“Northeastern wolf” back in the news

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced yesterday it would not develop a plan to protect wolves in northern New York and New England.

From the Associated Press wire:

Wildlife Service officials say the decision was made because there is no distinct breeding population of wolves in the region that could be protected.

This needs a little deconstruction:

Some animals–according to their DNA–are wolves. Gray wolves, for instance live in the North American West (though they are moving slowly eastward–there are anecdotal reports of gray wolves as far east as Minnesota).

Coyotes are not wolves. Their DNA is different. But here in northern New York, this crisp distinction between the two species blurs.

Some biologists say coyotes here bred with wolves from northern Ontario and Quebec (read all about it here). This, they say, explains why coyotes in northern New York are much bigger than coyotes out west. It may also explain why coyotes here have been reported exhibiting the kinds of pack behavior more like that of wolves than other coyotes elsewhere.

These biologists also say that, because of this coyote-wolf breeding, there’s no good reason to re-introduce wolves in the area. There is also some evidence that our coyotes are already filling wolves’ traditional role as a top-tier predator.

After the Wildlife Service said it wouldn’t draft a plan to protect wolves here, the Center for Biological Diversity issued a press release quoting Mollie Matteson at the group’s Vermont office:

There is extensive habitat for wolves in the Northeast.

On this point, I think there’s wide spread agreement. Between the town of Cranberry Lake and Old Forge, it’s pretty easy to imagine a wolf family or two living quite happily. But Matteson also said this:

The only obstacle to the return of the wolf in the Northeast is leadership and a clear plan for their recovery.

It’s far less clear that this is true. If the research on wolf-coyote hybridization is corroborated, then the behavior of the wolves themselves is an obstacle to re-introduction in northern New York and New England.

Again, from the Associated Press wire:

…advocates wanted the Wildlife Service to declare Northeast wolves a distinct population, which would require the federal government to create a plan to restore the animals.

So re-introduction of wolves is not an option in northern New York and New England (at least right now). But it’s important to remember that it doesn’t need to be.

Individual wolves do turn up every now and again in the region. And when they do, these animals are protected by the federal Endangered Species Act.

Personally, I’d love to see (or, more likely, hear) wolves in northern New York. Other top tier predators scare the stuffing out of me. Wolves do not. I have avoided being “et” by a bear twice, thankyouverymuch, and I know I’m no match for a mountain lion.

But wolves seem much more akin to humans, more understandable maybe. Wolves live in a family structure similar to humans. The animals are deadly, certainly, but human fatalities caused by wolves are very rare.

I’ve encountered a wild wolf once. There’s no sensation like it. Fear, wonder and admiration mix with a sense of shared (familiar?) understanding.

It’s this familiarity that can shatter whatever boundaries we may think exist between us and wilderness (or capital-“N” Nature). And this may be one reason why so many people want to re-introduce wolves where they are.

But I think we need more information–more scientific research–before restoring wolves here.

What do you think?

55 Comments on ““Northeastern wolf” back in the news”

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  1. Bret4207 says:

    I see absolutely no reason to re-introduce another predator in Northern NY. Anyone currently dealing with coyotes, feral dogs and cats, bears, cougar (yes, they are here whether DEC admits or or not) bobcat, etc. should be well aware that the niche is filled. Other than the “cool” factor there is no good reason to even think about IMO. But then that’s just my opinion and I’m sure some would disagree.

    If re-introduction is wanted, how about Elk? We used to have a species of Elk that’s been described to me as similar to the Roosevelt Elk of the West Coast. Personally I’d find that far “cooler” than another predator.

  2. TLM says:

    Remember the teacher killed in Alaska? People who think wolves are “cool” – usually are not the ones that live around them.

    We have bears, cougars and wolves where we live. Personally I would 10 times rather face a bear or cougar than a pack of wolves.

    However I do hope they introduce wolves to other states just so the HSUS will stop wasting our tax dollars suing the FWS. The state of Idaho has offered all the other states a chance to adopt wolves from here – it would save them from being hunted.

