Sunday, February 26, 2012

Of Wolves and Politics

Why is it that divisive politics have such a hold on wolf management, or any environmental issue, for that matter? The complex reality is that much of wolf management is not about managing wolves at all. It is really people management in wolf’s clothing.

Human societies make rules that maintain structure and order, similar to wolves living in a pack. However, the resources wolves need for survival is very simple: tolerance from humans, habitat and food. Human needs and wants are much more complicated and require more structure.

Humans tend to set rules and customs that facilitate a smooth daily life. Go to work. Be nice to your neighbor, do not kill or steal, pay your bills, and so on. Each human culture has woven a matrix of rules of engagement to manage nearly every encounter, every situation, and every circumstance. Likewise, we make rules to manage wolf populations and the situations wild wolves may encounter.

How then, does politics become involved?