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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

March 20, 2013 at 4:00 PM

Bill would allow farmers, ranchers to shoot wolves

In this 2008 photo provided by Conservation Northwest, an adult gray wolf caught by a remote camera is shown in Okanogan County's Methow Valley.

In this 2008 photo provided by Conservation Northwest, an adult gray wolf caught by a remote camera is shown in Okanogan County’s Methow Valley.

Capture and relocate instead

I can well understand the plight of farmers in northeast Washington who are losing livestock to wolves, but rather than shooting them as would be permitted in a bill before the Legislature, I would suggest the state capture and relocate problem wolf packs. [“Bill would let farmers kill attacking wolves,” NWTuesday, March 19.]

I suggest a good place to relocate the wolves would be the Olympic Mountains, where they thrived until the 1930s. A good release place would be Gray Wolf Pass, a spot large enough to land helicopters.

This would take care of the farmers’ problem and help the recovery of an endangered species. The Olympic Mountains have an ample food supply for the wolves and the wolves could be relocated well away from farms in the high country.

– John A. Cahill, Lake Forest Park

On the side of the wolves

I appreciate Mitch Friedman’s conciliatory tone when lobbying against Senate bill 5187, introduced by John Smith, R-Colville.

My personal sympathies however, align with the wolves. How many Wolves in Washington state? 40? And this has the cattle industry foaming at the mouth about nanny states and the Second Amendment and buttinsky Westsiders?

Where in the wolf discussion is the subject of animal husbandry? Who leaves a thousand dollars wandering around alone for months? Cattle ranchers do. Who depends on the federal government to feed more animals than their own property can support? Cattle ranchers do. Who depends on the state and federal government to supply subsidized water to their fields to grow feed for their stock? Cattle ranchers do.

Drive over to the east side of the mountains and compare privately owned land to publicly owned land — which kind is in better shape? Which one is overgrazed and denuded of vegetation? What kind of stewardship are these people practicing?

Considering the amount of tax money urban areas have subsidized rural areas over the past 60 years, I think I’d rather see wolves when I visit my national parks and forests rather than somebody’s cows. Oddly enough, I’ve never seen a wolf in the wild yet! Hundreds of cows though.

I’m fine with ranchers shooting as many wolves as they want on private land so long as I can shoot every cow I see on national park and forest land.

Sounds fair to me.

– Robert Reed, Seattle

Comments | Topics: ranchers, wildlife, Wolves

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