|Nancy Warren Ontonogon|
The article, Petitions in need of Signatures by Tony Dembowski, published 2/19/2014 in the Herald as "news" was not news; rather it was false propaganda.
Dembowski used fear tactics claiming "The anti-hunters and fisherman are collecting signatures to take away hunting and fishing rights" - not a word of this is true. He also claims he is collecting signatures "to protect hunting, fishing and trapping rights".
However, he fails to mention that if successful, Demboski's petition drive will result in a loss of DNR funding for hunter training programs and acquiring, developing and managing wildlife habitats. Is this what hunters want?
Demboski's petition, modeled after PA 21, which authorized the state's Natural Resources Commission (NRC) to designate species as game, removes voters from the process. If Dembowski's group is successful, their petition will fast track directly to legislators for implementation, removing citizens right to challenge any decisions made by the NRC. It is a blatant attempt to silence the voices of Michigan residents. Is this what citizens' want?
Demboski's petition is countering the signatures are being gathered by the Keep Michigan Wolves Protected (KMWP) campaign challenging Public Act 21. The purpose of the KMWP campaign is clear. Should wolves be a species hunted/trapped for recreation? Should voters of Michigan be allowed to decide if the NRC, a politically appointed body with no scientific background in wildlife management, designate any species as game?
The KMWP campaign has no impact on any species, currently designated as game, other than the wolf. It does not impact anyone's right to hunt deer, bear, waterfowl or any other species currently trapped or fished. It will have no impact on any hunting, trapping or fishing regulations currently in place except those affecting the wolf.
The KMWP campaign has no effect on the state's existing ability to manage problem wolves. Absent a wolf hunting season, producers will still be reimbursed for any livestock losses verified to be killed by wolves. Producers and dog owners will still be able to kill any wolf, without a permit, that is in the act of attacking their livestock or pet. And livestock producers and dog owners will still be issued permits to kill any wolf on their property following a confirmed loss by wolves.
There is absolutely no threat to anyone's hunting or fishing rights and that is a fact. Visit www.keepwolvesprotected.com for more information.
Al Warren Lanse Sentinel
Petition Ignores Science
In a 2/12 letter to the editor, Tony Dembowski expressed his support for the "Citizens for Professional Wildlife Management petition". He cited a story of his grandson having to remain in a tree stand for several hours surrounded by four wolves. We have all heard stories like these even though none has ever been verified and never heard from any of the hundreds of professional wildlife biologists who have tracked, trapped, handled and collared hundreds of wolves in the U.S. and Canada for decades. None has ever felt threatened by a wolf. If indeed four wolves hung around a tree stand for hours, their attraction would be far more likely a bait pile than a human hunter in a tree stand.
As an avid outdoorsman and hunter for over fifty years, I can attest to fact that wolves have not impacted on my ability to hunt deer. I consider seeing a wolf a wonderful privilege of living in the U.P.
Mr. Dembowski also said he is grateful he has "no young children waiting at bus stops or walking to school" because "wolves not only kill for food, but they kill just to kill." and states he supports the Citizens for Professional Wildlife petition to ensure the use of sound science in wolf management. But he disregards decades of science that clearly shows that wolves are not a threat to humans. Don't believe me; ask Dr. David Mech or Dr. Rolf Peterson. Dr. Peterson has been treed by a moose on Isle Royale, but never a wolf.
The petition Mr. Dembowski supports has nothing to do with science. It is simply a political scheme to overcome a current petition drive to repeal Public Act 21 which authorized the Natural Resources Commission (NRC) to designate the wolf as a game species. He is afraid the majority of Michigan residents opposes this and wants the sole authority to be put in the hands of the NRC. However, the NRC is a politically appointed body with no sitting members having any background in science and no obligation to consider the will of the majority of Michigan residents.In fact, last year NRC Chairman, JR Richardson admitted to trashing 2000 public comments sent to him about making the wolf a game species. Mr. Dembrowski's petition was designed to avoid both science and the will of the majority of Michigan citizens.
Chris Albert, DVM Magic Valley
If I were a citizen of Idaho or a member of the Legislature, there are things I would want to know before spending $2 million killing wolves.
What is the carrying capacity of the land for elk? Is it possible that what "feels" normal because of the past extermination of wolves is not sustainable? Is anyone studying this?
If you kill off predators: new ones appear, kill those: new ones appear. In other places, farmers have learned that the very best deterrent against predation is predators who "know the rules." Strong non-lethal deterrents can "teach" those rules, stopping the endless cycle of money spent killing predators.
The people of Idaho have changed since the last century; 16 percent are farmers or support the agricultural system. There are 250 outfitters licensed to hunt elk. But among the rest of the 1.6 million Idahoans are at least some people who think maybe there are better ways to spend $2 million and better ways to deal with wolves.
It's interesting to watch Idaho. Caught in a 19th century mentality "kill as many wolves as possible" but actually in the 21st century with accrued knowledge that is ignored but might be helpful, new mandates (you can't kill all the wolves) and increasing numbers of Idahoans that value wilderness.
Spend $2 million in non-lethal deterrence. Only kill the problem wolves that don't learn that livestock can't be touched. That is likely to work and last.
Judy Jarrett White Mountain Independent
The wolves do not need to be trapped, taken from their families and forced to live a life of captivity.
These wolves should be kept in the wild! They are social animals living in families that rely on each other for hunting and pup rearing. Trapping or darting and removing them forever will disrupt their family structure. Removing or killing critically endangered Mexican gray wolves is not the solution to livestock conflicts. Research shows this leads to more livestock issues and places all these wolves at risk due to loss of older or experienced hunters in the pack. There are many proven effective solutions to conflicts between livestock and wolves. There are very few Mexican gray wolves! Livestock owners using public lands have the responsibility to accept available government assistance for nonlethal proactive measures to avoid predation.
The USFWS should release many more wolves, not remove them. At last count there were only 75 of these wolves and only three breeding pairs in the wild. If The USFWS is truly concerned about the growth and genetic health, the answer is more releases of captive wolves, not more wild wolves lost to risky trapping operations and permanent captivity.
Deterrents to livestock conflicts are the answer, not removing more endangered Mexican wolves.
Judy Jarrett, Springfield, Ore.
Anne Kiley Capital Press
I was interested to read Kelly Tienhaara's article in yesterday's edition, in which she claims personal property rights should trump federal protection of the wolf. It's too bad her organization, called "Wolf Education" hasn't taught her some real truths about the value that wolves offer in keeping balance in a wild ecosystem.
I wonder if Ms. Tienhaara's grazing lands are also used and abused by excessive populations of deer and elk, something which a viable wolf population in Oregon could control. I wonder if she is aware of simple livestock ranching practices that would minimize livestock damage. I think the "education" part of her
organization should work both ways.
Thank You For Your Efforts