroduction into believing that our freedoms & our whole way of life will somehow be taken away by Wolf reintroduction. When hunter's groups (usually calling themselves conservationalist) claim that we should not have wolves because they kill deer badly, they are dangerous to people & their pets and livestock (How many people, pets & livestock are shot & killed by hunters each year) or Wolf reintroduction is just a way to restrict their freedoms ( What about our freedom to enjoy wolves? And for six weeks during big game season everyone elses' freedom to enjoy the outdoors without the threat of being shot is taken away) is ludicrous. Again the Adirondack Park is for everyone and yes that includes hunters But Hunters rights do not override everyone elses to enjoy the Adirondacks with Wolves. It's about sharing this great wilderness with everyone, which it's a shame that many of these Hunting groups who claim they love nature are so selfish and unwilling to do.
Feel free to E-mail me with any comments about Wolf Reintroduction. I will put any Pro or Con reason up there that is not listed (but it has to be better than the "College people with Heads full mush" statement )
Wolf Photo from From: ART MASTER <email@example.com>
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