Opinion: Wolf introduction poses a serious risk for Western Colo.

RBC | Wolf introduction into Western Colorado public lands (forests, wilderness, BLM) and vicariously into privately owned adjacent lands poses a serious and lethal risk for wildlife, domestic livestock, and to human health and safety.

Rocky Mountain Wolf Project advocates assert that populating Western Colorado with an initial 500 Canadian wolves (previously exterminated throughout the lower 48 states in the 1930s) would pose “no significant risk” to livestock producers, nor to native wildlife (e.g., ungulates including deer, elk, moose, mountain sheep, et al] and most of all, to humans. (See RMWP website for details: https://www.rockymountainwolfproject.org/about-us)

The Colorado Stop the Wolf Coalition was recently organized to provide substantial and documented evidence directly refuting the RMWP propaganda which has been shown to be significantly erroneous with half-truths and unsupported assertions that are simply inaccurate or misleading. (See the Colorado Stop the Wolf Coalition website: https://www.stopthewolf.org/)

J. Paul Brown, a Western Colorado rancher and former state legislator, serves as a member of the Stop the Wolf Coalition steering committee and will be a keynote speaker at the Rio Blanco County Stockgrower’s annual meeting and dinner on Feb 2. Brown will share details on the serious threat that wolf introduction would pose for all residents of Colorado, and action plans to oppose such introduction in terms of threats to livestock production as well as recreation and tourism and consequently statewide economic development impacts. Recreational tourism is the leading source of billions in revenue for Colorado.

Consider the impact of wolves decimating livestock herds, wildlife herds and even posing threats to health and safety of outdoor recreationists visiting public lands for skiing, hiking, camping, hunting, fishing and much more. The guides and outfitters, lodging and food service industries that all depend on robust tourism would all be vicariously impacted by substantial reduction of revenue from loss of domestic and international tourism and recreational opportunities.

A highly respected and accurate analysis on Canadian wolf introduction is “The Real Wolf: The Science, Politics, and Economics of Co-Existing with Wolves in Modern Times ” by Ted Lyon, J.D., and Will Graves. Available on Amazon at https://www.amazon.com/Real-Wolf-Politics-Economics-Co-Existing/dp/159152122X? fbclid=IwAR0RI1_ROp20QB0n641VVPoRzOu_H0AR63Yd_leQLZ4VaHOADQXuxzaVlg4

Wolves are disease vectors carrying deadly hydatid disease

Hydatid disease is a lethal and highly infectious parasitic disease carried in wolf fecal matter for which no reference is acknowledged in statements by wolf advocates. Hydatid is already pervasively spread by wolves to and carried by ungulates, other wildlife and domestic livestock. More recently, hydatid disease was discovered in a moose in North Park near Walden. Originally thought to be symptomatic of chronic wasting disease, the moose exhibited similar neuropathy. A necropsy was performed at Colorado State University and the brain of the moose was found to be infested with hydatid cysts.

Hydatid disease is 90 to 100 percent fatal in all infected warm blooded animals and in humans, Deforming surgeries and powerful medications may forestall death but often are unsuccessful ultimately.

Hydatid microcyst spores are contracted through inhaling or ingesting the cyst spores that can live in a dormant state for years in dirt, and then be carried vicariously into human homes by pets or by handling carcasses of infected wolves, ungulates, livestock, or domestic pets, and ultimately infect humans.

Hydatid disease was virtually unknown in the western U.S. before the 1995 failed experiment by the USDOI FWS to introduce Canadian wolves into Yellowstone Park. The wolves slaughtered nearly all of the 20,000 elk in the park within a few years, and then the remaining (less than 1000) elk and most other native ungulates and wildlife moved out of the park and onto private ranch lands to escape from the wolf packs that often only slaughter en masse and often do not consume prey.

An interesting behavior of ungulates is to seek shelter among livestock where ranchers are present, since there is some apparent instinctual sense that ranchers will defend their livestock from wolves and vicariously protect the ungulates seeking protection and food with the livestock.

  Next: A future article will explore the history of wolves in Northwestern Colorado and how they were exterminated for preservation of agriculture, livestock and human health and safety.


Bob Amick

By BOB AMICK | Special to the Herald Times

1 Comment

  1. Hydatid disease is caused by carnivores, not just wolves. You can get it from a domestic dog or cat. A portion of the coyote and fox already present likely carry it.

    The Yellowstone wolf introduction did thin the elk heards, but to a healthier density. It allowed for the rehabilitation of so many environments in Yellowstone. The elk population was out of control, unchecked without wolves.

    Have you considered the positive benfits of wolves naturally managing species which carry CWD?

    “Nature gonna nature” when you allow it to, but you take a keystone species out and disease becomes rampant as food sources dwindle because those prey species are left uncontrolled. Humans don’t do a good enough job by themselves.

    Unless you want to raise children to pack hunt artiodactyls.. which I would also be for. Youth need to get outdoors more.

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