  3. dave says:

    Jonathan, great post. For me, if there is habitat to sustain them, I would absolutely love it if Wolves made their way back to Northern NY. For some of the reasons you mention, and for many others. I’ve yet to read or hear a compelling reason to actively keep them out, and am confused by the seemingly irrational fear (bordering on hate?) that some people have toward this animal.

    Moose are another example of an animal that is making their way back into the area – this also strikes me as perfectly natural and I couldn’t be happier about it.

  4. mervel says:

    If there is habitat then I would have no problem with it. My personal opinion is that there is NOT habitat here to sustain a breeding wolf population, there simply is not enough large game in the areas that are isolated enough for wolves. The five ponds wilderness area most often mentioned does not have a large deer population or moose population for wolves. Wolves eat large quantities, if re-introduced they would likely roam out of these areas in search of prey and then we would get the problems.

    We should focus on moose first, if they can get established then we could look at wolves.

  5. buddy says:

    Mervel makes a great point, We couldn’t expect them to live in the five ponds wilderness area if there’s nothing for them to eat there. It seems to me that we should figure out how to increase the amount of “feed Species” for them, before we turn them lose in an area that has such a sparse population of game for them to hunt, If not , they’ll just end up in some populated area where the majority of our Deer live, and people will boo hoo about the big bad wolf, and the wolf will lose again.

  6. Bret4207 says:

    Some of the “irrational fear bordering on hate” comes from those of us that already suffer from coyote predation. While I’m sure the Adirondacks seem very large and spacious to many people I rather doubt the starving wolves will remain there once they kill all the deer. Then where do they go? To the farms to feed off sheep, cattle and horses.

    Sorry folks, that not irrational fear bordering on hate, that’s practicality. No logging on all that State land means a small deer population which the coyotes are already preying on. Just what are the wolves supposed to eat? Same thing happened when they reintroduced Lynx. Where did they put them? In the High Peaks in the dead of winter. Where’d the Lynx go? To the populated valleys to eat.

  7. dave says:


    I’m curious, how are you suffering from coyote predation?

  8. buddy says:

    I’m all for a sustainable wolf population in NY, The problem is and will be that “people” inhabit the places where there is the most feed for them, I’d love to hear one Howl in the night in my lifetime, but if we had them, every time somebodys cat, dog or livestock came up missing or late there’s be an uproar, So until we figure out how to raise the Deer and Moose Population in the Deepest part of”ADIRONDACKS”
    There’s no sense in trying to manually introduce them.

  9. Bret4207 says:

    They kill my lambs and goats. They’ve killed my neighbors calves.

  10. Bret is a wiener says:

    Maybe you could arrest the offending coyotees, or shoot them with an automatic weapon? or get a herd dog to watch the animals, you know like the old timers did?

  11. mervel says:

    I agree with Buddy, I would love to see them here.

    I would like to see the data on Northern Minnesota, a place much like the North Country in many ways. They have a wolf population however I think they have less people and I think they have moose. I think moose are the key, deer are always going to choose to live in larger numbers in other areas with more feed and where the winters are not as harsh, however moose may gain a foothold.

  12. buddy says:

    I don’t know all the “data” on Minnesota, Mervel, But I did have the opportunity to vacation in “Ely” Minnesota about 4 yrs ago, And you’re Right it’s very similar to the adirondacks, except there seemed to be a lot less people, as well as Roads period. Ely, which is right on the border of the Famous “boundary waters” region in my opinion had more canoes than cars and trucks combined.
    It’s a beautiful area and They have several packs of wolves in that area and yes they have a healthy moose population as well, although we saw neither in our 2 weeks there. It’s a great area and a great place to visit if you love the outdoors and all it offers. Look for Ely on a map and you’ll see that it’s a lot more remote than our towns in the adirondacks, and north of there, there is nothing but wide open wilderness, A great place for wolves to live and people to “Visit”.

