You must be registered to comment and vote on comments.
They're rapidly dying, but the cause remains a mystery.
As usual, when the species that help define our state's ecology and identity are endangered or challenged by fast changing climate, the first premise from the DNR is we must keep shooting them. The population can drop below threshold numbers but the birth rate can still be 67 calves per hundred cows. That birth rate has nothing to do with how fast adults are dropping dead due to disease and climate stress. As I have said before the DNR bias toward hunting has actually been taken to new levels under Dayton's appointee, Tom Landwehr, who has allowed his time as state director of Ducks Unlimited and his MBA in Business to drive his approach. Tom's calling card has been to ignore conventional approaches to species preservation in favor of squeezing the last drop of hunting revenue and deference to the hunting lobby. Commissioner Landwehr has been schooled in the traditional method of wildlife management which is to integrate adjustments to the hunting season and regulation as they impact first the economy and then the ecology. In today's Minnesota we need a DNR Commissioner that recognizes the huge impact our warming climate has on what once was Minnesota's wildlife environment as well as the increasing pressures to encroach on our wild areas (mining, hunting, off road vehicle use) from multiple sources. Dayton has failed miserably in this regard by choosing Landwehr as Commissioner. With Senator Klobuchar helping rewrite the rules and establishing precedent on preserving our wild rivers to allow the unnecessary and ireesponsibly expensive St. Croix crossing and Dayton's Commissioner hopelessly behind the times with respect to environmental and species preservation, the democrats are currently receiving an "F" for their conservation efforts state wide.
When all signs point to the total loss of the moose population in a couple decades, why do we need to keep the same rules in place concerning hunting? Huge population drop and changing habitat, due to either climate change or human destruction of habitat of the moose is clear enough to move the moose to an endangered status in the state. As usual, politicians will stick their heads in the dirt and do more studies to try and find a non-politically charged solution to the problem, all the while the moose population continues to drop.
I agree wholeheartedly with both of the comments above. Even a true "sportsman" thinks it is foolish to allow the moose hunt to continue with the 20% annual decline. The only reason the hunt is allowed to continue is pure greed. At $310 a license , the commissioner will sell what he can. The biologists that work for the DNR are good people. They truly care about their work and mission to help our moose.
I've been following this moose situation for some time. I agree that perhaps hunting them should stop for now, but one thing is missing from the stories I read about the decline.
It seems that the maine moose population is thriving and expanding. What is it that Maine has, or doesn't have, compared to Minn? Perhaps the DNR should look to Maine to maybe find the reason for our decline.
Wow.... I find it interesting that all the troubles with the moose herds around the country just seem to be happening in areas where the wolves have moved to and / or have been allowed to propagate unchecked. The herds in Utah, Wyoming and Maine seem to be doing fine.... matter of fact more than fine. In 2010 Utah expanded their hunts to keep moose more in line with habitat. The great disparity between how the herds are doing with or without wolves is telling.
I'm not going to set here and say that wolves are the only cause....but what I will tell you is when articles like this are written generic quotes like "researcher say....not wolves" the public needs to put pressure on the writers to name the names of the "researchers" we need to put pressure on the writer to ask the tough questions of these "researchers" like:
Why don't we see the same thing happening to this degree in areas where there are no wolves?
There are studies that say for certain that stressed elk (around wolves) are far less likely to go full term with pregnancies....does the same thing happen with moose?
The highly studies Clam Lake elk herd in Wisconsin has the wolf as the number one cause of mortality for that herd by FAR. Why would we not think that wolves are limiting other herds?
Get the names of these "researchers" publish the names; ask the tough questions publish the answers so we have a record of it! History has a habit of catching up to people with hidden agendas!
Your comment is being reviewed for inclusion on the site.
Comments will be reviewed before being published.
The Opinion section is produced by the Editorial Department to foster discussion about key issues. The Editorial Board represents the institutional voice of the Star Tribune and operates independently of the newsroom.
425 Portland Av. S.
Minneapolis, MN 55488
© 2013 StarTribune. All rights reserved.
StarTribune.com is powered by Limelight Networks