Give wolves a chance

  Bryce Andrews experienced "rage" when, after domestic cattle were pushed into limited wolf range, some livestock were killed by wolves this summer (HCN, 8/20/07). His own participation in the public-lands ranching industry apparently notwithstanding, Andrews took solace that, by personally killing the alpha male of the local wolf pack, he contributed to a "moderate" solution to wolf-grazing conflicts. We shudder to think what Andrews would consider an extreme solution.

The livestock industry originally exterminated wolves from the American West, appropriates more than 80 percent of the annual forage resource on some federal grazing allotments, and has protested every step of the wolf reintroduction program in the Lower 48 states. Government agents and ranchers eliminated at least 142 wolves in the Northern Rockies to protect livestock in 2006, and 538 wolves have been killed since 1987.

Killing wolves will not reduce wolf conflicts as long as domestic livestock are permitted to graze public lands. The federal government should permanently retire federal grazing permits and grazing allotments in wolf range, finally affording both wolves and their prey the space they need to survive.

Mark Salvo
Director, Sagebrush Sea Campaign
Chandler, Arizona

Dr. Ralph Maughan
President, Wolf Recovery Foundation
Pocatello, Idaho

Rob Edward
Director, Sinapu Carnivore Restoration Program
Boulder, Colorado
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