Q. When are wolf advocates not really wolf advocates?
A. When they advocate for wolf hunting.
While other wildlife groups have worked to get this long-suffering species back under ESA protection, the Montana-based, Wolves of the Rockies not only told the Missoulian, “We are not advocating the end of wolf hunting,” but followed up that howler with an article in the Great Falls Tribune, in which they stated: “We at Wolves of the Rockies understand and acknowledge the importance of hunting as a tool for managing wolves, and we stand beside the ethical* hunter in doing so.”
This group asked permission to use some of my wolf photos on their Facebook page. Assuming they were on the side of the wolves, I allowed it. Given their recently stated attitude, I am forced to rescind my permission and ask them to remove my photos from their site.
Why would a wolf advocacy group publically announce their support for wolf hunting, at the risk of alienating wolf supporters and undermining the efforts of other groups fighting the barbaric treatment of wolves across the country?
This question was answered nicely (nicer than I would have) by a Facebook friend with what she called ‘just her two cents’ (but I would argue it’s worth a lot more than that): “I’ve seen other organizations feel they have to outwardly ‘support’ hunting to get the attention of game departments, DNRs, politicians etc., in order to appear ”mainstream” & therefore afforded a sympathetic ear and/or seat at the table….I DISagree with that stance because it doesn’t work. Even if you have 100 or 1000 hunters on your side, the wildlife management system is not going to support or implement non-lethal conservation or management practices. I’ll bet Wolves of the Rockies die a little inside when they say they support hunting as a tool for wolf management, because I think in a perfect world they don’t want them hunted any more than the rest of us do. It’s too bad they have taken a position of compromise…”
I see it as kind of a, “If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em” approach; the same kind of thing that the Washington-based group, Conservation Northwest, pulled** during the state’s helicopter attack on the Wedge pack earlier this year. What these groups don’t realize is that when you sleep with the enemy, you don’t get just a little bit pregnant.
And if you haven’t already, please sign these petitions to Stop Wolf Hunting in North America