  13. Bret4207 says:

    FYI- We just obtained a Llama in hopes it’ll help with alerting the flock to predators. And I do shoot any coyote I can and trap them too. I suppose those who are so much more enlightened than us poor stupid farmers could come up with a way to peacefully and non-threateningly deal with the coyote/dog problem.

    BTW- Kudos on the language. Much better than your last lame attempt.

  14. bert270 says:

    I used to hunt in the five pond area and every year there were less deer and more coyotes . I even went back in to a winter deer yard a few years back and you could hardly find a deer track but coyote tracks were every where. From the five ponds area it’s only a hop, skip and a jump to the farm lands of Lowville for a wolf. I’ll bet they could find all they want to eat there.

  15. Ely says:

    Bret4207 says:
    June 11, 2010 at 8:13 am

    “…those who are so much more enlightened than us poor stupid farmers..”

    Bret, speak for yourself, and keep the sarcasm to yourself. You are beggining a drift off topic, or at least opening the door to more sarcastic replies.
    i’m not new here, don’t post much, but i see the response you provoke from people, especially of late. I have to agree that your tone is VERY condescending, and at times a little “holier than thou-ish”

    I farm in Franklin County, and though i don’t want any wolves at my door, I hardly believe the solution is to shoot “any one that I can”
    It’s those types of blanket solutions that get us in deeper trouble.
    You make farmers look like they can not deal with the problem in a thoughtfull manner, kinda like the only good coyote is a dead coyote mentality. A little too brutal and generalized. Farming is tough, something true farmers know, and presents new challenges everyday. Would you apply the same broadcast technique with pesticides if your crops were threatened by an insect infestation? and then want to eat that food?
    The llama Idea is good – not too different from the herd dog suggestion that you snubbed.
    The right, and the smallest amount of leverage applied at just the right spot is the only way to go. As you farm more, and gain more experience you will learn this too.
    When there are too many sick and/or diseased moose, deer, wildlife, the wolf and coyote serve their purpose, as do all gods creatures. We are here as stewards of this land, not here to lord over it. You’re retired N.Y.S. Trooper, and former Marine, so leave that in the past, and embrace the Farmer inside, work with nature and it will pay you back. Any plan set against nature and the natural order of things will fail eventually. She’s been at it longer, and adapts better to anything we toss at her, and better than ANY species on HER earth can to what she throws at us.

    Every little soul needs to shine.

  16. Mervel says:

    Hey Buddy. I used to fish up at the Lake of the Woods area. It is a great area up there, but I think you are right less people than here and a viable moose population.

    I think Canadian wolves may establish themselves here naturally if they have the prey, we will see.

    I don’t think we should try wolf introduction until we are really really sure it will work. Are there wolves in Northern Maine?

  17. Bret4207 says:

    Ely, thanks for your giving me your own condescending tone. I’ve been at this over 20 years thanks. If you’d followed the other posts made in another thread you understand the commentary and tone. And I didn’t “snub” any ideas, but livestock guardian dogs require a significant outlay of cash, being raised with the flock and pastures that will work with a LGD. Currently I have neither the cash, the proper land set up or the time to wait. But thanks for letting me know how REAL farmers do things.

    Maybe we’d all be better served if you left the farmer behind and tried to learn from others here, since that seems to be what I’m supposed to do. Yes, that’s the answer- forget your own experiences and do what some anonymous name on a website says. Right.

  18. Bret4207 says:

    Mervel, talk to the ranchers in Idaho. I understand they’re more than willing to transplant as many wolves as you want anytime you want as long as you get the darn things out of their back yards. Same for the guys around Yellowstone.

  19. mervel says:

    I know ranchers are not fans of any predators. The key is the balance between what they need and a balanced eco-system which would include higher order predators which may mean some wolves or maybe not depending on what the environment can sustain.

    If wolves or other predators have adequate food they in general will not overly prey on livestock. But for example I would have no problem with you shooting coyotes, I have hunted coyotes myself they can be a real problem. That is why it is very important that we don’t introduce wolves up here if we think they do not have enough prey, because in the end they would indeed go for livestock or pets or whatever and have to be killed.

