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Testimony of Oliver Starr to USFW De-Listing Hearing in Sacramento Cal

Animals  (tags: Oliver Starr, Vincent Kennard, The Wolf Army )

- 1640 days ago -
By Vincent Kennard. Owner of The Wolf Army.

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Roxie H (350)
Sunday November 24, 2013, 1:47 pm
Yes, I am very proud to sit among some of the most passionate wolf people in the world.

Roxie H (350)
Sunday November 24, 2013, 1:49 pm
I am the grandson of a well-known Colorado cattleman. I also studied canid ethology at the University of Colorado and have spent much of the last 30 years studying and raising wolves. I have come to know and understand these animals in a way that I believe few others do. I also grew up with the culture of fear and hatred of this animal that permeates the ranching community.

In spite of this conflicted background I am deeply opposed to the proposed delisting of wolves.

While I know that there are some valid concerns about wolves, I also know that wolves are more important to the health of ecosystems than cattle.

I know that wolves belong on the landscape while cattle are the damaging and invasive species that fouls the water, destroys the range and out-competes natural ungulate populations. I know that much of the land upon which cattle are grazed belongs not to the ranchers but to we, the people.

For millennia wolves have existed in a dynamic balance with their prey. They do not “decimate herds” as ill-informed hunters claim but regulate them in harmony with nature. Wolves manage themselves. They do not need to be “managed”

I oppose the delisting on scientific grounds. I object to the unfounded “taxonomy of convenience” USFWS is using to say that wolves have sufficiently recovered in their historic ranges so that delisting is merited. The delisting plan speaks not to true science but politicized science.

I have heard the argument that states are better suited to managing their wolf populations. But we have seen how that has worked out for the wolf - and we’ve seen photos that document the horrors that have been visited upon wolves in every state where “management" rights have been returned.


Wolves are highly evolved, social, mutually dependent creatures. They work together to care for each other and they suffer anguish when they lose a member of their families. In fact, in all the time I’ve spent among wolves I’ve found them to be more “humane” then the people that seem to glorify in snuffing them out.

It has only been through the protections afforded by the Endangered Species Act that the howl of the wolf can once again be heard in parts of the US and it will only be through continued federal protection that wolves can regain their foothold in suitable territory and exert their crucial natural role as our most important and iconic apex predator.

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