Letter to the Editor on Wolves
National Public Radio
September 19, 2004
John Nielson's story on the Bush Administration's proposal to delist the Eastern Gray Wolf and Grizzly was excellent. It should be noted that the role of top predators in ecological restoration is generally accepted by research biologists but not by wildlife managers. Many wildlife managers still favor game species over predators and reserving the killing of game for human hunters. These are the managers who sponsor mountain lion hunts in hopes there will be more elk for hunters to shoot.
The report focused on the proposal to delist the Eastern Gray wolf because it has recovered in the Upper Mid-West. Those of us opposing the delisting would like to see recovery of the Gray wolf in Maine, the Adirondack and surrounding areas.
Not mentioned in the story was the Western Gray wolf. Interior Secretary Norton wants to take it of the Endangered Species List as well based on growing numbers of wolves in Idaho and Montana. Wolves presently migrating from Idaho into Eastern Oregon and Utah would loose protection under this proposal and become subject to the game manager mentality described above. My organization, Defenders of Wildlife and many others oppose delisting. Studies have confirmed that given a chance wolves will re-inhabit the Klamath-Siskiyou and Modoc of Northern California and that there is plenty of food and habitat in this landscape to support them. Furthermore, wolves would help regulate the mushrooming elk herds in Northern California and Southern Oregon.
If they remain protected wolves will return to the Klamath-Siskiyou within a decade. Many who live here would like a chance to once again here the howl of wild wolves in our beloved wild lands.
I am an activist, former board member and former conservation chair with the Klamath Forest Alliance.
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