As I sit here in my house just 5 miles east of Superior, I hear the howl of the local wolf pack. At nights when I let my small dogs and cats out to do their business, I hear the howl of the packs from east and west. It scares the hell out my dogs and cats but generates true fear in me; what have we become, a sacrifice zone?
These are not gray wolves that were exterminated early in the past century, but timber wolves from Canada that were introduced and are not even genetically related to the wolves that have been eradicated. The number of wolves in the immediate vicinity have gone far beyond those expected by the federal Fish and Game and the non-government organizations.
This fact, which is a result of the "law of unintended consequences," has an inordinate impact on our local economy. We are seeing inordinate amounts of thrill killings by the wolves, reduction in available big game (that many people need for survival, as well as a reduction in the amount of payment made by out-of-state hunters which is critically important to the local economies. The impact of wolf reintroduction and management has posed a significant impact on local economies.
As we collectively try to figure out how best to handle the wolf reintroduction programs here in the West, please realize that there is a strong component of local residents that would suggest that all things being equal, that sauce for the goose should be sauce for the gander, and that timber wolves should also be introduced into the Appalachian and southern Appalachian ranges. After all, if you want to maintain a balanced environment it should employ more than our backyard.
Gardar Dahl, Superior