Wolves Coming to Virginia
Release Planned for George Washington, Monongahela National Forests
By Peter McPherson, Affiliated Press Services, 12/18/02*
WASHINGTON, D.C.—Calling several counties in the Allegheny Mountains of Virginia and West Virginia “ideal habitat, some of the best wolf territory in the southeast”, officials from the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the U. S. Forest Service announced the planned initial release of six gray wolf breeding pairs in the Monongahela and George Washington National Forests during January, 2003.
Additional breeding pairs are scheduled to be released during 2003 and 2004. The wolves were raised at the USFWS breeding station in Maine and transported to an undisclosed holding area in Virginia.
Counties selected as “target areas” are Allegheny, Bath, Highland, western Rockingham, and western Augusta in Virginia; Pendleton, Pocahontas, Randolph and Greenbriar in West Virginia.
Due to security concerns, exact dates and locations of the releases will not be made public. Officials allege there have been threats by irate local residents directed at wolves and federal employees participating in the wolf recovery program. State Police and county sheriffs are investigating, but would not comment. Governors of Virginia and West Virginia have indicated support for the wolf program, despite widespread opposition from citizens and some county officials in the release areas.
The federal Wolf Reintroduction Program in Virginia-West Virginia is being coordinated with state natural resource departments. Wildlife biologists and environmental groups, who would like to see wolves returned under protection of the Endangered Species Act (ESA), claim “the public supports wolf recovery, and science is on the wolf’s side.” The former director of the National Forest Service was quoted as saying “there is little scientific basis for most objections being raised”, contending “half-truths and misrepresentation of facts continue to thwart wolf recovery”, and Defenders of Wildlife has said people who oppose wolf reintroduction are “aggressively anti-science.”
When Defenders of Wildlife and the Appalachian Biodiversity Council first began to lobby for wolf reintroduction two years ago, they talked of “35 to 45 wolf pairs.” This was echoed by an early National Forest Service report, which said, “the final numbers [of wolves] that would winter within the study area and be compatible with other interests on adjoining lands are expected to range between 30 and 40 wolves.” Now plans call for 10 wolf packs totaling approximately 100+ wolves.
According to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, “the goal of 10 breeding pairs in each recovery area was established after extensive review and consultation with U.S. and Canadian biologists/wolf researchers,” but noted conservation biologist Dr. Michael Soule said, “My guess is that the 10-pack number is more a political than a biological threshold.”
Soule is one of the originators of The Wildlands Project, a plan backed by the United Nations, radical environmentalists, and agencies of the federal government to “rewild” half of the land area of the United States, totally depopulate rewilded “core” areas, “reintroduce extirpated species” (predators), and force millions of Americans into urban zones.
Joseph Farah, editor of WorldNetDaily, commented, “It’s like an idea out of Jurassic Park – but this is real life, non-fiction. And, eventually, it’s bound to mean death and mayhem for human beings…But it’s not stupidity and insensitivity behind this evil plot. It’s an effort to get people …back into the cities where we can be controlled, herded and numbered more efficiently. The move coincides with a giant land grab by Washington…during 8 years of Bill Clinton. The federal government annexed more public lands in that time period than at any time since Theodore Roosevelt. And the swap meet continues.” [Unabated under a “compassionate conservative” Bush administration.]
“Maybe you don’t care about this problem now…Maybe you are not threatened by the government’s deliberate re-introduction of wolves into semi-populated regions…But you should care. Just because your particular ox is not being gored by these wolves, your turn is coming. Believe me. If western ranchers don’t have any property rights, guess what? Neither do you – no matter where you live. And they’ll be gunning for you soon enough… You can run, but you can’t hide – not from the wolves in the West, nor from the wolves in Washington.”
University of Wyoming geography professor James Thompson noted, “…wolf recovery is [only] a ‘stalking horse’ for the larger issue of land use change…on the deepest level the issue of…wolf recovery is not about wolves…it is about control of the [land.] Simply put, environmentalists are using wolf recovery and the Endangered Species Act to run [stockmen] out of the country and to thwart multiple use of public lands…a way for animal-rights and anti-hunting groups to ban all hunting and use of wildlife.”
Heated opposition to wolf recovery has come from livestock interests. Even if wolves are somehow limited to only 100 animals, approximately 20 to 40 wolves would disperse to surrounding areas each year. Even in areas with established wolf populations, wolves commonly disperse 30 to 100 miles, and occasionally travel 400 to 500 miles. Stockmen are worried not only about how many of their sheep and cattle wolves may kill, but also about the costs associated with changing their management practices to accommodate wolves.
