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Council, Idaho
March 28, 2012     The Adams County Record
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March 28, 2012

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Page 14 Wolves & The Ecosystem Continued from the front page Kauffman said and small businesses predators play an there have felt a negative important role in impact from fewer ecosystems, and can hunters. influence plants by Jim Beers weighed altering how many in on this in his usual herbivores there are (by hyperbolic way: eating the herbivores) or "To destroy the by changing the behavior billions of annual of herbivores (deterring dollars generated for them from areas where local economies, local predators lurk). He governments, state added, however, that governments, etc. (we are considerable scientific talking here about all the debate exists regarding western and Great Lakes' the importance of these states where wolves are two ways in which taking hold and are slated predators influence to take hold) and then their prey. And this is claim that all that loss of especially true for large fall/winter rural revenue carnivores, is replaced by counting To complicate matters, someone that thinks they predators use different saw a wolf (as Yellowstone hunting strategies - does in its surveys) while there is the sit-and-wait vacationing anyway is strategy (as with a spider crazier than the guy that in a web, or a rattlesnake killed his mother and waiting for a mouse to father and then threw leave its burrow) and the himself on the mercy of more active, go get 'em the court as an orphan." strategy (think cheetahs "Even ff there are some and wolves). "So, given San Francisco couples that it takes a lot of that might travel to Idaho energy to avoid a predator to 'see' or 'hear' a wolf - energy that could be (and on each count of used to stave off winter such a couple existing or starvation - we wanted of ever finding or hearing to find out whether the a wolf} the money they prey of active-hunting (all wolf aficionados) drop predators such as wolves wouldn't be 2% of what demonstrated risk- thousands of hunters induced changes in areas would spend every where they foraged for year (before the game food," Kauffman said. disappeared). Whenever Kauffman said. "Elk you hear someone certainly respond claiming this, like behaviorally to the listening to some carnival predation risk posed by barker, keep a close eye wolves, but those small on your wallet." alterations to feeding Next week's way that and moving across the wolves are said to benefit landscape don't seem the ecosystem is a big to add up to long-term one: Wolves help keep benefits for aspen growing deer and elk populations in areas risky to elk." healthy. So my take on the Wednesday, March 28, 2012 The Adams County Record t! %  t :: = : ..... : ...... SUBMIT A PHOTO OF YOUR PET BY EMAIL OR BRING YOUR PHOTO BY THE OFFICE. PRIZES WILL BE AWARDED FOR "CUTEST PET', "UGLIEST PET", AND "BEST DRESSED PET". ENTRY DEADLINE IS APRIL 20TH AT 4:3OPM. 100 Illinois Avenue, Council Idaho 208-253-6961 article is that it had some interesting evidence about the interaction of wolves and elk, but didn't exactly address the issue of riparian areas, willow growth and all the associated issues. Plus, once ag the t., as' conducted in a iJar setting where human activity or influence is minimal, so how it translates to the rest of the West is debatable. The Third Way Way #3 (in no particular order) that wolves are said to benefit the ecosystem is that wolves have a positive economic impact on communities by bringing in tourist dollars. Now that I think about it, this really isn't an ecosystem issue, but an economic issue. But since I said I was going to go into it this week, I will. I suppose economic benefits could benefit the ecosystem in some way, but technically it shouldn't be included in the list. If Adams County has benefited from people coming here to see wolves, it would surprise me. For one thing, someone could spend a month searching our woods and never see a wolf. (Been there, done that.) And then there is the fact that out-of-state hunters are avoiding Idaho, at least in part, because of the perception that wolves have hurt their chances of fmding elk. That'has some pretty significant, negative economic affects on Idaho communities. It also reduces the amount of money Idaho Fish & Game has for its programs. (Could this be called a negative "trophic cascade" effect?) Again, economic benefit from wolves seems unique to Yellowstone, if it even applies there. It has been estimated that wolf reintroduction in Yellowstone benefits the local economy 'by some $23 million each year. Even if this large figure is accurate, it doesn't take into account big reductions in hunter visits to neighboring communities because of lower elk numbers. Several outfitters in the Gardiner, Montana area have gone out of business, itch ,ave Real/, it's that simple. 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