Ah, diversity ...

  High Country News could devote an entire issue to examining the cultural diversity of the West. Or, as you did, print just three of the responses to "Last Chance for the Lobo" (HCN, 1/21/08). The two letters from Reserve, N.M., remind me of the quote, "It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to open one's mouth and remove all doubt." In order to prove author John Dougherty wrote an unfair and biased article, Jess Carey writes a hate-filled letter attacking the author for calling him a "rabid" opponent of the wolf and implying that anyone who supports wolf reintroduction hates him and all the innocent children of Reserve. Marnie Ashby is "really sick of those who don't even live here shoving these ... animals in every orifice in their body." I'm sure Ms. Ashby is also sick of the fact that I, as a taxpayer and a citizen, have the same right to determine the management of "our" federal land as she does. Perhaps she would be less sick if she moved to a place that isn't completely surrounded by "our" federal land.

Wayne Hare makes reference to Catron County's visceral hatred of the federal government. I believe part of the problem is the heavily subsidized grazing program. I know enough about psychology to know that dependency creates resentment. The hidden message from Catron County is the message of an angry child to the parent: "I don't want to be told what to do but I want your money." Finally, if someone can explain to me why a bovine that evolved in the moist meadows of Europe has a greater right to be on the arid public lands of the West than the native wolf, I'm willing to read or listen. Until then, I'll just keep eating native buffalo.

Jim Wilkinson
Boulder, Colorado
High Country News Classifieds