Audubon should have thought it over

  Dear HCN,

It is more than a little ironic that the arguments of a group - the Audubon Society - trying to enforce the letter of the Endangered Species Act yielded a result contrary to the one that they had hoped for. Their intention was to extend coverage of the act to all wolves, including the ones that had been re-introduced. The result is that (barring an overturn of the recent court decision) the entire introduced population must now be removed.

The reintroduction of wolves in Yellowstone and Idaho - wildly successful by most measures and promising the perpetuation of a healthy and sustainable wolf population in the lower 48 - was the result of years of tireless effort on the part of countless individuals with all manner of viewpoints on the subject. That it became a reality is a testament to its attempt to involve those affected and the willingness of these to offer some measure of compromise.

Efforts that attempt to protect wildlife and other parts of the environment (e.g., old-growth forests) with total disregard for people who are impacted by those efforts, are bound to fail.

We should not ignore the lesson provided by the current situation. Perhaps Audubon and others should have carefully considered the goal they were attempting to achieve (a sustainable wolf population) and assessed the best way to achieve that end before thoughtlessly and stubbornly leading us down the dead end that we currently find ourselves on.

Laurence W. Jewett

Reading, Massachusetts