Idaho Declares Wolf Disaster - Paranoid Fantasy Or Predators Competing?

boy who cried wolf image

"The illustration by Francis Barlow of the fable "The Boy who Cried Wolf", called by him DE PASTORIS PUERO ET AGRICOLIS, 1687" Image credit:Wikipedia

It is a remarkable tale, described in the As The Lake Churns blog, that "Idaho Gov. Butch Otter has signed into law a measure to allow the state to declare a disaster due to wolves and take emergency measures to combat the animals." Wow. Call out the Russian Wolf Hounds. Load up the Sharps rifle. because wolves are coming.

Maybe a few head of livestock die each year from the claw and fang...I don't have the numbers...but surely this is overblown. Regardless, it seems Idahoans missed learning about the Boy Who Cried Wolf?

The tale concerns a shepherd boy who tricks nearby villagers into thinking a wolf is attacking his flock. He repeats this so many times that when the sheep are actually confronted by a wolf, the villagers do not believe his cries for help and the flock is destroyed. The moral at the end of the Greek version is that 'the story shows that this is how liars are rewarded: even if they tell the truth, no one believes them.'
Unless the real reason for declaring a 'wolf disaster' is that wolves are seen as competing for the antlered big game that human hunters would rather have at? And that's a disaster?

In a previous post I speculated

that much of the anti-wolf positioning has more to do with making the Federal government out to be a Big Bad Wolf - picking up on and amplifying the anti-government cheer leading and posturing on radio and TV these days - and less to do with overcoming actual personal risk or financial loss caused by wolves.

From the viewpoint of Idaho, I'd guess there's resentment about 'vegan pagans' in coastal cities controlling their lives. While for the Coasters, it's the idea that if you ruthlessly eradicate the call of the wild just to protect beef profits, you deny all children a chance to find out 'who's afraid of the big bad wolf? and who's not? On public land very often.

Now it's a disaster.