Letter: Anti-wolf people are spreading untruth by Shirley Clements
Laurie Groskopf, a member of the Wisconsin Conservation Congress (and director on the boards of the Wisconsin Wildlife Federation and Bear Hunters Association) spreads unreasonable alarm and dislike of wolves in letters, news articles and at meetings. I’m sorry her dog was lost but this is an outrageous and unethical response. Are residents encouraged to spread deceptions and exaggerations? “People are sick of wolves” she says and “kids can’t go biking?” Wolves curtail “pleasure horse activities?” A town chairman stated “we hate them” and heard “stories” of people being stalked- by the Big Bad Wolf or werewolves.
Calves are killed and the “story” takes off mixing fiction with fact. “A” farmer’s loss turns into “farmers” with post traumatic stress disorder- an insult to war victims who see true horror! A wolf just passing through is threatening a child outside? Wolves are chasing people? Only calf depredation was reported and verified.
Bear hunters enjoy 33,000 wild black bears. Bears do attack humans and U.S. fatalities, though rare, are rising. No unrelenting fierce campaign to kill more bears to reduce this greater threat? This is wildlife favoritism and a hatred for wolves interfering in her “activities.”
She says the human “threat is always there.” Wild healthy wolves rarely attack humans in the U.S. with only one recorded fatality–ever.
Wolves naturally go after hounds, dogs and coyotes (all canids) protecting their territory and young where most attacks occur. Hound hunting is a choice. Your voluntary “recreation” brings dogs into wolf range and puts both parties in danger. Accept the obvious risk or stop using dogs to hunt- and risk for bear hounds is much greater from bears than wolves.
I never brought our dog into the Northwoods ignoring my children’s pleas. Dogs get lost and attacked by animals. If I did, I would accept responsibility and never blame wildlife.
Intolerance results in desire for destructive killing. Mistakenly she said “the dwindling deer count is putting pressure on wolves as their numbers rise, making them more aggressive.” In reality, deer have more than doubled since wolf migration and deer behavior is more natural with wolves present. Wolves keep deer moving avoiding over-browsing. Hunters must adapt and look harder. Wolves are valuable for keeping prey and ecosystem healthy. Wolves may hold Chronic Wasting Disease at bay by eliminating diseased deer. Before the sick doe was found in NW Wisconsin, no CWD surfaced in wolf ranges.
She says “wolves are threats to farms and human safety in 18 percent of the farms.” In reality, only .57 percent of farms (less than 1 percent!) are affected by depredation. Targeted selective removal of problem wolf packs (14 percent) from livestock depredation areas is protection. Lethal and non-lethal methods of control exist. She ultimately wants 60 percent of wolves haphazardly killed- useless death for irrational revenge and diversion.
She says “They (wolves) just stand there and look at you.” always suggesting menace.
Only once I saw wolves, two at the edge of the wood. I saw them; they saw me, turned and walked back into the forest.
Shirley Clements, Fond du Lac