Saturday, January 16, 2016

Montini: Siding with real wolves over political ones

EJ Montini, The Republic

The political wolves are circling the native variety, which is never good for the pack.

Like that time in the 1950s when hysteria whipped up by politicians whipped up by the livestock lobby essentially wiped out the wolf population in the lower 48 states.

And just last year at about this time a gray wolf traveled 450 miles from Colorado, through urban deathtraps and unforgiving wilderness, to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon.

It may have been the distant echo of ancient, howling ancestors the drew her back to a place where wolves once had a place.

It didn’t last long.

She was shot dead by a bounty hunter supposedly looking to collect Utah’s price of $50 per coyote hide.

Now Gov. Doug Ducey, along with the governors of New Mexico, Utah and Colorado want to prevent any effort to expand the Mexican gray wolf population to the canyon.

They sent a joint letter to Interior Secretary Sally Jewell and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Director Dan Ashe.

Their claim is that the wolves are not native to the area.

(Although supporters of the wolves point out that elk from the northern Rocky Mountains have been imported to the area.)

The howling of politicians can’t match the howling of wolves for its music, its beauty. But it often reaches a more powerful audience.

When asked in polls about this, citizens side with those hoping to preserve and protect the wild wolf population. Like the 5,500 individuals who signed a petition asking the governors to reconsider.

“Arizonans want wolves,” said Sandy Bahr, director of the Sierra Club's Grand Canyon Chapter.
Not the political variety

The real thing.

source