Enough. The elk herds have declined. That is a fact. To place most of the blame on wolves is not fact. There are multiple reasons for elk herds declining, and that decline isn’t isolated in Montana and Idaho.
One, trapping of wildlife should be illegal. Period. The use of traps is heinous, torture, and flatout unmoral and unethical.
Two, apex predators benefit ecosystems. Wolves will keep elk populations in check. Wolves will not hunt elk into extinction. Only humans hunt a species into extinction.
Three, this hysteria and hatred of apex predators, and especially wolves is an ideology brought to this continent from the first European immigrants. They had already hunted wolves to extinction in England when they first arrived to North America. Their hysteria is steeped in religion due to Christianity, and the negative depiction of wolves in the bible. The early Europeans lost livestock to predator depredation, which had a potential of being a life and death situation in the 17th and 18th centuries. These early Europeans had a fear of the wildlands on this continent. They wanted to tame and control nature; bend nature and build cities; “manage” their environment in this new and scary continent on which they immigrated. This hysteria and fear was carried west with manifest destiny, and it has never died.
This slaughter of apex species must stop. Trapping and torturing wolves will not guarantee an increase in elk populations. In 2014, this is about elk, which means this is about money. The state fish and wildlife agencies ‘manage’ these so called game species for hunters. If they really wanted to increase he elk population they would start paying attention to the scientific research that shows there is more to the declining elk populations than wolf depredation. But then, that just wouldn’t feed their fear and loathing, now would it?