I doubt that ranchers and their lobbyists - the big and noisy anti-wolf faction - believe that statement, and the proposal does project that more wolves will kill more livestock. But from "an industry perspective the economic losses attributable to wolves would be genuinely trivial." The proposal recommends compensating ranchers for losses - as programs now do in all wolf states.
What is recovery?
The proposal answers a big question: How is recovery defined? The scientists chose a definition based on scholarship and case law: a species is recovered when it occupies much or most of its former range.
But even after a successful recovery, the authors don't expect to find wolves everywhere the animals once roamed. Humans have so damaged some historic range that it can't provide the needed prey and habitat. In other areas, humans present too much of a threat to wolves. However, even with wolves missing from some past range, wolf country would increase under a national wolf recovery plan.
The proposal imagines a small, vocal, and influential group insisting that Americans will not tolerate widespread recovery. But the authors believe that wolves and humans can coexist, and "if intolerance is a genuine threat to recovery, then according to federal law such threats must be mitigated before the wolf can be delisted."