Buddhists shepherding flocks depredated by tigers in the Himalayas were asked if they kill tigers because of it. They wisely said, “No — it is important to live with tigers.”
Wolves are the most misunderstood of all wild mammals. They are exactly the opposite of how hunters portray them. They are friendly, social, and extremely intelligent. They live by strongly defined rules and rituals, and have strong family loyalties. They are exceptionally tolerant and loving with their pups. They are the true test of America’s will to protect or destroy wilderness. Wolves do not fight unnecessarily and go out of their way to avoid it. There is much to learn from the wolf, which is why Native Americans almost deified them.
The 85 livestock killed this year (maybe) by wolves are a tiny fraction of the destruction of cattle for human consumption. Seventeen of the 20 dogs killed, died in the process of terrorizing bears for hunter fun. It is a small price to pay for wild native nature to survive and support us.
We should replace killing licenses with general public funding tied to fair democratic representation on the Natural Resources Board. We should use tax revenue from wildlife watchers, not killers, to create a wolf compensation fund. Wolf viewing will bring more to the economy than wolf killing. Ask the people at the International Wolf Center in Ely, Minn., about educated people falling in love with wolves.
Call your representatives and senators to oppose AB 502.
The next novelty kill on the menu is sandhill cranes. As wildlife continues to be decimated, what will be the next attraction? Hunters in Utah have a suggestion: “Save a rancher — kill a biologist.”
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