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The Adams County Record
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July 25, 2012     The Adams County Record
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July 25, 2012
 

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Page 6 Wednesday, July 25, 2012 The Adams County Record Wolves and the Ecosystem BY'DALE FISK I never did fin- ish the last few items on my list of the reasons people give that wolves are said to benefit the eco- system. It was partly because I felt like people were getting tired of the whole subject, and part- ly because the last few reasons are so lame, and partly because I had more pressing things to cover. I said I was going to list ten reasons people give, and I only wrote about seven. Here are the last three: 8 -- Wolves provide food for other animals that feed on wolfkilled carcasses. 9 -- Wolves reduce predation by other live- stock predators, such as coyotes, feral dogs and mountain lions, through competition with those predators. 10 -- Wolf kills are good for the soil See what I mean? Honest, these are actu- ally reason people give. I don't know that they are even worth taking the time to comment on. Danger from wolves One thing people bring up from time to time is the danger of wolves attacking people. Some wolf defenders used to say there was no record of a healthy wolf attack- ing a human in North America. I don't think they still say that since it's so easy to show that it's not true. However, I think some people exaggerate the danger of wolf attacks. Here's what Frank Glaser had to say. He is the guy who spent his life in Alaska around wolves. The book about him is "Alaska's Wolf Man--the story of Frank Glaser" by ]im Rearden. Glaser said, "I have never known a healthy wolf to tackle a man except in cases of mistaken iden- try. When they see their mistake they back off. Most wolves aren't even aggressive when they're in a trap7 "I don't know of a single proven instance of a healthy normal wolf attacking a human. And I have tried to learn as much as possible about every reported attack in Alaska since 1915 when I arrived in the Territory. Wolves just don't take to people. Even when cap- tured as pups before their eyes are open, most wolves do not gentle well. The young wolf I caught in a trap and took home for breeding purposes could never be trusted: "I think humans are safe from attack by wolves in the wild: Glaser said wolf-dog hybrids could never be trusted and were much more dan- gerous than purebred wolves. A quote from Jim Beers: "Wolves are what they are. There is no ,they always do this and they never do that' pat answer to their behavior or effects. They are very adaptive. They and their 'kissing cousins' with whom they breed successfully (i.e. coyotes. all domestic dogs, dingus and jackals) are circum- polar and found on every continent save Antarctica. Far more than deer or canvasbacks et al, wolves wander far and wide and exhibit a very wide range of behaviors and thus a very wide spectrum of effects." I think about how many times Black Bears have attacked or killed peo- ple. They simply cannot be trusted, even though most of us think of them as being afraid of peo- ple and pretty harmless, generally. My personal feeling is that wolves are more predictable than Black Bears--or cou- gars for that matter. But I could be wrong. I don't think I would turn my back on any of them. Continued from front page to complete their 2013 Budgets. On Monday, the Commissioners and County Sheriff Rich Green worked on the Justice Fund budget to match expected rev- enues with expenses next year. The short- age originally loomed at over $400,000 less than the expenses for the year. After a long and detailed look at next year's expected costs, the Fund deficit was whit- tled down to just over $90,000. Sheriff Rich Green has reduced high- way patrolman positions by three, to a total of six for next year, and will look into alternative ways to finance replac- ing a worn out Control Panel at the jail. The Commissioners agreed to a special meeting next week with the Sheriff to further pare down the budget to match the expected revenues. The County General Fund also faces a shortage that the Commissioners will have to deal with. Sheriff Green also raised a constitutional issue on how his depart- ment handIes revenues from fees and services. Sheriff Green interprets the Constitution to say that each elected official has the right to accept and deposit funds des- tined for his department without oversight by the County Clerk. Clerk Sherry Ward refuses to certify funds deposited in the County Treasury without reviewing the original checks or fund transfers. A compro- mise seems to have been made for the Sheriff to include a copy of the original documentation with his check to the Treasurer for the Clerk to review. Most of the 44 Idaho counties seem to have the Clerk receive and process all incom- ing funds which will be deposited in the County Treasury without the extra step of having a department separately depositing them. Adams County will receive a 14% increase in funding through the Secure Rural Schools Fund (formerly called Craig-Wyden Funds). The County will receive $947,000 from the Fund for 2013. The funds have been authorized for one year at a time, which means that County School's will share just over $214,000 from this source in 2013. There had been some threat that Congress would not allocate these funds in 2012, and that would have caused a large hole in the County budget next year. The Commissioners approved hiring a District Court Clerk to replace retiring Clerk Jan Meese, who has 28 years of service to the county. The Commissioners also approved funds to pay an Assistant Coroner on an as-needed basis when Coroner Sue Warner is out of town. Road and Bridge Supervisor Tom Glenn reported that work will begin in the New Meadows area to construct diver- sion structures to help avoid winter flooding in town. Last winter saw the town inundated with floodwaters, resulting from warm tempera- tures and rainfall, that over flowed the existing culverts in the area. The commission- ers held a telephone conference with the Washington County Commissioners con- cerning whether to abandon the Cow Creek Road in Washington County. A separate article in this issue of the paper details the particulars of this issue. Adams County is involved because the Cow Creek Road crossed into Adams County before it was blocked by a landowner in Washington County in 1973. The Adams County Commissioners said they would like to see more time allowed for Adams County resi- dents to commentl and persuaded the Washington County Commissioners to push the deadline for com- ments from July 31 to August 31. "Like you, I love living in this area. 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