Since I am a person who loves wild places and wild things, it is difficult for me to take a stand against the return of the wolf to Eastern Oregon. However, with my roots so completely tied to the common people of this geographic area, I must stand with them on the wolf issue. It sure would be a lot easier to support their position without all the shrill hysteria regarding the wolf's evilness. Now the Beck article (Dec. 14) has the rancher being defeated by yet another heinous conspiracy. Can't there be an honest discussion about wolves returning to Oregon without all the over-dramatization?

Perhaps the thing the Beck piece leaves me thinking the most about is the rights of the people. It is very easy living in Eastern Oregon to be left feeling like the poor cousin of the Oregon family. But does that justify painting opposing views as anti-American and worse? When does one person's right to shoot all wolves on sight trump another person's right to simply see a live wild wolf? How do we deal with this in a democracy when the nonshooter outnumbers the shooter by a wide margin?

As a Christian believer and person also believing that some environmental views are sound, I often am told the following: "God gave me dominion over them animals and other nature stuff. I'll use it as I see fit." Yes, the Bible does say that man has dominion over nature, but is only traditional dominion of value? If some trees go to the sawmill under your dominion, can't some be left for shade, clean air and water under mine? These same thoughts carry over to wolves and much more.

In our great country, difficult issues always have many opposing views. Honest thoughtful solutions will come if we become open to values and thoughts beyond our own. I do not believe that respect or credibility is earned by the conservative rural peoples' habit of creating dissension with conspiracy smoke screens to negate all views but their own.

Terry Steele


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