NPS to address IR wolf issue

Questions regarding the Flora and Fauna on the island.

Moderator: johnhens

Post Reply

Topic author
johnhens
Forum Moderator
Posts: 1425
Joined: Wed Oct 03, 2007 4:10 pm
Isle Royale Visits: 33
Location: Big Rock, IL

NPS to address IR wolf issue

Post by johnhens » Mon Apr 27, 2015 3:28 am

The NPS is to begin a process to address the Wolf-Moose issue on Isle Royale within the next 2 months. They hope to develop a long term mgnt strategy for dealing with the Island as a whole.
http://www.mprnews.org/story/2015/04/26 ... ale-wolves


Gimp
LNT Expert
Posts: 88
Joined: Mon Mar 29, 2010 3:52 pm
Isle Royale Visits: 6
Location: Macomb TWP, Michigan

Re: NPS to address IR wolf issue

Post by Gimp » Tue Apr 28, 2015 10:26 am

Two to three years to conduct a study, then wade through public opinion of 'intervene vs. let nature take its course', make a decision, defend the decision, and then eventually implement the approved plan. People have been studying the wolves and moose in IR for years. I don't know what is to be learned by more studies, or why two or three alternate courses of action haven't already been developed at least in a draft form in preparation for the potential loss of the wolves. As it stands now, the moose population seems poised to replicate the population boom of 20-years ago. Without a study I can predict that they'll eat everything available, damage the balsam fir trees and set them back for years, and eventually experience a massive winter starvation and die off creating a lot of angst among the public before the cycle repeats over another two decades. A couple of packs of newly introduced wolves can't eat enough moose to keep this from happening, but they would at least help clean up some of the carcasses. So far the plan seems to have been to cross our fingers, hope a new pack crosses over to the island and then the hand of mankind wouldn't have to intervene. That hasn't worked out, and as I've often heard "hope isn't a plan".
Last edited by Gimp on Tue Apr 28, 2015 6:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.


Midwest Ed
IR Expert
Posts: 871
Joined: Sat Jul 03, 2010 1:25 am
Isle Royale Visits: 8
Location: Quad Cities, IL

Re: NPS to address IR wolf issue

Post by Midwest Ed » Tue Apr 28, 2015 6:44 pm

My first question would be, "Has there been any explanation given by The NPS or Dept. of Interior as to why no action has been taken yet or cannot be taken until another series of studies is completed?".

The Department of Defense is continuously generating contingency plans for virtually anything they can think of that might possibly happen, so if called upon they are as ready as can be to move in any direction when asked. The Department of Interior is of course not funded to the same extent but this situation is not one that came out of left field as if no one foresaw the probability let alone possibility. I think that since almost all of IR is a designated wilderness there is underlying pressure if not the Wilderness Act itself to not violate the letter or the spirit of the law. I think one of the foremost edicts of the law hinges on the definition of the word "untrammeled".

Quote: "(c) A wilderness, in contrast with those areas where man and his own works dominate the landscape, is hereby recognized as an area where the earth and its community of life are untrammeled by man, where man himself is a visitor who does not remain."

Wilderness Act of 1964 see section 2c on page 891.

Other parts refer to:

"land retaining its primeval character and influence, without permanent improvements or human habitation, which is protected and managed so as to preserve its natural conditions and which (1) generally appears to have been affected primarily by the forces of nature, with the imprint of man's work substantially unnoticeable;"

So herein rests the mandate by law to let nature take its own course without the influence of man.

I noticed the law does allow for interdiction by man in order to control fire, insects or disease."

Quote: "such measures may be taken as may be necessary in the control of fire, insects, and diseases, subject to such conditions as the Secretary deems desirable."

