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for people who care about the West

Did you get your cow?


Your article on wolf hunting in Montana was certainly written from a hunter's perspective (given that the writer is a Field & Stream contributing editor), and I respected his take on the issue, complete with those hunter magazine close-ups of people "bagging" a wolf (HCN, 5/10/10). I did find the article wanting from two other angles, however.

First, the main motivation to eliminate wolves from public lands (outside Alaska) is now, and has always been, the livestock industry. Little mention was made of ranchers and their insistent campaign against predators to protect their subsidized and destructive use of our public lands. After all, it was the ranchers, with the help of the federal government, who eliminated wild wolves from the Southwest by 1930. Perhaps a season on public-land cattle would add balance and opportunities for handicapped people to "bag" animals on public lands.

Second, the article failed to expose the crux of environmentalist concerns about the wolf hunt and the Endangered Species Act. An interview with an attorney representing environmental groups would have thrown a very informative light on the story and opened up some of the most interesting issues surrounding wolf hunting.

Tom Ribe
Santa Fe, New Mexico