  20. Ely says:

    My my, Bret.
    With twenty years experience, there is nothing i could tell you then.
    I certainly do understand the “tone” from the other thread as well as the commentary, and you’re behaving the same way now!
    I am 67 years old, been at it for many more years than twenty, and still find an open mind to listen to others- but it isn’t beneath me, nor above my abilities to take a whipper-snapper like you out to the wood shed. Let me know when you get another twenty under your belt.
    Wasn’t talking about an expensive, official, “herd dog”, i have a couple of black labs (the ole reliable pick-up truck of the dog world) that do just fine by me- rats, rabbits, gopher, no coyote yet, bark at any stranger on the farm; man or beast and they are pretty darn good vaccuums around the house if so much as a scrap falls to the floor. Somehow i can’t see a llama being any cheaper, just kinda pretentious no?
    i keep one bull and a pony in with my goats and that seems to keep everything status qou- for well more than twenty years.
    Have a brother just like you, stubborn like a mule up a ladder backwards.
    But i still love him, and don’t talk down to him.
    You’re right i was using a condescending tone, wanted to see if you could recognize one, and if you liked how it felt.

    Mervel, you’re right we don’t have enough prey up here for the wolves, and i doubt a sufficient travell corridor for either to get here (in any great amount) to the Adirondacks. ..But considering there’s one less moose in Paul Smith’s and with coyote making their way to Manhattan i’m probably wrong on that thought too.
    How they pay the tolls i’ll never know.

  21. Bret4207 says:

    Trust me Ely, I’ve taken more than my share of condescension here. And yeah, stubborn I gots.

    We considered a LGD but it’s just not practical for us in our set up. Llamas are cheap now, but we’re finding the bonding period is significantly longer than we’d hoped. The llama (Sharona, yes-“My,my,my Sharona”) seems to think she belongs with the horses wince they have long necks too. It’s too bad the horses consider sheep in the same light cowboys do. Coyotes seem to take no interest in a ton of Percheron bearing down on them.

    I don’t know just what you could tell me I haven’t heard already. I don’t know what you raise but I’m running 100 head of sheep and some hogs currently having sold the cows some time back. Slowly getting back into cattle too. I’m “Joe Sustainable Agriculture” to my “Real Farmer” (dairymen) neighbors. Love the idea of organics, hate the commercial result of “Organic” as a selling tool. I even like coyotes, porcupines, beaver, bear and the neighbors dogs till they cost me money. Can’t stand cats except in the barn, and not too many there.

    There are “herd dogs” (Border Collies for instance) and LGD (Great Pyrenees for instance). Two different things. Herd dogs herd sheep, cattle etc. LGD defend the flock/herd from predators- like herd dogs. Can’t run the 2 together without some real serious management difficulties. Our herd dogs are near worthless to start with, the rest of the pack (I think my wife owns 7, I have 1) might well chase off coyotes but then they’d come back to feast on the lambs. We do have a German Shepherd that’s very good with the lambs, but the sheep see “WOLF!!!”, not the female that licked and mothered the bummer lambs in the dead of winter.

    Hey, good luck with that woodshed thing. That hasn’t worked too good for anybody since my Dad passed on.

  22. Mervel says:

    I think it would be neat to look at the conditions needed for natural migration and settlement of wolves instead of often focusing on what is really an artificial re-introduction.

    These animals are amazing and adaptable, like you said coyotes are in Manhattan. I do think that there are mountain lions in the North Country I agree with Bret on that; and they are here naturally (not somebody’s escaped pet). Eagles re-established this area so it can happen.

  23. Bret4207 says:

    Then lets let nature handle it. If conditions warrant they’ll return on their own. If not, then let well enough alone. Besides, there’s absolutely no money to fund such a project which would surely run into the millions of dollars. Same for my dream of seeing Elk. Sorry, but that darn reality keeps sticking it’s nose into our dreams.

