Nope this ain’t a post about NC State football cause despite a couple of lucky wins and BC handing them a game they ain’t got much. But that’s another topic. This is about a couple of US Forestry employees who were airlifted out of Sawtooth Wilderness because some wolves howled at them. I kid you not. Of course these are wolves that the Feds are trying to stock in a lot of places and they basically tell us there of minimal threat to humans.
According to Ed Waldapfel, spokesman for the Sawtooth National Forest, the incident occurred Sept. 23 at about 10 a.m. when the employees observed wolves chasing a bull elk across a meadow.
“A little while later they started hearing wolves howling all around them,” Waldapfel said. “They called on their radio or satellite phone and asked their supervisor if they could leave the area.”
Waldapfel said the employees, whose names he did not know, were from the Rocky Mountain Research Station in Ogden and were conducting forest inventory work in the Sawtooths, began hiking back to their camp a couple miles away. But they claimed the howls persisted, Waldapfel said.
“No matter which way they went they said they could hear the wolves,” he added. “They climbed onto a rock outcropping and continued to communicate with their supervisor.
“They admitted they were very scared and wanted to get out of the area.”
Shortly thereafter, Waldapfel said the employees’ supervisor contacted the Sawtooth National Forest and “asked for a helicopter to come in and retrieve them.”
Waldapfel said the wolves never made any aggressive or threatening moves toward the pair.
At a time when funds and monies are tight I wonder how the Forest Service can justify a chopper extraction?
Steve Nadeau, the state’s wolf program supervisor for the Idaho Department of Fish and Game, was shocked that wolf howls would elicit a helicopter evacuation in a wilderness area.
“Holy moly—sounds to me like someone’s read too many of Grimm’s fairy tales,” Nadeau said. “I’m flabbergasted that (the Forest Service) would go to that extent over wolves howling in the woods because wolves howl in the woods all the time. That’s how they communicate.
Unbelievable? I’ve heard wolves and coyotes howl and not once was I scared or felt threatened. A bit of an over reaction for sure but how does an agency advocate the restocking of these predators back into the wild when they spend their limited dollars on extracting frightened workers from the back country in the middle of the day?