February 7, 2023

Washington Game Manager: Wolves Have Intangible Value

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Ranchers in Washington state met with fish and game managers and one rancher, Bud Sampson, asked:

“Why are these wolves so special and what do they do that is so great that we have to have them? If you could tell me one thing they do good except cost us millions of dollars, run down all of our game animals and get rid of them. … You people don’t have the foggiest clue how to manage these wolves, and it’s been proven.”

Game manager Dave Ware responded:

“They can have a tremendous impact on the overall ecosystem. In terms of what they do, it’s intangible stuff, it’s hard to pin down in a meeting like this, but there is a value to it.”

Doesn’t that say it all? The wolves “have a tremendous impact” on the ecosystem. That’s for sure and much, if not most, of that “tremendous impact” is negative. But consider the scientific and social understanding Mr. Ware must have about the invasion of grey wolves in his state – “it’s intangible stuff.” Stuff, mind you! And it’s stuff that can’t really be defined or readily perceived; like it destroys ranchers livelihoods, reduces opportunity for hunters to bring home meat, if not ends the activity completely? Are those the “intangibles” Mr. Ware speaks of? Those seem quite tangible to me and I wouldn’t call it “stuff.”

So, here we now have it. The absolute value of having wolves on our landscape is because they have intangible value. That’s the dumbest thing I think I have heard yet from the wolf protectors.