  24. buddy says:

    I think elk would be great too Bret, But couldn’t you read the headlines now if some one hit one on the road , and got injured, The Lawyers would be lining up to sue the state or whoever put them here.
    I was surprised to learn While traveling through Michigan(on my way back from Ely) that they actually have a heard of wild elk there, and I don’t mean in the U.P. area either, I mean right in the Michigan south of Mackinac. I don’t know if they were seeded there or not but they’ve got em.
    The Biggest problem with us humans is, we want our cake and eat it too, We see a beautiful wilderness and think to ourselves how great it would be to live there, then we move in and it’s not so beautiful any more. Having said that, I also don’t believe that the Forever wild folks or the sierra club should have the adirondacks for their own private little playground, the Taxpayers have paid for our state land many times over and should have the right to Hunt ,fish, Hike , or whatever other outdoor activity they choose as long as it’s sustainable and within the law.

  25. Bret4207 says:

    Hot diggity Buddy! Now you’re talking my language. How about, in this time of fiscal need, making all the spandex clad hikers, canoeists/kayakers buy State Land use permits for $29.00 a shot, just we have to do to fish State Waters? That’s the least expensive license and it’s high time they paid their share.

  26. tax payer says:

    Spandexed hikers do pay their share, it’s called taxes.
    I don’t wear spandex, or hike in the woods, (too busy working in the sun) but I don’t think I would want to pay any additional money if I decided to take a walk one day on state land, or stop for a swim.
    Fishing, Hunting, snowmobiles, a different story obviously.
    canoes and kayaks, well i’d say no permit to float on water. No motor ?- no permit.
    The park was created for all state residents in my opinion, downstate, upstate, leftstate, rightstate- but I’d be all for out-of-state users to have to get an “empire” type of pass if they want to play in our sandbox.
    I hear them spandexers love to put stickers on their outbacks.
    Give the people what they want!

  27. Mike D. says:

    Natural migration? No, let’s do what was done to the West — have the USFWS bring in Canadian Grey wolves and establish them in NY and NE. If it’s good enough for those Americans, it’s good enough for all Americans.

    No double standards, no “our habitat isn’t right,” no playing the public safety card, no playing the game herd card, no playing the livestock card, no whining about pets, or tapeworms, or rabies.

    I say dump wolves by the hundreds smack in the middle of New York City, along with a Federal prohibition on killing them. We need “natural balance” everywhere, not just in remote states that nobody has ever seen and where nobody important or worthy of consideration lives. Nope, fair is fair. If it’s good for the goose, it’s good for the gander. The Feds MUST dump “top tier” spree killer wolves right in the heart of New England, where America’s premier socialists can enjoy them. You people can have wolves stalk YOUR children for a change. Do you some good.

  28. buddy says:

    I’ve always wondered that one too, Bret.

    I guess some of them would try to argue that we hunters and fishermen are the only ones to “Harvest something” so we should be the ones to pay, But that’s a pretty poor excuse for them to pay “Nothing”.
    I think your 29 dollar fee is quite reasonable, considering I pay around 100 dollars a year for the priviledge to hunt and trap on my own land, that I already pay taxes on.

  29. tax payer says:

    How about a toll booth on rt. 30 at the Park border? I trap and hunt and fish my own land and I’m proud to say I will never get a permit to do so, but that’s me. I pay taxes on that land and i will use it as i see fit. I will also contain myself and my personal ideology to the boundries of my own land. That’s howe i can feel “bigger” than those who impose their ideas on everyone, everywhere.
    On the other side of the coin I would expect to pay if i hunted and fished on Park lands.
    Asking State resident hikers to pay to enjoy nature, no mater what they wear, is just as wrong as the Manhattanites who try to dictate what north country locals can do in what we feel are “our” forrest and that the forrests are more ours than their’s.
    The point of the Park was not along those lines. The Park is for everyone who want to use it, especially State residents.
    Otherwise you sound bitter because “I hunt, I have to pay, so everyone should have to pay” for whatever it is they do for recreation in a state park. One could say “well, take up canoeing, it’s free”

  30. NaturealWay says:

    As some have mentioned; if there is adequate habitat for them in the Adirondacks, they will arrive on their own.

