Wolves in Rocky Mountain National Park

OK, so I know this is a picture of a coyote… But perhaps the reason for that is because wolves in Colorado were hunted  to extinction a long time ago and Yellowstone is a long way from Cripple Creek Colorado đŸ˜¦

Coyote

Coyote in the Colorado winter landscape

But I just want to throw this out there, if wolves can thrive in Yellowstone, why could they not thrive just as well in Rocky Mountain National Park? Both are huge tracts of rugged land mostly inaccessible to people, both good habitat for wolves. Every year I have to hear the state wildlife people whine that there are too many elk in Rocky, basically they have no competition. The elk there just lay around all the time, sometimes causing traffic jams on the highways and sometimes just wandering into town to hang out with the tourists.

I have read accounts of how wolves have entirely renovated the landscape in Yellowstone once they began to thrive in significant numbers. The elk and deer herds became stronger as the animals were forced to move around and the wolves culled the weaker members. Aspen trees are healthier, forest grasses taller, and because coyotes and fox have to move around more there are more rodents for the eagles and hawks. The entire ecosystem is healed in a process called Trophic Cascade. Coyote-&-Magpie

Tourists and photographers come from all over the world to view the animals in Yellowstone, immensely benefiting local economies. It seems that Rocky Mountain National Park would benefit from the presence of wolves as well. Just throwing this out in hopes that like minded people will join and bring the miracle of wolves to my state. Sure, we might get some argument from the surrounding ranchers but it is my contention that the world does not need those ranchers or their cattle, many of which are living on and spoiling the federal public land experience for others who would also enjoy that land. Perhaps they could learn non lethal wildlife management or just sell some land to create buffer zones between the park and their ranches.

And once again, since the Obama administration caved to the hunting and ranching lobby in Washington, wolves have been unjustly removed from the Endangered Species List. Please go online and donate money, sign petitions, call congressmen, and do whatever it takes to get our beloved wolves (and grizzlies) back on the endangered list. If you don’t know where to find those lists and petitions, please visit my Facebook page dedicated to the preservation of our precious wildlife.

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A Culture of Cruelty

That a young man would carry a rifle into a school and gun down his classmates should come as no surprise to anyone living in this century. We live in a culture that celebrates disrespect, violence and cruelty. Unfortunately we are once again witness to the end result of this culture of cruelty with yet another school shooting.

One of the common threads in the many modern trails of death is an early start in a life of violence with cruelty to animals. We read that Nikolas Cruz entertained himself by shooting squirrels with BB guns, and trying to kill or maim rabbits by ramming a stick down holes where he knew rabbits were nesting. Unfortunately there are few protections for wildlife. If his early fascination with animal cruelty had involved cats or dogs, perhaps he might have been flagged sooner as a mentally deranged individual in need of counseling or incarceration.

Which of course begs the question… what makes people who have fun hurting wildlife better than people who enjoy hurting cats and dogs? Wildlife feel pain and are intelligent sentient beings just as domestic animals are, yet there are entire industries developed around the maiming and killing of wild animals. Every day I see pictures of some fool proudly grinning for the camera while some poor creature has spent hours, maybe even days, pacing around a blood soaked perimeter in terror because it is legal to set snares for predators. Why should we believe the person who does this is any more sane than the one who sets kittens on fire for the fun of it? Both are enjoying the suffering of a helpless animal, yet one is locked up for animal cruelty while the other is celebrated and may even get his own cable TV show one day. We are pretty sure the crimes of the one are going to escalate into worse acts of violence, yet how are we so sure that the one who tortures wildlife won’t graduate into worse violence?

It all boils down to one thing, there are too many in our time who do not understand the difference between right and wrong. And the problem is not limited to the minuscule numbers who commit the school murders, evil is pervasive in all segments of society from children in schools to the highest echelons in our government. Those in charge pass and defend laws that make it legal for hunters to send hounds in to tear coyotes to pieces and be torn to pieces by wolves while at the same time banning dog fighting. And they even have the gall to force the taxpayers to cover the financial losses if the so called hunter’s dogs are killed. We have leaders of entire popular movements jumping up and down and screaming about gun control while at the same time advocating for the right to stab a baby in the head on his or her way out of the birth canal, hypocrites.

