What to do About Wolves

By Beacon Staff
By John Fuller

Wolves are one of nature’s greatest predators. Magnificent creatures, with extraordinary social characteristics, they are legendary in man’s history, culture and literature.

Some fear them, others love them and others regard them as just another cog in the complicated web of life. A century ago, wolf populations were seriously reduced by farmers, ranchers and the federal and state governments.

Government wolf trappers and hunters worked full time to reduce wolf numbers. Contrary to conventional wisdom, the policies never eliminated the continental U.S. wolf population. There were wolves in Yellowstone and elsewhere prior to the massive, expensive, government wolf reintroduction program. Now we have so many wolves that the deer and elk herds have been drastically reduced.

Wolves are not the problem. The problem is the Endangered Species Act, which created a self-perpetuating federal bureaucracy that has a vested interest in protecting its existence by promoting policies that have proven to be expensive, unnecessary and oppressive of the interests, rights and needs of the people who live where the alien wolves have been planted. It is time to restore wildlife policies to the states and to the people where these animals live.

By Joe Carbonari

I’m glad you’ve brought this up. “Smoke a pack a day?” My friends, it’s time to change your bumper stickers. This “joke” has gotten much too old. My reaction on seeing this now is to write it off as a callous expression of disregard for the feelings of other sentient beings – be they two-, four- or no-legged.

Even more disturbingly, the same can be said for a growing number of other stickers and sayings, especially those that tend to use an acerbic, often crude, brand of humor to make a political point. It seems that much of the past’s restraint and graciousness has gone out of our public discourse. This serves to drive us apart.

This result is it being much more difficult to have serious exchanges of thought and opinion, which also makes it much more difficult, even unlikely, for us to come to the sort of civil agreements and compromises that are necessary to effectively deal with the problems of our day.

So, too many wolves, you say? Perhaps, but, please, let’s say it with kindness. “Smoke a pack a day” should go away. Better perhaps: “Montana…where, once again, the elk and the deer and the buffalo roam.”

Send feedback to twoforthought@flatheadbeacon.com

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