Call of the wild

Discussion in 'Fly Fishing Forum' started by Alex MacDonald, Apr 17, 2013.

  1. GAT Active Member

    Posts: 3,505
    Willamette Valley, OR
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    Well if I was King God it would! :D

    Anyway, all the paying ranchers for cattle roaming around in wolf country is one of the reasons I don't understand the point of trying to reintroduce the wolves. You've got the farmers and ranchers up in arms. The hunters up in arms. Wolves shot, legally or not. Why?

    What is the end game? I'm an environmentalist and damned proud of it but I simply don't get it.

    I can't see wolves living in harmony with man in the NW. You can't regrow an old growth forest. You certainly can't bring back the giant herds of buffalo that once roamed the country, what exactly are the biologists attempting to gain by reintroducing wolves?
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  2. Krusty Active Member

    Posts: 851
    Spokane, WA
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    It's all a matter of relative risk. We don't tend to worry much about the very much higher probability that we'll be involved in an automobile accident on the way to and from our outdoors recreational location, but over-estimate the probability that we (or our children) will be attacked by a large predator.

    We don't worry about the road; that's our normal environment...but the wild is different territory to most of us...we're just visitors there.

    Big cats, bears, wolves.....if you (and your children, if you have any) have spent much time in the woods (depending on location) one or more of these large predatory critters has taken a look and decided you're bad juju.

    As others have said, the truly dangerous animals walk on two legs, and can be found anywhere. I focus my concerns, and appropriate safeguards, on them.
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  3. Krusty Active Member

    Posts: 851
    Spokane, WA
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    Well, for one thing, the Endangered Species Act requires protection and re-establishment of those species. The legislators's constituents have supported that legislation.... those most affected, like ranchers and hobby farmers, don't have much voice in the development of associated ESA regulations.

    It's a slippery slope. One might well (and have) argue that the preservation of various threatened anadromous fisheries carries with it way too much cost and effort relative to its benefits....let 'em go....what's the point....it's a lost cause.

    We like the stuff we like, and we don't care about stuff we don't. It's a matter of perspective.
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  4. GAT Active Member

    Posts: 3,505
    Willamette Valley, OR
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    Krusty, anadromous fish are hardly a threat to anyone... same as old growth trees. You can't really compare a large, carnivorous mammal to a fish. The fish are not killing cattle or elk... so you have no large groups hating them.

    I can see the efforts to regain the salmon and steelhead runs because there is no downside. Humans are not waging war against fish.

    There's an adage in science. Just because you can do it, should you? If this is a science project for biologists it is a bad one. There will always be a conflict between man and the wolves. I don't think prospective has anything to do with it. I'm a realist. No one has yet to convince me of the need to reintroduce wolves. ...and as an Environmentalist, I'm certainly open to a logical explanation as to the benefits. But I've yet to hear any.

    I just can't see the justification for returning wolves when they will be killed just as they were before. If, as you mentioned, there is no way to stop ranchers and their open range approach to raising cattle, I can see no way there will not always be a conflict.

    I like wolves and I can see no reason to put them in a situation where cattle ranchers and elk hunters will shoot them on sight.
  5. Krusty Active Member

    Posts: 851
    Spokane, WA
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    The wolves are an economic threat to cattleman, just as maintaining adequate river flows and water quality for anadromous fish are an economic threat to barge traffic, agricultural irrigation, municipal/industrial wastewater dischargers, and timber harvest practices. It's all economics, and quite relative. Conflict is an intrinsic part of life, and perspective depends upon whose ox is getting gored.

    Concerns about dangers to humans due to wolf reintroductions are just plain unfounded and silly.

    While I'm quite willing to pay taxes to see the anadromous fisheries survive despite never fishing for them, as well as repayment for livestock losses due to wolf predation, not everyone feels the same way.

    In fact, the further one travels inland, the fewer people you'll find that care about anadromous fish at all...they figure that what little they eat can easily be acquired from some market, somewhere (of course, in aggregate, that's short-sighted...but as a species we're quite short-sighted...it's a human characteristic). Within a generation or so, nobody will care about steelhead or salmon, once they're long gone.
  6. GAT Active Member

    Posts: 3,505
    Willamette Valley, OR
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    Of that, I have no doubt.

    I guess it comes down to money versus the planet... as usual. You're right, when timber companies were wiping out salmon and steelhead habitat, it was all for the bucks with no regard for the fish. The same holds true for the wolf. As you noted, the big money of the livestock biz will maintain the war against the wolves.

