Playing cowboy at the wolf's expense

  Let me see if I have this straight: In Catron County, N.M., a place notorious for its anti-federal government and anti-environmental stance, we're shooting and trapping wolves that have been fraudulently set up to violate the "three strikes" rule by the lackey of a wealthy foreigner who ranches for pleasure and not need (HCN, 12/24/07). Your article didn't mention how many cows this foreigner/make-believe cowboy runs versus how many are lost to wolves, as in, "Do we have an ACTUAL problem here?" nor how much of his 275,000-acre spread includes federal grazing allotments, nor how much he gets compensated by the federal government for each loss. I like to give ranchers the benefit of the doubt when it comes to their opposition to wolf reintroduction.

Real loss from real ranchers is one thing, and reasonable people can disagree. But this story makes it hard to feel charitable. We're killing wolves for a wealthy foreigner who simply wants to play American cowboy and who thrives in part thanks to the generosity of the American system ... and Catron County thinks they're being manipulated by WHOM? Is it just me, or does this make about as much sense as the old '60s mantra about screwing in the name of virginity? Gimme a break!

Wayne Hare
Fruita, Colorado
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