Murie Family Schools Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation…

“Olaus and Mardy Murie by their home in front of Grand Tetons, 1953”

The Murie family knows a thing or two about conservation, they are icons of the wilderness movement, specifically Olaus and Adolph Murie and their wives Margaret and Louise.  These were remarkable people who cared deeply about wild places and stamped their indelible mark on conservation history. Their name has never been associated with anti-wolf rhetoric, quite the contrary.

“Poisoning and trapping of so-called predators and killing rodents, and the related insecticide and herbicide programs, are evidences of human immaturity. The use of the term ‘vermin’ as applied to so many wild creatures is a thoughtless criticism of nature’s arrangement of producing varied life on this planet. – Olaus Murie”

“Based in Grand Teton National Park, the Muries were active throughout the twentieth century. The Murie Family was strongly committed to maintaining the biodiversity of Jackson Hole and during the lifetimes of Mardy and Weezy helped establish the Jackson Hole Conservation Alliance.

Olaus Murie was a talented artist and a pioneering field biologist for the U.S. Bureau of Biological Survey. He left federal service in 1945 to become the president of The Wilderness Society, which helped establish the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and was influential in the passage of Wilderness Act of 1964.

Adolph Murie, an ecologist, was a pioneering advocate of bio-diversity and was a major promoter of the Denali National Park.

Margaret Murie (married Olaus, 1924) helped bring about the passage of the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act, the greatest land preservation act in U.S. history, and was the recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1998.

Louise Murie (now MacLeod), a botanist, accompanied her husband Adolph (married 1932) on twenty-five expeditions to Mount McKinley (now Denali) National park. She served on the board of directors of the Jackson Hole Conservation Alliance and the Murie Center.”….Wikipedia

 Donald  Murie , son of Olaus Murie, wrote an open letter to the  Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation  concerning their virulent anti-wolf rhetoric and use of the Murie name.

Donald Murie’s Letter to the RMEF:

“Dear Mr. Allen:

“Some years ago your organization established the Olaus Murie Award, given to indviduals who have done exemplary work establishing and protecting habitat, for elk and of necessity other animals and plants. The Murie family approved the use of my father’s name on an award of that nature. Olaus and his brother Adolph spent their lives studying wildlife and especially wildlife habitat. Their careful and meticulous studies led to publications and scientific papers that have been used by students and established scientists as a solid, proven foundation for further research and policy making.

“Now, we find that your organization has declared all-out war against wolves; unreasonable, with no basis in science at all, wholly emotional, cruel and anathema to the entire Murie family. We cannot condone this. It is in total opposition to the findings of careful independent research by hundreds of scientists. Wolves have always been a necessary part of a functional habitat for elk and other game animals. They have been re-introduced into areas where their absence has resulted in ecological imbalances. Now you are determined to exterminate them once again.

“We cannot accept this. We must regretfully demand that unless you have a major change in policy regarding wolves that you cancel the Olaus Murie Award. The Murie name must never be associated with the unscientific and inhumane practices you are advancing.”

Donald Murie”


Press Release: Murie Family Cautions Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation Over Anti-Wolf Rhetoric

July 18, 2012
Murie Family Cautions Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation over Anti-Wolf Rhetoric—America’s first family of natural history asks RMEF to return to science and reason
Predictably the RMEF decided to change the name of the Murie Award rather than back down from their hateful anti-wolf stance.

Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation Changes Name of Conservation Prize Over Wolf Dispute

July 19, 2012

Associated Press
HELENA, Mont. — The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation removed the name of Olaus J. Murie from a conservation award after the family of the man known as the father of modern elk management objected to what they called an all-out war against wolves.

I applaud the Murie family for speaking out with courage and conviction.  They deserve our support for standing up to the RMEF and schooling them on what true conservation is all about. It’s certainly not about demonizing an apex predator like the wolf. who’s only crime seems to be existing and breathing oxygen. Apparently wolves are not allowed to pursue their natural prey without permission of the RMEF. Does Mr. Allen believe elk belong to him and his organization? Inquiring minds want to know?

Loss of top predators causing surge in smaller predators, ecosystem collapse

October 1, 2009


“The caribou feeds the wolf, but it is the wolf who keeps the caribou strong.” -Keewation (Inuit) Proverb

Photo: Courtesy Wikimedia Commons

Posted in: Biodiversity, Wolf Wars

Tags: David Murie, Adolph Murie, Olaus Murie, Margaret Murie, Louise Murie, Murie Family, conservation, Wilderness Society, Jackson Hole, Arctic National Wildlife Preserve, biodiversity, Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, wolf wars, David Allen

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