The mass kill off of vegetation and then moose would certainly involve disease and insects but that reasoning might be a stretch. The strongest argument possibly might rest on man made global warming. Setting aside for the moment the debate as to how much man is the cause of global warming, I think it's fair to say the majority of decision makers in the government are on the side of man's strong affect. If so, a case can be made that man himself created the situation that has led to this point, for example the increasing number of winters without ice bridges. If man only helped create the situation then why not let man take action to help correct the situation?
8 trips, 1975 x 2, 1976 x 2, 1978, 1985, 2000, 2013


tree rattt
May actually live on IR
Posts: 362
Joined: Tue Mar 18, 2014 7:18 am

Re: NPS to address IR wolf issue

Post by tree rattt » Tue Apr 28, 2015 9:01 pm

Wasn't disease the initial cause of wolf decline in the first place.Wasn't disease introduced by a dog?Did I hear Parvovirus mentioned before?

I know that the Isle royal wolves don't look anything like the wolf I saw locally on the Ice age trail 2 weeks ago. It was a truley beautiful and majestic creature. New genetics are deffinately needed.3 wolves can't survive very long

User avatar

trailgoat_70
NewbieCake
Posts: 29
Joined: Sat Apr 25, 2015 12:25 pm

Re: NPS to address IR wolf issue

Post by trailgoat_70 » Wed Apr 29, 2015 7:22 am

Gimp wrote:Two to three years to conduct a study, then wade through public opinion of 'intervene vs. let nature take its course', make a decision, defend the decision, and then eventually implement the approved plan. People have been studying the wolves and moose in IR for years. I don't know what is to be learned by more studies, or why two or three alternate courses of action haven't already been developed at least in a draft form in preparation for the potential loss of the wolves.
You took the words right out of my mouth, Gimp.
"I am a happy camper so I guess I’m doing something right."

- Henry David Thoreau

User avatar

fonixmunkee
Forum Moderator
Posts: 795
Joined: Tue Sep 11, 2007 10:58 am
Isle Royale Visits: 12
Location: Soupe Towne, WI
Contact:

Re: NPS to address IR wolf issue

Post by fonixmunkee » Wed Apr 29, 2015 8:21 am

If only there was a team of internationally-recognized scientists who have been conducting the exact same type of research for, say, 50 some years, that the NPS could look to and bring in as Subject Matter Experts on all this...instead of re-inventing the wheel with another extraneous study that simply duplicates existing data.

"fonix Glances at 50+ years of wolf/moose/winter study data*

But who would be knowledgeable enough to ask?
Sometimes you feel like a nut :: http://twitter.com/fonixmunkee

User avatar

hooky
May actually live on IR
Posts: 473
Joined: Mon Mar 26, 2012 11:26 am
Isle Royale Visits: 2
Location: Central Indiana

Re: NPS to address IR wolf issue

Post by hooky » Wed Apr 29, 2015 9:15 am

Hopefully there will be ice bridges over the next few years and wolves will come over and decide to stay. That's the only genetic rescue I'll see in the 30-40 years I have left on this rock. Superintendent Green is just like the rest of the bureaucrats she reports to upstream. No one wants to make a decision. Just keep kicking the can down the road. Don't upset the apple cart. <insert more favorite idioms here>


Gimp
LNT Expert
Posts: 88
Joined: Mon Mar 29, 2010 3:52 pm
Isle Royale Visits: 6
Location: Macomb TWP, Michigan

Re: NPS to address IR wolf issue

Post by Gimp » Wed Apr 29, 2015 10:38 am

hooky wrote:Hopefully there will be ice bridges over the next few years and wolves will come over and decide to stay. That's the only genetic rescue I'll see in the 30-40 years I have left on this rock. Superintendent Green is just like the rest of the bureaucrats she reports to upstream. No one wants to make a decision. Just keep kicking the can down the road. Don't upset the apple cart. <insert more favorite idioms here>
I've decided it's time to write Michigan's two Senator's, and my Congressman (woman actually). I doubt they've ever been to Isle Royale and probably couldn't point to it on a map, but I need to try. It's supposed to be a "crown jewel" of my state, even though the state doesn't have any control of it. Even the governor and the states tourism director who is responsible for the "Pure Michigan" tourism campaign should have some interest in the situation. Seems like they should be interested in something that could muddy the purity of the image they want to convey. Perhaps a bit of political prodding will help the strengthen the resolve of the bureaucrats to do something sooner rather than later. If we 'Let a sleeping canine lie' and 'Don't rock the boat' by doing nothing, then nothing is what is going to happen.


