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Know the West

Colorado wolves


Belatedly discovering Ethan Linck’s feature story, “Throwing Wolves to the Vote,” in the March 2020 issue leaves me with a sense of unease as his discussion of the pros and cons of scientific justification versus activist promotion of the forthcoming legislative initiative for deciding whether wolves should be reintroduced in Colorado. Although I generally agree with Linck’s arguments and conclusions, he largely misses an issue of critical concern to many eminent conservation biologists, namely, the degradation and destruction of the complex “web of life” worldwide due to self-serving human activity, especially in the modern era in which destructive capabilities have greatly increased. As was recognized in passage of the Endangered Species Act, any and all species have intrinsic values, both ecologically and culturally, even though all consequences resulting from preservation of an individual species may be difficult to ascertain. An essential role of responsible publications such as High Country News is to expose cultural inequities, commercial and/or associated governmental malfeasance, and especially to educate the general public as regards the deeper issues of conservation biology and cultural diversity.

Doyle McClure
Dolores, Colorado