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for people who care about the West

Tough questions

 

At a superficial level, this story reveals the contradictions of people who claim to be sympathetic to both environmental preservation and Indigenous people living in traditional ways (“Death Threats,” HCN, 7/24/17). But a little deeper down, we face some real human dilemmas. Beyond “managing” wildlife populations and limiting hunting to sustainable levels, many people do feel distress about harvesting certain species. And the restrictions of hunting rights to Native groups and subsistence lifestyles opens a range of uncertainty: Just who is a Native, and what is subsistence living? On the other hand, people with cultural traditions certainly have a claim to maintain their way of life, especially in resisting distant critics. Finally, many of these issues seem significant in a world with several billion people. Wind back the clock — and the collective global impact — and the ethics might seem easier.

Robert Krantz
Durango, Colorado