    Animals such as wolves and moose may (or may not) be very intelligent by our standards. But they are ingenious. That is why some people do not like having them around. If they are in an area they will get what they want. Same goes for squirrels, mice, ants, cockroaches and whole host of other creatures. It can be hard to live in harmony with these animals because they (like us) get hungry and will look for easy food and shelter (no “slow food” movement for them). And they will not stop until they get it. It just so happens that we often supply the easiest means of food or shelter for these animals.

    Anyway, like I said, If they want to get to the Adirondacks they will. They do not need us to do it for them.

  31. Bret4207 says:

    The problem is that we are forced to pay to use our own land. The people who get to use State lands for free see no problem with us having to pay to use our own land that we pay taxes and a mortgage on. If it’s right for me then it’s right for them too.

  32. Mervel says:

    I don’t see any big radical agenda for people who at least want to look at wolves being here. To me it is more a matter of the practicalities; if they would work I would be for it. Not everything has to be so divisive. Many local people hike in the Adirondacks, it is not just “spandex” clad tourists from Manhattan, although I welcome spandex clad hikers from Manhattan as they leave their money right up here when they come up to hike and outsiders are GOOD for a community not bad. I would be in favor of a park use fee or at least a permit system as long as it was easy to use for hiking particularly in highly used trails such as those in the high peaks. Of course if you are going to have a park use fee for hikers you would need one for ATV’s and snowmobilers also or anyone who wanted to be in public lands for any reason. I hike and I also fish and hunt a little, I wouldn’t mind paying a yearly permit fee to hike in the Adirondacks, it would be well worth it.

    Fishing and hunting are separately regulated from use of our state lands as they should be. When you buy a fishing license you are getting a permit to fish in this state. I don’t mind paying it one bit. We are not buying access to state lands; with a fishing license you are buying a permit to take a natural resource for yourself, fish in this case, that are owned by all of the people of New York.

  33. buddy says:

    Well said Mervel, But whether it’s the right way of thinking or not, it sometimes “seems” like hunters and fishermen are paying more than their fair share. The adirondack are a Great treasure to both sides of the hunting fence, and should be respected by all of us , hunters or not. and we should All agree on that.
    I think wolves would probably already be here, if there was space and prey for them to survive on, Just like the moose have in our lifetimes, the Wolves may migrate here too,if conditions are right.

  34. Bret4207 says:

    There’s no guarantee you’ll catch fish or take game Mevel and why do I have to by a license to hunt my own land? That’s not State land. This is fundamentally unfair.

  35. mervel says:

    Bret the land is yours the wildlife on that land are mine and every other New Yorker. You don’t own them.

  36. buddy says:

    Mervel , I kind of agree with you, but if that is the case, how come some farms get nuisance permits by the handsful, to kill “our” Deer ??

  37. mervel says:

    But they had to get a permit to do that, they had to get permission from the state. Now we may disagree with how those are given out, but they still must be given out for someone to legally kill a deer out of season. But I think that is okay, I think nuisance permits are okay. There is a balance between the needs of landowners who’s land does in fact provide habitat for wildlife and he needs of the eco-system and our wildlife. The landowners do pay for wildlife in that some wildlife cause economic damage to the landowner, so I think they should be able to control that damage.

  38. Bret4207 says:

    So Mervel, if the State owns the wildlife on my farm, then why can’t I charge the State for boarding those animals? If that’s right then why can’t I sue the State when I hit one of their deer? If that’s right then why don;t I get a refund when I don’t catch fish after buying a license? No, this is fundamentally unfair. You charge one group for use of State AND private lands to hunt, fish, trap, snowmobile/ATV/power boat/jet ski/etc and you give another much larger group a free pass to trod the High Peaks into erosion zones, to “take” the views and scenery, etc. It’s wrong. You either make everyone pay or no one should have to pay.

    I realize things will never change and next years permits/licenses will be even higher, but the principal of letting the “right thinking” people off at no cost is wrong.

