Feel-Good (Non) Management

From the Boise Weekly I see that so-called “activists” in New York City are promoting a “howl-in” to protest the wolf hunt in Idaho that began September 1. Turns out—no surprise—the “activists” are actually from the Friends of Animals. These folks from two time zones away are shrilling for people to boycott Idaho and its products until Governor Butch Otter submits to their demand to stop the wolf hunting season. Yawwwn!

The irony emitting from this nonsense used to be amusing, but now it is so old and boring. We have been going through this same argument for four decades or more, and just as Keynesian economics has been proven again to be an abject failure, the notion that animals have rights and that hunting is bad just feels so good that it must be legitimate, at least in the minds of the Great Unwashed.

Fact is, the introduction of a non-native strain of wolves into the Rocky Mountains has been an unqualified success. Also undeniable, wildlife conservation programs across the board have been very successful. Still another pesky reality is that humans—despite notions to the contrary—are an integral and powerful part of any ecosystem on Earth. We have demonstrated that we are capable of destroying a species or an ecosystem. We have also demonstrated that we are capable and willing to restore a species or ecosystem. Life and the Earth are not some quaint museum with velvet ropes to guide us through it with a “don’t-touch-anything” rule. Instead, we have a responsibility to manage the ecosystem we have restored, and hunting is a useful and legitimate tool for doing just that.

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