In these modern progressive times, those who are qualified to teach right from wrong are mocked and shouted down, kicked out of office or sued for their faith which is ridiculed on popular television shows by the revered talking heads who are devoid of any wisdom or understanding. God, right and wrong, the Ten Commandments and prayer are banned from the schools while our children are taught to decide for themselves the difference between right and wrong. Why should we be surprised when children choose evil over good when evil is celebrated over good in the media or the video games that they are glued to every day of their lives? It’s time for us to get a grip on the evil that is overcoming this nation. It’s time to start rooting out evil where ever it can be found, no matter how high the perch from which it is preached. In order to do so however, we cannot forget the Source of the Good and also the source of the evil.

Ephesians 6:12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

Wildlife Paradox

Watching the news last night I saw an interesting example of paradoxical stories that I found a bit disturbing. The first story was about two fishermen who had taken considerable and heroic risk to rescue a doe and her fawn from drowning.

Mule deer in snow

Mule deer in snow

The very next bit was a claim by the city that there are too many deer on the west side. So apparently the city managers in their infinite wisdom could only conjure one solution, which was to unleash hoards of hunters armed with high power bows to “harvest” 200 does and fawns per year, the very animals that the previous men had gone to extraordinary lengths to rescue!

Well it did occur to them that it could be problematic to have hunters skulking about our back yards murdering these peaceful sentient creatures that many families and their children happen to adore, so they thought it might be a good idea instead to have a bunch of armed idiots stalking our crowded parks, killing the animals that are where they are supposed to be so that people can go see them.

Naturally the local bow salesman was all for the idea, and not at all concerned about the possibility of accidentally dispatching a few children and their pets. 

Well the deer are becoming problematic they say. So I did a quick study to ascertain what sort of problems deer might cause. Mostly it appears they like to eat flowers, raising the ire of city people who chose to buy homes in wildlife habitat and are now dismayed to find wildlife there. They also have a tendency to increase car animal collisions. No mention that careless drivers also have a tendency to run down children and pets…

Seriously people… Hunters wandering our parks and neighborhoods? How about some education instead? How about planting flowers that the deer don’t like? How about slowing the car down a little? One lady I tried to slow down as she barreled through a herd of deer screamed at me that she had the right to drive the speed limit… Well, no you don’t. The limit is defined as the fastest speed you can go in optimal conditions. Once there are animals, pets or children nearby the conditions are no longer optimal and you are required to slow down.

How about some common sense and a little live and let live!

Wolves

Today my heart and mind is with the wolves as a new hunting season begins. After being hunted, trapped and poisoned nearly to extinction during the previous century they were saved by the Endangered Species Act and efforts to save them converged upon Yellowstone National Park as new packs were introduced into the wilderness. However, just as they were beginning to thrive, the Bush administration removed them from the list.

Apache the wolf ambassador from the Rocky Mountain Wildlife Foundation in Guffy, Colorado

Apache the wolf ambassador from the Rocky Mountain Wildlife Foundation in Guffy, Colorado

Now, hunting and trapping have resumed with the mindless hatred and ferocity that nearly permanently removed them from the face of the American landscape. Barbaric trapping and hunting practices that would result in felony animal cruelty charges and prison time for the normal citizen are supported morally and financially by the states that promised the Bush administration that they would develop responsible wildlife management plans. These magnificent animals are trapped with barbaric leg hold traps and left for days to suffer in the elements without food or water. In Wisconsin, hounders are allowed to unleash packs of dogs to rip wolves and their pups apart in vicious encounters that often leave dogs dead as well as the wolves they are pursuing. The government encourages it and even reimburses the so called hunters for the loss of their dogs. One famous rocker and gun rights activist advocates shooting the wolves in the stomach with a .22 rifle to prolong their suffering.

I have recently met a new group of online friends who are doing something about it. They are taking the fight for these noble animals to the doorsteps of the capitols in the states where these sadistic activities are advocated. They say “The pen is mightier than the sword.”, so I will be using my digital pen to raise awareness of this group’s activities to win the hearts and minds of citizens in these states. Perhaps together we will be able to bring about change and once again save the wolf from destruction. Subscribe to my S. W. Krull Imaging Examiner news feed to receive free coverage of our fight for the wolves.