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Know the West

Not just wolf whiplash


I, a former advocate for wolf re-introduction, am suffering a severe case of wolf whiplash (HCN, 5/30/11). It's sad, considering how much time, money and effort I have invested in wildlife and habitat conservation.
I have lost all trust in those who live by the courts, and have no tolerance for groups who know lawyers provide more profits than biologists. They disregard the information from trained wildlife professionals, fearing it will damn and undermine the gears of the gray wolf money machine.

I struggle to imagine that I will ever again support the reintroduction of any endangered species -- at least in this climate of court-driven management, where local tolerance is given no voice or priority. The ability for a species to survive is only as great as the respect and tolerance locals have for it. In disregarding local concerns, some groups cause more harm to wolves and other endangered species than their slanted ideologies allow them to believe.

And so we move forward. The wolf lawsuits have shifted the political landscape of hunters to a degree I could have never imagined. Hunters will never again trust those who deny the conservation models that allowed wolves to be supported on the Western landscape. We will keep an eye on the horizon, knowing some supposed wildlife advocates have become addicted to power, and will continue their attempts to derail this hunter-funded conservation miracle of the last 125 years.

Randy Newberg
Bozeman, Montana