The pen may trump the sword, but is the computer more powerful than the rifle?
On the continuing theme of wolves and their protected status under the Endangered Species Act: I have been mulling and meditating about this subject and the best way to proceed. In the time-honored democratic tradition, I begin by petitioning the government. My voice is only one. Those who care deeply about this issue should consider making their voices heard.
Here is the letter I sent yesterday to Barack Obama. Security concerns may delay it for weeks. E-mail to the U.S. President won’t permit the entire letter, so I sent a link. Perhaps President Obama will read some wolf poetry!
Forgive me, dear friends, if you tire of this subject. I must do everything possible.
President Barack Obama
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, D.C. 20500
Re: Wolves and the Endangered Species Act
Dear Mr. President:
The specter of removing wolves from the protection of the Endangered Species Act is profoundly disturbing. Wolves have been hunted to near extinction by those who fear and demonize them. Thanks to federal protection, they are in the process of making a comeback. Whether these gains can be maintained in the face of climate change, loss of habitat, changes in food supply, and recurring cycles of disease and reproductive failure, is anybody’s guess.
Our history of extermination requires that we behave decently and tread very carefully now. Removing protection for wolves would be akin to eliminating the benefits of affirmative action for African Americans. They are, after all, doing well, or at least better. Past history creates present and future obligations, and this is no less true for our wild creatures.
Wolves have been captured, collared, and tracked by scientists who study them. Are we now, having habituated wolves to humans, to hunt them?
And how will we hunt? From planes and helicopters, with poison, traps? Where do we stop, and who will do the stopping, if the federal government steps out of the picture? Administrators subject to the control of those who loathe wolves cannot be permitted to make decisions regarding hunting. Departments of fish and wildlife do not manage hunters; they don’t have the will or the budget. In Colorado, hunting season has just ended. We see beheaded animal carcasses left to rot in campgrounds and along roads. It’s illegal, but it happens. What will happen to wolves when lack of oversight and enforcement is the order of the day? The prospect shocks the conscience.
Why is this administration so eager to de-list wolves? What trade-offs are you expecting? Why the closed-door sessions?
If ranchers and others in Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho are pushing for de-listing, it behooves us to address and attempt to remedy their legitimate concerns. Are compensation funds and procedures adequate? What are the real needs involved, and how can they be met – short of de-listing? The federal government is strapped for cash while its services are in high demand. I and, my guess is, many others would be willing to contribute to a well-managed compensation fund.
Humans have an unfortunate predilection for choosing who, human or animal, is worthy to live and who must suffer and die. That day is over. The time has come for wildness and human decency to flourish together on the face of this beautiful earth.
I invite you to visit www.sweetplanetpoems.com to read my wolf (and other) poems and to see my wolf pictures. I have looked into their eyes, and wolves are not the enemy.
Very truly yours,