Can We Talk?

Dear Friends,
Here is a letter e-mailed to Dan Ashe, Director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.  Mr. Ashe is considering plans to permit wolf hunting in Wyoming.  I post this letter in the continuing hope that words have meaning and effect.  The letter includes my poem “Weapons of War” and asks some questions I would love to have answered.  If it encourages anyone to become more involved,  that would be wonderful.  A list of those who received the e-mail, in modified form as appropriate, follows.  If there is someone else to add to the conversation, please let me know.
Dear Director Ashe:
Here is a poem on a much-discussed subject.  Sometimes I find that, when prose fails, poetry can bridge the gap.
Weapons of War
The mighty rage
ready their weapons
steel their hearts
polish their hate
Their adversaries,
having nothing to polish,
avoid the fray
armed only with craft, skill
and a survivor’s will
I also have some questions about wolf de-listing and the authorization to hunt in Montana, Idaho, and possibly now Wyoming.
1.  What has been the problem/inadequacy with the federal compensation program when wolves attack livestock?
2.  Can any inadequacies be fixed?
3.  Can a hunting program be fashioned which is designed specifically to limit livestock losses?  That is, can wolf hunting be permitted solely on an as-needed basis, rather than for sport?
4.  What other means exist, besides hunting, to protect livestock?  How can these means be promoted?
5.  What can be done to encourage and support those ranchers who do use means other than hunting to protect their livestock – i.e. dogs, electrified fences, etc.
6.  If hunting must be for sport, then let it be sport – i.e. no trapping, no air searches, no calling or baiting.  Idaho permits trapping with a 72-hour trap check.  72 hours!  That’s torture before death.
7.  How can we justify a full-scale hunt when we collar wolves, encourage them to approach and be observed? In my experience, wolves who permit themselves to be viewed up close have all been collared.  Instead of increasing their fear of humans, this seems to acclimate them to a human presence.  Are we now to shoot them?
8.  How can a “plan”, such as Idaho’s, which envisions the killing of 850 out of ˜1,000 wolves be called management?
Above all, hunting and management decisions must be based on facts, not fear, and science rather than myth.  In sum, before permitting hunting in Wyoming or continuing approvals for hunting elsewhere, can you help to fashion a limited, controlled, factually-based management program which meets legitimate needs?  Until this can happen, wolf hunting can wait.
Thank you very much.
Sincerely yours,
Monica Glickman
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Director Dan Ashe http://www.fws.gov/
U.S. Senator for Montana Jon Tester http://tester.senate.gov/
U.S. Senator for Montana Max Baucus http://baucus.senate.gov/
U.S. Senator for Colorado Michael Bennet http://bennet.senate.gov/
U.S. Senator for Colorado Mark Udall http://markudall.senate.gov/
U.S. Senator for Idaho James E. Risch http://risch.senate.gov/public/
U.S. Senator for Idaho Mike Crapo  http://crapo.senate.gov/
U.S. Senator for Wyoming Mike Enzi  http://enzi.senate.gov/public/
U.S. Senator for Wyoming John Barrasso http://barrasso.senate.gov/public/
U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar http://www.doi.gov/public/contact-us.cfm
Governor of Idaho C.L. “Butch” Otter http://gov.idaho.gov/
Governor of Wyoming Matt Mead http://governor.wy.gov/
Governor of Montana Brian Schweitzer http://governor.mt.gov/
Wyoming Congressperson Cynthia Lummis  http://lummis.house.gov/
100 E. “B” Street, Suite 4003, Casper, WY 82602 *
Idaho Department of Fish and Game http://fishandgame.idaho.gov/
Wyoming Game and Fish Department http://gf.state.wy.us/ 5400 Bishop Boulevard, Cheyenne, WY 82006 *
Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife, and Parks  http://fwp.mt.gov/
* Letter mailed by postal service if unable to send by e-mail.
This entry was posted in Nature, Poems, politics, science, U.S. Fish and Wildlife, wilderness, wolves, Yellowstone and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to Can We Talk?

  1. Great post Monica, I hope we can start to change politicians view on these great animals. It is all based on unfounded fear (There has never been a confirmed human killed by a wolf in the lower 48 and only one in Alaska) and ranchers unwilling accept them as part of the natural ecosystem. There are plenty of programs out there that are proven effective for wolf management and are being paid for by the state or wildlife organizations (range riders, livestock compensation programs, motion activated sirens, all non lethal by the way). There is really no excuse for this horrible mismanagement by the states. Over 75 documented wolfs have been killed already in Idaho and Montana. There are only about 1,300 wolves in both these states and over 37,000 hunting licenses issued. 80% of them are at risk of being shot in the next few months this species has not “recovered” and needs to be taken out of the politician arena and put back into the hands of scientist that go on facts not fiction.

    • Monica says:

      Josh, your knowledge and involvement are such a resource. Motion-activated sirens – yes, there must be plenty of ways we could deal with the specific issue of livestock loss. If we wanted to. If there are too many wolves, as some say, nature will take care of it in her own way – i.e. dwindling food sources, disease, reproductive control.

  2. penpusherpen says:

    I hope and pray that someone will listen to your plea Monica, surely sense will rule the day? or we shall be left to rue this decision made by people who seem bent on having the Wolf numbers near to extinction. Having readjoshalexanders comment my heart sank….37,000 hunting license’s? It’s abhorrent…totally abhorrent. May Mr Ashe ‘s deliberation become hardened against the permission to Wolf Hunt after reading your poem and questioning words. xPenx

    • Monica says:

      The heart does sink, Pen. Hearts hardened to indecency. Ashe is already much inclined to grant permission in Wyoming… I wonder who else lives in Montana, Idaho, Wyoming? Don’t wolf-lovers there have any political power or voice? Hello out there!

  3. bluebee says:

    “facts, not fear, science, not myth”, indeed, Monica. It will be interesting to see the response you get.

    That 72-hour trap check is abominable😦

    • Monica says:

      Yes, indeed. If you go to Idaho’s fish and game website, you will see that the wolf hunting season extends through March – June in some places. Reasonable management does not seem to be the watchword.

  4. Androgoth says:

    It seems to me that the whole world has gone quite mad…
    How can it ever be justified killing Wolves like that?😦😦

    Androgoth XXx

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