According to Kayser Sose, the greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing people he didn't exist. The greatest trick the environmentalists have pulled in the last 20 years is the reintroduction of the grey wolf. It's bigger than global warming (at least so far) because it's actually been accomplished.
Ed Bangs, the alpha male of the wolf reintroduction movement, knew full well that the population was healthy and numbered over 50,000. The problem was that the wolves were in Canada, roaming the Great White North. They had plenty to eat, minimal contact with man and an abundant food source. The problem with the situation was that it's hard to make a legacy with those circumstances.
Let's make something perfectly clear. Bangs is not stupid. Deceitful? Yes. Dishonest? Absolutely. But not dumb. The Endangered Species Act (ESA) is cleverly worded and despite the fact that the grey wolf was not remotely endangered didn't matter. What mattered was it virtually didn't exist in the United States. The wording allowed him to make this claim.
With minimal public support and Bubba in the Whitehouse, the first pack was placed in Yellowstone National Park (YNP). The deal that Bangs and the environmentalist made was that once the population reached a certain number they would be de-listed from the ESA. Just like every deal the enviro-movement has made this one was indeed broken.
Lawsuit after lawsuit was filed to prevent the wolf from being de-listed. As the elk in YNP were virtually eaten into extinction the wolves expanded their range and began to attack livestock.
The promises of reimbursement were also broken. As dozens of sheep were killed in one night near Dillon, Fish Wildlife and Parks (FWP) demanded proof it was wolves. The rancher in question could only say there were tracks and that this had never happened before. That's circumstantial evidence for the government. When it could be proved, FWP did not pay the amount promised.
Wolves have been witnessed in the Missouri Breaks south of Malta on the Charles M. Russell Wildlife Refuge (CMR). My guess is that if they stray from the CMR they will encounter an unnatural occurrence of lead poisoning.
Here's the biggest rub of the deal. The species of wolf that was planted in YNP is NOT the species that used to exist there. Although that species is abundant in Minnesota and Alaska, Bangs chose the Canadian grey wolf, not the lesser grey wolf. They weren't protected under the ESA because of their population. No, he chose a species that didn't exist in the states and that consumes 30% more food than it's much smaller cousin.
Lies were told and promises were made by the environmentalists that weren't kept. A long list in many. The wolf reintroduction was successful. In a manner of speaking. The problem is one of food. The enviros know that if the wolves start having an even bigger impact on livestock herds, public support will wane. Their solution, introduce a food source.An animal that is an icon to America. Enter the buffalo.
Part III is coming. For Part I click here.