Jim Harbison's column supporting Steve Pearce's wrong-headed bill to end federal protection of wolves presents his usual mare's nest of myths, distortions, and plain old whoppers. After defaming "radical environmentalists" (is there any other kind in his eyes?), he flatly claims wolves have never been endangered, trots out the long-since-debunked chestnut of "kid cages" in Reserve, then claims wolves in Yellowstone have decimated elk populations, which he says dropped from 20,000 to 4,000.

All the above is simply untrue, but since space is tight, let's focus just on the elk argument.

The Yellowstone Park Service website reports their elk population ranges from 10,000-20,000 in the summer to 4,000-5,000 in the winter, due to annual migration. There have been concerns in the past several years that the resurgence of wolves in the park was reducing elk herds, and annual elk counts did decline for a while. But careful studies of those reductions showed that wolf predation was a tiny portion of the cause. Bear predation, drought, and disease were much larger impacts, plus the overall effects of climate change.

And if Jim had looked at any objective sources, he'd have seen the good news: the January 2015 Yellowstone elk count was up by 24 percent, and registered the largest number of animals since 2010. (Tech Times, Feb. 7). The bad news? His column's dead wrong.

Pearce's anti-wolf legislation would eliminate federal involvement in managing wolf populations on public lands, in favor of the states. With a New Mexico Game Commission that authorizes barbarous and indiscriminate trapping of cougars and bears, we know exactly where that would lead.

Studies of the impact of reintroduction of wolves in Yellowstone have clearly shown they're beneficial in balancing the living eco-system of our forests. They need more protection, not less. Wolves belong.

Lindee Lenox and Shelby Hallmark, Silver City