    However, we were able to stop lumber companies from destroying fish habitat, so perhaps requiring ranchers to build fencing to contain their cattle is also possible. If we can stop open range operations, then I guess I'd have no problem with the reintroduction of wolves.

    As far as the elk hunters are concerned, well, I kind'a see them the same as those who want to harvest steelhead no matter what and consider the wild steelhead as competition to their goals.

    No offense intended toward elk hunters but I honestly don't see wolves wiping out all the elk... no more than they did before the whiteman showed up.

    You can't have it both ways, Krusty. You tell me that there is no way open range grazing will be eliminated yet you are pro-wolf. IF we can remove the livestock concerns, then I see hope for the wolves.

    The elk hunters my kill wolves they see while hunting but not nearly as many as will cattle ranchers who may carry a riffle at all times.

    Considering we did force change in logging practices, perhaps it is possible to change open range practices. At one time, folks said there was no way we could stop the destruction of fisheries by timber companies. Yet it happened.
  7. Krusty Active Member

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    Spokane, WA
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  8. GAT Active Member

    Posts: 3,505
    Willamette Valley, OR
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    I know, it will be a continual fight. Money will always be at odds with the environment. I won't give up the fight and neither will they. It will be a constant battle and never over, you're certainly right about that.

    How I ended up just the opposite of the general attitude of where I was raised is amazing. However, there is some redneck still in me. Evidently I'm a mix of redneck and treehugger. :)
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  9. Krusty Active Member

    Posts: 851
    Spokane, WA
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    It gave you the advantage of not vilifying rednecks or treehuggers....which is, sadly, a trait in short supply on both sides.

    As country-folk would say, 'you didn't forget your raising'.
  10. _WW_ Fishes with Wolves

    Posts: 1,823
    Skagit River
    Ratings: +570 / 0
    The solution is quite simple.
    We need hatchery wolves.
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  11. Krusty Active Member

    Posts: 851
    Spokane, WA
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    They're called 'dogs'....
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  12. Porter Active Member

    Posts: 6,240
    Kenmore, WA, USA.
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    Which leads to hatchery mutants like ' poodles '
  13. Mingo the Menehune stole my beer

    Posts: 2,620
    Happy Hour, WA
    Ratings: +354 / 1
    Poodles and all other yappers have just one purpose. That purpose is defined in three words. Punt, pass and kick.
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  14. wadin' boot Donny, you're out of your element...

    Posts: 1,919
    Wallingford, WA
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  15. KerryS Ignored Member

    Posts: 6,539
    Sedro Woolley, WA, USA.
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    Those things are called Kuma snacks around our house.
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  16. GAT Active Member

    Posts: 3,505
    Willamette Valley, OR
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    In defense of Poodles, the full size non-shrunk dogs are very intelligent and were bred for hunting. They can be mean suckers as I learned from one on my newspaper route when I was a kid.

    ... how they ended up shrinking a hunting dog into a yapper is beyond me.
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  17. Vladimir Steblina Retired Forester...now fishing instead of working

    Posts: 654
    Wenatchee, WA
    Ratings: +178 / 0
    Here's my wife's hunting dog.

    [IMG]
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  18. Alosa Active Member

    Posts: 311
    Seattle
    Ratings: +137 / 1
    Dude...are you wearing Uggs??
  19. Vladimir Steblina Retired Forester...now fishing instead of working

    Posts: 654
    Wenatchee, WA
    Ratings: +178 / 0
    Absolutely. What do you wear in a cold weather hunting camp??

    I also wear gaiters while bird hunting. One time when I was running late on completing a timber sale and a monsoon hit I ended marking trees in my Red Ball Fly Weight waders.

    You do whatever you need to do to get the job done.

    I wear dress wool pants in the woods: http://usbackroads.blogspot.com/2010/08/over-garments.html

    Today's outdoor clothes are made for tourists or blue-collar outdoor jobs. There are really very few clothes designed for people working in the woods.
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  20. Krusty Active Member

    Posts: 851
    Spokane, WA
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    Best pair of hunting pants I ever owned were the green wool trousers from my Marine Corps days....but, as a civilian....I outgrew them long before I could wear them out.

    You're right, the tourist outdoor wear is great in terms of warmth with no tendency to soak up heat-robbing moisture, but it's not durable enough for daily outdoors work....and the durable stuff like Carhartts tends to use cotton canvas that holds water like a sponge...alright for a lot of construction work, but horrible out in the dripping wet woods or snow.
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