  39. met says:

    I vote no one pays!!

  40. The Sniper Hunter says:

    Reintroducing wolves into NY State is a terrible idea, end of discussion. The areas of the COuntry they have been reintroduced are some of the most remote land areas in the west, and there are still problems.
    It would be irresponsible to place these viscious predators in a populated state like NY.

  41. Mervel says:

    Well if I got a refund when I don’t catch fish the state would owe me big time.

    There are two issues. The first is wildlife management and the regulation of hunting and fishing, the second is access to our public lands. By granting a certain number of permits you can better control the harvest and manage the total heard there are numerous very good reasons to use a permit system for hunting and fishing and it is why every single state in the union does so.

    I do agree with you on charging or using a permit system for access to public lands. But people who fish would then need to buy both a fishing license and a permit to be on public land if they wanted to fish on public land. But you could sell the permits in zones; charging more for more sensitive or overused areas such as the high peaks and less for example in less traveled areas. The permit fees could be used to help prevent trail erosion etc for a start or they could be used to limit the total number of people allowed on the peaks, which would not be a bad thing.

  42. met says:

    Come on now mervel,
    It started with a 29$ usage fee, now you’re talking limits.
    Please don’t give the bureaucrats any more ideas how to milk us for monies. It’s a slippery slope i don’t want to see us head down. Where does it end?
    29$ for access, 5$for parking fees, 15$ dollars if you take photos, 5$ if you breath more fresh air than the allowable average, no kids under 12, dogs cost 25$, hiking sticks an extra 5$ erosion fee, 2$ if you plan to eat while hiking in cause of litter potential, 30$ pre-hike certification course (mandatory) CPR instruction and first aid certification, (Eagle Scouts like myself could be exempt from that requirement) and random backpack inspections for contraband and WMD’s
    You guys are starting to sound a little proprietary, and a little selfish as to who, how, when, where, why, use the backyard.
    I did like the out-of-staters usage fee though, well because it is OUR backyard- (I’ll go that far with ya)- unless the Feds want to buy all the State land and turn the ADK’s into Yellowstone of the East, it’s a New York State resource, and State residents should get a perk.

    Q: do they charge more for out of staters who get hunting/fishing permits?

  43. Bret4207 says:

    A: Yes, they do.

    Merval, as I proposed in other posts on this subject, anyone with a “permit” for another activity has already paid their “usage fee” and would be exempt from having to buy another permit in my world.

    The current system has far less to do with creating sustainable habitat and game populations than it does with a revenue stream. Otherwise there would be no talk of closing hatcheries, stocked game populations would be stable and numerous and funding wouldn’t be an issue. Instead, we have ever higher fee’s and taxes, declining populations and the constant threat of game farms and hatcheries closing.

    Face it, it’s a scam for revenue. Enforcement of the laws has nothing to do with licensing. That’s a dead idea. Increasing fishing licenses to $29.00 for instance neither helps the fish habitat or populations nor does it keep the outlaws from taking more than their fair share. It akin to the argument that stricter gun laws lead to less crime. Sorry, the opposite has proven true time and again.

    I’m sure it sounds like a compelling argument, but increased fees on one group while giving another a free pass is still wrong.

  44. met says:

    Re: Q+A

    Well, that’s one in a row… ;-)

  45. Mervel says:

    But you could limit the numbers Bret. We set limits on fish, deer, turkey etc for a reason. I am not totally disagreeing with you. We could set limits for the numbers of people allowed to use certain trails that are overused but for example have no limits on trails that are not in danger. Just like we set limits on the number of bears that can be taken. Do you think it is okay to simply shoot a bear on your property if it is not a threat to you?