Hunting is a multimillion-dollar industry in Virginia/West Virginia and is important to area economies, but is also a deeply held social tradition. So it is not surprising many people have expressed concern about the impact wolf predation will have on game. Groups advocating wolf recovery, such as the National Parks and Conservation Association, contend that “fears over wolf impact on hunting…are unfounded.”
This simply is not true, according to numerous studies, especially given the hundreds of wolves that may ultimately come to inhabit the region. “Wolves are addictive ‘Sport Killers’”, stated one western rancher, “Deer and elk carcasses literally slaughtered for miles on snow-covered logging roads…hind quarters ripped out not eating any of their prey, the carcass left to rot…and in many cases the animals left standing alive…bleeding a torturous death in the snow for several days…”
Opponents of the plan point out the Endangered Species Act allows public hunting and trapping only in the “extraordinary case where population pressures within an ecosystem cannot be otherwise relieved.” (Sierra Club v. Clark, 577 F. Supp. 783, 1984) Based on this ruling, and given the limited resources of the state and federal agencies and the biology of the species, it will be virtually impossible to meet the burden of proof established by the court under the Endangered Species Act.
Arlie Wilson, President of Virginians Opposed to Wolves, stated, “The government proposed 100 wolves, knowing that the numbers would not meet ESA requirements of minimum viable population, and environmental groups did not object, knowing that 100 wolves would raise less political opposition than 300 to 500 wolves. Wolves arrive and increase to 300. The government moves to delist. Environmentalists sue and win. The wolf population is allowed to reach 500 or more. Environmentalists are happy, the federal agencies are happy, and the public realizes—too late—what has happened.”
Wilson quoted Robert T. Fanning, Jr., Chairman and Founder, Friends of the Northern Yellowstone Elk Herd, Inc., saying “…the Endangered Species Act has become a vehicle that is undermining the republic and state sovereignty over natural resources, allowing the urban majority to impose its political will on the rural minority, contrary to the intent of the Framers of the Constitution…environmental organizations have been hijacked by extremists. They now threaten to terrorize us with their biological weapon the wolf…Lawyers, especially lawyers, love wolves too! Environmental organizations like Defenders of Wildlife, the Sierra Club, and National Wildlife Federation have legal departments that rival IBM and GM in size. They are motivated to sue over ESA issues. The Federal court system routinely awards them fees and costs…What kind of lawyers like wolves? Ted Turner hosted 140 lawyers from the ‘Earth Justice League’ at a resort a couple of miles from my home…Wolf introduction has become a big business.
“Defenders of Wildlife alone raise over $16,000,000 a year tax-free. Sending bulk mail to urban soccer moms with crosshairs on a wolf puppy telling them to send money to save wolves from being poisoned and their babies from being clubbed to death in their dens by the mean old ranchers. They never mentioned that the mean old rancher that would do this would be convicted of a felony and face a $100,000 fine and a year in federal prison for violating the Endangered Species Act.”
It has been widely discussed whether a healthy wild wolf has ever attacked a human on this continent. The truth is wolves are killing machines; they are the ultimate predator in North America not even surpassed by the grizzly bear. John James Audubon, of whom the Audubon society is named, reported an attack involving two black men traveling through part of Kentucky near the Ohio border in the winter. In northwestern Colorado, an 18-year-old girl was viciously attacked while bringing in milk cows. In 1996, eleven-year-old Zack Delventhal was viciously attacked, the boy’s face ripped open, his nose crushed, and parts of his mouth and right cheek were torn. Blood gushed from puncture wounds below his eyes, and the lower part of his right ear was missing. The wolf was killed by Park authorities and found to be a young, healthy, adult male wolf.
* [NOTE: Some of this “article” is fiction, but most of it is taken from real news sources, research and articles. Wolf reintroduction to the Allegheny Highlands is not as far-fetched as it might appear. The Wildlands Project is being implemented by stealth. The Nature Conservancy and other radical environmental organizations are fully committed to the subversive plan to destabilize rural America, transfer control of private property to state and federal government, and ultimately, to a tyrannical New World Order government under the United Nations. Don’t take our word for it. Research the facts.
Wolves and the ESA are a means to control you, destroy your heritage and take your land.]
For more information: Abundant Wildlife Society of North America, 12665 Hwy 59 N., Gillette, WY 82716 (307) 682–2826; “Wolf Recovery, Political Ecology, and Endangered Species” by Charles E. Kay; “This Land Is Our Land,” Joseph Farah, St. Martin's Press; John Nelson: email@example.com.; www.twp.org/inside_wp/mission ; www.eco.freedom.org ; www.sovereignty.net ; www.propertyrightsresearch.org ; www.natureswolves.com/index ; www.cowboysandcattlecountry.0catch.com/wolf_news ; www.paragonpowerhouse.org