Hey, animal righties, where’s the outrage over moose?

Joe AlbertThere’s been copious amounts of ink used to document the tragedy that is the past 20 years of Minnesota moose history.

My dad saw one in northwestern Minnesota maybe a decade ago. He was hunting deer and heard what he figured was a horse. Shortly thereafter, a moose crossed the trail in front of him. I’ve never seen a moose in person, on the ground (not in Minnesota, anyway). I have seen them from there air.

But I have serious concerns about whether my kids will ever have the chance to see these magnificent animals.

It’s a sad story. But it’s frustrating, too. We’ve literally been witness to moose leaving Minnesota’s landscape. We hear the reports from people who spend lots of time in the woods. They say they see fewer moose, and fewer tracks. We hear from the DNR every winter or spring. The agency’s surveys back up what anecdotal reports suggest is true.

The state has spent millions of dollars studying these animals, trying to figure out what’s going on. It’s closed hunting seasons, altered deer management, and begged legislators for money. Hell, some people now have sold cupcakes in the name of moose research.

It all helps.

Which leads me to my frustration. In Minnesota, we’ve got a wolf population that is back from the brink. It is a true success story of the Endangered Species Act. And yet a litany of state and national groups continue frivolous lawsuits in the name of “wolf protection.” Think of how much it has cost both the state and federal government to fight these lawsuits. The Humane Society of the United States AGAIN sued the federal government this week over wolves. And there’s still pending litigation in Minnesota against the DNR.

Despite the obvious recovery of wolves, these groups – Humane Society, Help Our Wolves Live (HOWL), and Friends of Animals and Their Environment (FATE) – continue with their ridiculous fight.

Sure, wolves are one of Minnesota’s most unique species. But moose are the species of the North Woods. And it’s not even close. If these groups are so concerned with “animal welfare,” then why have we not heard word one from them about moose? Where’s the outrage? Where’s the concern? This is a species that’s dying at a faster rate than we can do anything about, yet all they do is file lawsuit after lawsuit after frivolous lawsuit in the name of protecting a species that’s rebounded in exactly the way it was supposed to rebound.

But they pay no mind to the magnificent moose and simply file lawsuits for which we as taxpayers foot the bills. Sorry, “animal welfare activists,” but I can’t help but question your real motivations. Could it be it’s easier to raise money with a charismatic species like the wold, than a lowly species like the moose?

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