  46. met says:

    I think Inventing new fees for walking in the woods is equally wrong.
    I think you might feel jilted because your activities require fees, while other activities that others enjoy, don’t.
    Two wrongs don’t make a right.
    You wrote on another blog that taxing people more is not the answer.
    I think additional “fees” would be no different than taxes. True they would be specific to the activity, but just another way to garner money.
    As a boy scout myself and other Scouts have rebuilt, repaired, cut new, and maintained many many miles of trails around New York, Jersey, Pa., Vermont -most of the New England states.
    I think I earned my free pass to walk on some of them for fun, some forty years later. And I infrequently still participate in volunteer maintenance projects, as my health permits.
    I don’t feel like I own them any more than anyone else who uses them as well, who may not have participated in similar activities.
    Maybe more civic participation should be encouraged- I would like a hands on involvement, rather than throwing money to the State.
    What ever happened to the CCC?
    I guess they all got State jobs with the APA and DEC and now we pay them.
    I remember Pogo in the comics. “I have met the enemy, and they is us!”

  47. mervel says:

    You are right fees are taxes.

    For me the purpose of those types of taxes however be it hunting fees or land use fees would be to control the quantity of use. Which I guess is totally selfish I do admit. I feel that the high peaks have far too many hikers in the summer and would like to see that reduced, I feel that we need to manage our deer heard to optimize its health and the number of decent bucks for hunting the same goes for our bear populations fees and permits help do this.

  48. Walker says:

    Fees and permits help do that when the price gets higher than the desire for the activity. They won’t work (as you would like them to re: restriction) untill they are priced what is percieved not worth it, or plain unaffordable. That is the blunt of it.
    Essentially you would be pricing out the ‘po folk. So there would be less people on Marcy- who aren’t in the right tax bracket. Now that’s class warfare. When it concerns hunting- the prey are a finite resource- and so the fees/permits system works – but to charge for a vista, walk, canoe, that is bordering on crazy talk!

  49. Bret4207 says:

    Okay, again we’re having a disconnect between talking about ideas or principals and actual practice. None of this will ever happen, I know that. But it’s not “crazy talk”. What you have is one group (hunters, fishermen, trappers, snowmobilers, ATV, power boaters) being penalized while another group doing the SAME THING isn’t penalized at all, in fact are subsidized by gov’t. There is absolutely no difference between Joe Sierra Club hiking the High Peaks and me walking around my farm or maybe Fish Creek Wildlife area. But if I am stopped in Fish Creek and am carrying a gun or a bow or a fishing rod then I have to have a license to hunt or fish even if I’m not hunting or fishing. If I take a motor boat out on Black Lake I need it registered and have to have the proper paper work. If I’m in a canoe on Lake Lila I don’t need squat. A guy x-country skiing on a trail doesn’t need paper work, but the guy on a snowmobile does and it better be up to date. Can you grasp the inequity in this? It’s all a money grab, so either everyone should be treated fairly or the whole system abolished. That’s regarding the PRINCIPAL of the argument.

    In the real world this will never happen simply because it’s not PC. No politician is going to risk angering the voters with a proposal like mine. So don’t get yer panties in knot.

    I have no issue at all with game laws, limits, etc. Except maybe for Cormorants, they need to go. An invasive species is a bad thing.

  50. walker says:

    There is a big difference, Bret. There is no disconnect in my mind.
    If you carry a Bow or gun you have the potential of taking game.
    If you drive a motor boat or a snowmobile there is noise, pollution, whatever, but potential for a higher level of use, say, if an accident occurs than if skiing, or canoeing.
    Hit another object at 3 miles an hour compared to 20, and it’s clear.
    I used to tease a fireman friend that he got paid for reading the Times and doing nothing.
    He corrected me he said he “got paid for what he might do, not what he was doing”!! Point well taken
    I think TAKING a walk or pictures, affects(effects?) only one thing, and it’s not the mountain.
    TAKING game, well it’s obvious.
    Take that walk in Fish Creek for free, but take a fish- different scenario, you’ll never convince me differently.
    I think the underlying principle is the difference in the intensities of the different usages. At some point you gotta draw the line no? That’s Pollitics.

    EVERYONE should be able to kill cormorants! Stupid tree ducks….
    anyone ever eat one? any good?
    Spread a rhumor they’re delicious..

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