The Science-Free Politics of Wolves
Over at Intelligent Discontent, Pogie decided to test my knowledge of how laws are made, and I’m sure I impressed him with my intimate knowledge of Montana’s unique process, which I shall reproduce here:
I know exactly how this process works. there’s a little bunker near the capitol where a fax machine spits out proposed legislation, then it’s carried by horse to the chief liberty inspector of the MT GOP, who rates it for freedom and patriotism. if it passes inspection, it’s reproduced on a scroll made of rawhide and passed around committee for everyone to look at. then, when particularly exciting legislation like this gets signed into law by the Brian, the victors pound whiskey, piss on an effigy of Obama, and shoot a wolf in celebration.
Kidding aside, I do appreciate Pogie’s attempt to saddle Republicans with Montana’s iteration of the Castle Doctrine law because it got me thinking about guns and what people like to do with guns in western states like Montana; use them for sport, for protection, to put food on the table, and whenever possible, to shoot wolves, even if it’s just a hybrid and probably someone’s pet.
Wolves are a touchy subject, I know. Either they’re saving the ecosystem from a terrible imbalance caused by human extermination, or they are part of the nefarious Agenda 21 plot to create forbidden zones where humans (the ones left, anyway) will be barred from accessing.
Wolves, like the Castle Doctrine, is a political issue where Democrats fail science and common sense in order to cover their western flanks from attack. Jon Tester exemplified that behavior when he proved that he was willing to blow up the Endangered Species Act to win an election.
A 3 year study reported on this summer calls into question the assumed impact of wolves on elk herds:
New research from the Wyoming Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit at the University of Wyoming is starting to shed light on some of these questions. After three years of studying the Clark’s Fork elk herd (about 5,000 animals) in northwest Wyoming, lead researcher Arthur Middleton found that wolves might not be as detrimental to elk populations as many outdoorsmen think.
His research shows that the Clark’s Fork herd’s fate is based on a complex set of variables including habitat, weather, hunting, bears, and wolves.
Here’s another article worth reading by Christopher Ketcham titled Wolves to the Slaughter.
There is plenty of evidence that too often politics is a science-free zone. For wolves, with science out of the way, the hunt is on.
Good job Democrats.