treeplanter
Bushwacker
Posts: 297
Joined: Wed Jun 20, 2012 6:57 pm
Isle Royale Visits: 12
Contact:

Re: NPS to address IR wolf issue

Post by treeplanter » Wed Apr 29, 2015 6:32 pm

As a counterpoint, it’s interesting to note that David Mech, who began his study of wolves on Isle Royale more than 50 years ago, argues that the Park Service should do nothing at all and wait and see what happens (no genetic rescue). As he puts it, all you need is one male and one female for nature to take it’s course.

User avatar

head2north
Trailblazer
Posts: 173
Joined: Fri Jul 25, 2008 9:46 am
Isle Royale Visits: 9
Location: River Falls, Wisconsin

Re: NPS to address IR wolf issue

Post by head2north » Tue Jul 28, 2015 6:38 am

I had planned on listening to this NPR radio segment live yesterday, but found myself busy doing other things. Before I listen to and forget to post afterwards,
I am posting link to article and podcast.

http://www.mprnews.org/story/2015/07/27 ... sle-royale


Topic author
johnhens
Forum Moderator
Posts: 1425
Joined: Wed Oct 03, 2007 4:10 pm
Isle Royale Visits: 33
Location: Big Rock, IL

Re: NPS to address IR wolf issue

Post by johnhens » Wed Jul 29, 2015 9:30 am

h2n, thanks for posting the NPR link.

User avatar

MikeT
IR Pro
Posts: 325
Joined: Fri Oct 29, 2010 1:32 pm
Isle Royale Visits: 23
Location: Port Sanilac, Michigan
Contact:

Re: NPS to address IR wolf issue

Post by MikeT » Wed Jul 29, 2015 8:04 pm

fonixmunkee wrote:If only there was a team of internationally-recognized scientists who have been conducting the exact same type of research for, say, 50 some years, that the NPS could look to and bring in as Subject Matter Experts on all this...instead of re-inventing the wheel with another extraneous study that simply duplicates existing data.

"fonix Glances at 50+ years of wolf/moose/winter study data*

But who would be knowledgeable enough to ask?
I love the way you worded this. Presented plain facts to make the point. I could not agree more. It would seem to me there is 50 years worth of data already. In addition, there is a resident expert who spends more time on the island than on the mainland that knows the predator prey relationships better than anyone. Of course this is my opinion, but I am in 100% agreement with this island expert.

NEW WOLVES SHOULD BE INTRODUCED WHILE THERE IS A RESIDENT POPULATION.

On the issue of a "counterpoint" from David Mech, again my opinion... He has not been part of the IR study for many years and, if the IR study was to end, his study would then be the longest running study of wolves. Hmmm....

Also, if "all you need is one male and one female for nature to take it’s course" why did they not just put a pair in Yellowstone??

In addition to the Yellowstone re-introduction, investigate the re-introduction of Mexican wolves and what was done there.
Mike T.
"Isle Royale Info - A Comprehensive Guide to Isle Royale National Park" available at: http://www.isleroyale.info
"Isle Royale Itinerary Generator" an intuitive program to create and manage itineraries. Description at: http://www.isleroyale.info/ig_description.html
"Half the fun is in the planning"


Topic author
johnhens
Forum Moderator
Posts: 1425
Joined: Wed Oct 03, 2007 4:10 pm
Isle Royale Visits: 33
Location: Big Rock, IL

Re: NPS to address IR wolf issue

Post by johnhens » Fri Jul 31, 2015 10:26 am

Rolf Peterson on the proposed NPS future plans for IR:
http://wkar.org/post/should-isle-royale ... population

Post Reply