Never before have so many citizens had so much to say about a federal project: bringing wolves back to Yellowstone National Park and central Idaho later this fall.
By the time comment-taking ended this year
on an environmental impact statement about the plan, 160,264 people
had put their opinions on paper. Reactions were generally strident,
convincing federal officials that misunderstanding was rampant
about the gray wolf and its place as a predator in the Northern
Rockies. A sample of the most pointed - and inadvertently humorous
* "I strongly believe that we, as
humans, need to put nature back in its place."
"Since I don't have any facts on wolves, this is strictly opinion."
* "I've had my face kissed by wolves. They have
a loving social structure."
* "Wolves don't pay
* "I think they are a beautiful animal.
I shot one in British Columbia and had it mounted, and I have it in
my home. I enjoy looking at it every day."
have destroyed our environment. I can't believe people have
* "It's a little bit like
allowing gays into the military, but not if they admit they're gay.
Allow wolves into Yellowstone, but only if they don't behave like
* "Wolves do not kill people. Fatty
* "Fears about wolves are
stereotypes, and they belong in Yellowstone."
"Only a brain-dead son-of-a-bitch would favor reintroduction of
* "Only a fool would not agree to the
placement of this beautiful and essential animal."
* "It's like, it's like inviting the AIDS
* "Wolves tend to eat the most
vulnerable animals, which are typically the very young, old or
* "Why don't we first test the
wolf in the wilderness of Washington, D.C., before we put it near
* "Our pigs got rabies and
howled like wolves."
* "I don't like it because
I don't think the wolves should be moved involuntarily. Right now,
the wolves are comfortable where they are."
"Wolves don't help feed and water the livestock and they don't help
raise food for people to eat so what good are they?"
* "Everyone knows the Big Bad Wolf is worse than
the Three Bears."
* "We see this creature as a
symbol of emerging sexuality, as in Elle a vu le loup (She has seen
* "There are too many
misconsumptions about wolves."
* "When did God
and Mother Nature die and turn everything over to EIS and EPA?"
* "My forefathers suffered mercilessly at the
hands of the wolf."
* "Environmentalists: They
can piss a person off."
* "I lived with wolves
for three years. If these Bunny Huggers think they are going to
stand still while they take their pictures, they are out of their
* "If cattle weren't so slow and stupid,
maybe a wolf wouldn't see a free meal. And so ranchers' arguments
in this shouldn't be addressed."
* "Will it be
legal to eat wolves when we run out of cattle?"
* "Buy land out East for reintroduction of
wolves. Then listen to the howling."
known timber fellers to come in before noon, because a pack of
wolves was sitting in a big circle around them laughing at them,
like any dog does."
* "I've killed several
wolves. I'd have killed more if I got my way. I've even run over
them with my truck."
* "Most endangered animals
make too much money to be delisted."
Sherry Devlin is an environmental reporter
for the Missoulian in Missoula,