|Catherine Parker Marquette, Michigan|
I sure am having a hard time understanding how people can object to the participation of an animal protection group in Michigan's wolf hunt issue, while at the same time endorsing the involvement of large, avid pro-hunting groups such as Safari Club International, U.P. Whitetails, and the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation. This is neither fair nor logical.
For argument's sake, let's pretend we can eliminate all organizations from lobbying for or against the hunt. What would we have left? Individuals, of course! Voters!
What started as a disagreement over how to handle wolves in Michigan has turned into something even more serious than the fate of a single species. Misled by Senator Casperson - our state Legislature, Governor, DNR, and Natural Resources Commission have terminated the right of Michigan voters to challenge wildlife management decisions. Groups supporting the recreational hunting/trapping of wolves have organized themselves into a coalition that aims to make this permanent, claiming their right to hunt is being threatened, but by whom? Voters?
Opposition to the wolf hunt, both in Michigan and elsewhere, does not come solely from animal or wildlife protection groups. On the contrary, it includes individual wildlife watchers, deer hunters, Native American tribes (whose culture, incidentally, is based on hunting), and some of the country's leading wolf experts. Others have joined in as they've seen the process politicized, corrupted, and based on incorrect information.
Hyperbole and scare tactics have no place in this debate. This is not about taking away your right to hunt and fish, or removing science from wildlife management. The issue here is that many people believe that it is currently neither necessary nor appropriate to hunt wolves in Michigan.
Repealing PA 21 will restore our right to vote on wildlife management issues. Put it on the ballot.
Irene Sette Ravelli Republic and Missoulian Montana
Thank you, Missoulian, for your article, "Wolf depredation costs ranchers $6,600 per herd sold"
This deceiving article implies that it's based on science; I find this article deceiving. The reader is misled into believing that all ranchers experience losses from wolves; in fact, there are few which have suffered losses due to wolves: there are other predators that find livestock appealing. I believe the deliberate implication that all ranchers loose $6,600 from wolf depredation is another political ploy by anti-wolf officials.
The article clearly states that extreme weather conditions explains majority of variation in annual calf weights.
More importantly it states" the study found wolves had no effect on calf weight in places where their pack territory overlapped ranches but the wolves didn't prey on cattle." However, the reader must read through "gibberish" to read this fact.
The most important fact is omitted; the key to living with wolves is preventing livestock encounters in the first place! Ranchers need to act responsible, using common sense.
Rancher shouldn't graze on known wolf public lands where wolves live.
Livestock appearing ill shouldn't be allowed to wonder off to die, so ranchers can file a claim of wolf depredation, removing the ill or carcasses immediately, will safeguard the rest of the herd.
Mandatory use of deterrents before a claim could be filed should be held to the strictest compliance.
Hunting, and trapping shatters wolf packs, resulting in lone wolves, unable to hunt on their own, they're force to approach livestock for survival.
Man should respect wolves, they're essential in nature; avoiding man at all cost, man must return this respect.
Wolves are not vermin to be hunted for trophies; they hold an irreplaceable role in the equilibrium of nature.
The solution is simple leave wolves alone, they'll leave ranchers alone.
Judy Jarrett Billings Gazette and Ravelli Republic Montana
Just as I had given up on ranchers in the western states as unethical, irresponsible and uncaring about animals and our land, I read Country Magazine's article on the Proffit Ranch in southwestern Wyoming. I was uplifted to read about a family that moves their cattle to better environment during calving season, keeps first-time moms in small pastures near their camper and checks their other cattle two to three times a day by horseback. They spend two to three months in spartan conditions to ensure the arrival of healthy calves.
This family sees themselves as stewards of their animals and are willing to sacrifice because of the love of life and their animals. No comparison to large business-type ranchers that leave cows untended most of the year and allow them to injure themselves, die and lose calves due to lack of oversight. I would love my tax dollars to go to ranchers such as the Proffits but resent welfare for irresponsible, unethical and uncaring industrial type ranchers that invest little after the initial purchase of cattle.
I guess they don't have any wolves in southwestern Wyoming or they are discouraged by human involvement with their animals as the Proffits didn't mention predation.
In regards to the letter to the editor "Arizona residents should decide what happens in their back yards," I am wondering why Mr. Styvaert is so full of hatred toward Mexican gray wolves and so full of animosity toward those of us who happen to live outside of Arizona but are vocal in trying to save them from extinction. They are indeed the most endangered mammal in the country.
Mr. Styvaert mentions the fact that they were close to extinction before as though that is justification for getting rid of them. But lobos did not almost disappear due to natural selection. They almost disappeared because humans intentionally killed them like they did with gray wolves and red wolves. And not just wolves, many other predators as well. This happened because our ancestors had an unwarranted and unfounded fear of predators that caused the extermination of many species.
But now most of those irrational fears have been wiped away by hard science. Science that tells us that predators are necessary and vital parts of healthy ecosystems. And wiped away by the realization that God intended us to share this planet with other living creatures, and that stewardship means to care for and not to kill.
Because of this, the Endangered Species Act came into existence. Endangered species, like the lobo, belong to all Americans and are the responsibility of all Americans regardless of where they live. If Mr. Styvaert is worried about possible danger or harm caused by lobos, he can set his mind at ease. There has never been an attack on a human by a Mexican gray wolf and loss of livestock due to the wolves accounts for a small fraction of livestock deaths.
Let's not late hate and ignorance dictate how we handle endangered species.
Thank You for Your efforts