NFR How wolves change rivers....

Discussion in 'Fly Fishing Forum' started by tinman207, Aug 28, 2014.

  1. Some interesting claims made in this clip. I know there are a lot of varying opinions of how wolf management has impacted various regions, and I am curious as to what others think about this.
     
  2. Interesting, never really thought about that. Another benefit of having the wolf's back is the health of the remaining herds is better. They cull the weaker, sick.
    You won't hear any of the elk hunters pointing that out. They like to take the best of the gene pool for trophies. I have no problem with hunting. It just seams kind of stupid to kill your best breeders. Watched a hunt in Europe. Red stag I believe. The guide (you have to have one) picked your animal. If you were really lucky, you got to shoot a old bull. Past his prime. Otherwise it was whatever he thought the herd needed the least.

    Sent from my C771 using Tapatalk 2
     
  3. In the mid-1980s Alston Chase's Book "Playing God in Yellowstone..." created a stir. In it he talks at length at some of the National Parks policies and decisions that effected the natural ecosystems of places like Yellowstone. While he had some obvious biases he discusses in detail the changes that occurred within the Parks' ecosystem with the elimination of the wolves. If one is interested in such things the book is a good (though long) read.

    What is really surprising and interesting is how quickly the ecosystem has responded to the re-introduction of wolves. The wolves have been back in the Park for less than 20 years but as the video points out many of the impacts from the elimination of wolves some 70 years earlier are in the process of being reversed.

    Curt
     
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  5. Well, it's been a few months. About time we have another wolf thread :)

    Hang on! Here we go again!
     
  6. Not me Gene. I'm staying out of this one.

    Trapper
     
  7. I visited Yellowstone in 2001 and again this year in 2014. I did not see evidence of the dramatic claims made in the video. I did see less elk and buffalo. Also they were restricted to/or missing from certain areas of the park.
     
  8. Ah, come on Trapper, you don't want to miss the every other month wolf fight... it's now a tradition at this place :)
     
  9. The biggest issue with the Yellowstone rivers is the lack of cutthroat thst move out of the lake to spawn- bucket biologists put mackinaw in the lake and the cutties are getting wiped out.
    Read an article recently making the claim that the cutthroat, not the wolves, are the true keystone species for Yellowstone

    The loss of the massive trout spawning runs has severely impacted the bears, the birds etc
     
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  10. Sunni and Shia conflicts are traditional also, but I'm not booking a flight to Syria either. ;)
     
  11. Two facts that I find indisputable.

    1. The wolves are here.

    2. The wolves are not leaving anytime soon.
     
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  12. Sorry to get out the plunger and bring up old s#%t. I hadn't seen that previous thread on this. I was mostly curious if anyone had real facts on the grand claims made I that video.
     
  13. This guy needs to go back to England or where ever he's from and dwell in his own land.
     
  14. It's all fun and game until a full moon appears.....

    [​IMG]
     
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  15. The park has to be one of the most heavily studied "wilderness" areas in the world.
    Living here in Bozeman I've always kept a casual eye open for any info that pertains to the park.
    There have been all kinds of studies going on that are more or less summed up in that video.

    If the goal is to have a relatively diverse ecosystem (in the park) that is somewhat balanced and as "wild" as that particular section of land can be then I don't think there is any question that wolves are good for Yellowstone.
    However the park boundaries are imaginary and with the human population increasing at a pretty fast rate in the area I don't think it's accurate to think of the park and the greater Yellowstone ecosystem as "wilderness". I guess it depends on your definition.

    Outside the park wolves are definitely a problem for humans. Way less elk around to harvest, predation on cattle, sheep, whatever..

    Wolves are being managed in Montana and there is a hunt.
    http://fwp.mt.gov/hunting/planahunt/huntingGuides/wolf/
    For all the gnashing of teeth and hyperbole spewed over wolves in Montana this was always the goal.

    As far as anecdotal evidence goes I can definitely tell that there are a lot more willows and browse around the drive by creeks and rivers in the park than when I first moved here in '85.
    On 191 by Snowflake Springs on the Gallatin just outside the park boundary there used to be what IIRC was called an Elk Exclosure. It was a high fenced in area in the river bottom, maybe a 1/5 of an acre, that the elk, deer and moose couldn't get into.
    The vegetation inside was dense and tall where as outside it was heavily browsed down to a couple of feet.
    I'm not sure if the fence is even there anymore but the surrounding area is way, way more dense than it was back in the 80s and early 90s. I'm sure that's due to way less elk and moose around.

    There is also something going on with moose throughout the rockies, I've heard figures like their numbers have dropped by 50% regardless of whether wolves are around or not.
     
  16. Yea, I remember reading something about wildlife biologists saying the moose decline moat likely is due to many factors......hunting, wolves, climate change weakening immune systems, and thriving of white tailed deer in warming climates that spread brain worms to the moose.
     
  17. No biggie. It's an ongoing debate that pops up from time to time. Must by a cyclic thing. Just a subject not everyone agrees on... nor ever will.

    So far (to my knowledge) no one has been killed over the disagreements so no harm done. (I use wolves as an ongoing reference in some of my posts for satire purposes so gawd-forbid the wolf threads stop showing up!)
     
  18. As long as the wolf does not show up at the door.
     

  19. I heard the same thing from my parents about there being fewer moose in the area where they live in the Canadian Rockies. For what it's worth, there are and always have been wolves in the area. People can hunt them, but I only occasionally heard of anyone doing so when I lived up there. My guess is the novelty just isn't there because there wasn't a period where they were off limits.

    What I find interesting is that there were virtually no elk in that part of the valley during the 13 years I lived there, but now, 18 years later, their numbers have gradually increased to a huntable population that seems to have expanded westward from the Mt Robson/Jasper park areas (where, incidentally, elk had to be reintroduced in 1920 from Yellowstone because they had been hunted to extinction in the area).
     
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