Wolves in New Jersey…Or At Least the DNA

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*Staff Note* – The link below is to an article published in the New Jersey Herald by historic writer, Jennie Sweetman. Following the link are comments made by James Beers, contributing writer to Wolf Education International.

“As for Space, when he hears the coyotes in his zoo howl and he hears the coyotes in the wild howl back at them, it serves as a reminder that the wolf still remains in the Sussex County area, but only in the DNA of the Eastern coyote.”<<<Read Entire Article>>>

By James Beers

I would place the following caveat when introducing this article:

“The following article is a very encouraging sign to those familiar with the wolf/wildlife management/human dimensions issue for the following reasons:

  1. It is truthful and candid about the historic record of wolves in the Mid-Atlantic Colonies and then States of the United States.
  1. It accurately describes the very harmful effects of living with wolves without attributing any mystical benefits or fictional biology to justify introducing wolves or coercing communities to live with them.
  1. That it emerges from New Jersey, one of the most urban and densely populated states is surprising.  New Jersey is a state noted for animal “rights”/welfare hysteria and political battles with environmental extremists as demonstrated by the decades-old battles to force black bears (originally re-introduced to NW New Jersey to create a pocket of bears for hunting in a thinly-settled corner of the state) into urban and densely settled parts of the State with NO controls or hunting to minimize the human safety issues they create while opposing any hunting or gun rights.  That such a state newspaper would publish such an article may indicate a public turn toward common sense wildlife management and animal control as wise public policy in the heart of the “we want wolves imposed on those Americans “out there” because we think they are just whiners for not accepting what “we think is best for them!”
  1. I must admit to a sexist remark here based on my 50+ years’ experience with state and federal wildlife management and enforcement.  I am so pleasantly surprised that a lady wrote this article that I am tempted to say a prayer of thanks.  For decades,  women have been hired and promoted in the field of wildlife management and wildlife control in large part because they have (opinions, emotions, principles, standards – take your pick) that no animal should be manipulated or killed for any reason.  Hunting, animal damage control, and complete buy-in to “non-lethal” controls that are only temporary, “compensation” that never was nor would ever be available in even minimal amounts, and the romantic notions of cleansing a national ecosystem of the pollution from European settlement to restore an unrealistic “native ecosystem”.  Government Forests, Government Wildlife Offices and Government Land Management Offices are heavily populated by such women.  Public media, for decades now, has featured things like young women in government agency uniforms holding what is purported to be a “wolf puppy” in the crook of her arm as she creates the image of nurturing a helpless and “lovable” animal.  That a lady wrote this article is more encouraging and hopeful to an old man like me than I can express in words.
  1. I can offer only one tongue-in-cheek observation of little matter.  The closing sentence (I do this myself) is an attempt to leave the reader with the impression that given the foregoing truthful statements that may make the reader uneasy that the author is a “good Joe” or in this case a “good “Jodie” that is not a radical or ideologue.  When she says, “ As for Space, when he hears the coyotes in his zoo howl and he hears the coyotes in the wild howl back at them, it serves as a reminder that the wolf still remains in the Sussex County area, but only in the DNA of the Eastern coyote” I am reminded of many people that shared the following observation with me over the years, “You know Mr. Beers, soon after the wolves moved in here our coyotes started disappearing and you know, what?  The coyotes don’t howl anymore because we think the wolves will locate them and try to kill them.”  May New Jersey never get wolves and may they never lose the occasional coyote yip or howl in the evening that I enjoyed so much years ago when as a young married man lived in Nebraska as a US Game Management Agent.

Thank you Ms. Sweetman and thank you New Jersey Herald for a fine and more-important-than-you-can-imagine bit of journalism and historical wildlife management.

Jim Beers

Jim Beers is a retired US Fish & Wildlife Service Wildlife Biologist, Special Agent, Refuge Manager, Wetlands Biologist, and Congressional Fellow. He was stationed in North Dakota, Minnesota, Nebraska, New York City, and Washington DC.  He also served as a US Navy Line Officer in the western Pacific and on Adak, Alaska in the Aleutian Islands.  He has worked for the Utah Fish & Game, Minneapolis Police Department, and as a Security Supervisor in Washington, DC.  He testified three times before Congress; twice regarding the theft by the US Fish & Wildlife Service of $45 to 60 Million from State fish and wildlife funds and once in opposition to expanding Federal Invasive Species authority.  He resides in Eagan, Minnesota with his wife of many decades.