There is a need for a wolf recovery program in the State of Utah. It can be safely said that if wolves are not endangered to the fullest extent of the term, then they are non-existent and whatever is left would be wiped out due to recent government policies and the lack of efforts to revive a natural wolf habitat. There can be at least 3 major reasons for a wolf recovery program in Utah and these will be listed as follows: 1. The beauty and majesty of wolves alone is worth all the effort.
Utah, with its diverse National Parks is practically a symbol of American wildlife, not to mention a major part of American history. 3. The presence of wolves in Utah will enhance the ecosystem in the region The Majestic Wolves With regards to the first inspiration for conservation and recovery efforts, the beauty and majesty of this canine species as witnessed in the wild is almost beyond compare. This experience which can be attested by nature lovers and conservationists can be liken to seeing a mountain lion allowed to roam its domain without interference from man.
This can also be compared to seeing an American eagle in flight, encumbered by the evils of modern civilization. And just by observing them – man’s spirits could be lifted up in a way that no artificial forms of entertainment can. There is something surreal about it; while others would assert that it is beyond mystical. Utah: A National Park One can only speculate what God was thinking when He fashioned Utah but the sheer beauty of the landscape the natural wonders to behold in the state makes Utah a kind of symbol for American wildlife.
It is impossible to understand the West by excluding this great state and therefore aside from making National Parks out of a considerable portion of its landmass, a proper conservation program for all endangered species in its domain must be considered. A wolf recovery program is just appropriate for the state and it completes Utah in a way that only Utahns’ can only express how. Some Utahns could barely hide the emotions in their desire to bring back the wolf home. An example of such outburst can be found in a website calling the wolf to its proper place not only in Utah country but in the Utahns’ heart and it reads:
Utah has always been home to wolf – and for the better part of this century only as an apparition, with the material wolf yearning for the last wildness on the Uintas. It is likely a few individuals have broken ranks from their already isolated and fragmented packs in Idaho and Wyoming to venture onto the North Slope in the dark and slip back home by starlight. (Carter, par. 3) Another precedent that must be noted here is a proposal by a Republican Representative, Michael Simpson from Idaho to reintroduce Canadian wolves into the Catskills Mountains of New York State.
Martin Nie’s book on the politics of wolf recovery offers more details into an interesting move by this congressman from Idaho and he wrote, “Simpson’s bill would direct the secretary of the interior to reintroduce Canadian wolves into an area that is approximately one hundred miles northwest of New York City. These would be protected under the ESA as fully endangered and not designated an experimental population. ” Asked why he proposed such a bill – Simpson’s reply is a platform that Utah can use to push for its own wolf recovery program – the congressman replied:
There is a tremendous support for reintroduction of wolves in the United States. Eighty percent of New Yorkers say there are in favor of wolf reintroduction according to Defenders of Wildlife. Preservation of species should not just be a western issue. If we are serious about conservation, reintroduction needs to be a nation wide effort. (qtd. in Nie, 67) Simpson’s idea should have been the end of discussion. The congressman is right and he does not only say it he demonstrated his passion by making this crusade a national one.
Yet real life is fraught with many obstacles even if the general population is in favor of wolf recovery programs most especially in Utah, some powerful minorities can easily derail the process. Valerie Richardson, reporting for the Washington Times made the following remarks that signal a grim future for the wolves and she said, “The gray wolf relocation program has proven a howling success after seven year that the wolves are on the verge of being removed from the endangered species list […]
Some environmentalist groups are vowing to challenge the delisting, fearing that the Western states will declare open season on the wolves as soon as their federal protection is withdrawn” (A04). Nina Faccione, vice-president for species conservation at Defenders of Wildlife made a dire prediction if the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service will go unopposed with their plan of removing the wolf from the list of endangered species and she said, “If Federal protections are removed, it could be free-for-all.
They could receive predator status, which would mean they could be hunted down” (qtd. in Richardson, A04). If there is yet no viable program for wolf recovery in Utah and the Federal government will take over then it would signal the end of the wolves and the people of Utah will may never see these great animals again. Enhancing the Ecosystem For a final argument for the establishment of a wolf recovery program in Utah, the words of a wolf expert should convince the worst critic when they would hear about the impact wolves have had on the environment.
In a study of Alaska’s Denali National Park (formerly Mount McKinley National Park) wolf expert David Mech has this to say: It is the wolf-prey chain, however, that in a certain sense dominates Denali both in the way human beings perceive the park and also in terms of scale. Wolf prey are the largest creatures of Denali, and the full-time ecological job of wolves is to kill them. In doing so, wolves provide food not only for themselves but also for most of the smaller carnivores and scavengers.
Because wolves and their prey are large, it is easier in some ways to study them than to investigate food chains involving smaller creatures. Thus, an understanding of the life of the wolf and its prey in Denali lends insights into the functioning of the rest of the food web. (175-176) There is nothing left to say about the importance of having a wolf recovery program for such a location that deserves so much to have one. The cliches on preserving something for future generations does not even come close in explaining or providing a rationale for a project of saving the great wolves of the Western States.
The sheer beauty and power of this animal is more than enough reason to continue with this crusade to recover the wolf population in Utah.
Carter, Dick. “Utahns Welcome Wolf Home! ” High Uintas Preservation Council. 12 July 2006 <http://www. hupc. org/Archive/newsletters/December%202000/ utahns_welcome_wolf_home. htm>. “Field Implementation of the Endangered Species Protection Program. ” United States Environmental Protection Agency. 11 July 2006 <http://www. epa. gov/oppfead1/ endanger/esppfield-imp. htm>.