To the Editor:
Reg LeQuieu wrote the May 14 commentary “Why I hate wolves.” It is hard to understand why he thought anthropomorphic hysteria could lead to considered discussions. I immediately dismissed his arguments, as there was nothing an emotional rant against wolves offered to cause a person to pause, think or to take seriously. If one follows his rationale, you can list a whole lot of predators that likewise deserve condemnation. He may as well have called for the eradication of the African lion, all leopards, mountain lions, jaguars, mink, jackals, hyenas, crocs, alligators, eagles, bears, great white sharks, tigers, Komodo dragons, orcas (killer whales!), piranha and sea lions. Are you getting the picture? If Noah, himself, embraced LeQuieu’s mindset, I’m afraid his ark would have been half empty.
Conflicts between the natural world and the human-centered world will always be with us. Good arguments can be made questioning the wisdom of reintroducing wolves to domesticated areas where private ranches, for example, have genuine losses due to predation. But there are limited locations in Oregon that could and should support a limited number of wolves. To say that it is “legitimate” or “ethical” to “supplant” natural predators with human hunters is just wrong. Should the wolf be managed? Yes — this is a reality of co-existing with wildlife in modern times. However, I have to question the premise that man has adequate judgment to determine that wolves or any predators should be eliminated from nature.
Without predators, deer and elk, for example, would over-populate the carrying capacity of the land. This could increase the spread of diseases and cause undernourished herds. Meanwhile, hunters would wish to target the biggest and best of bucks and bulls, so the strength of the gene pools of herds would be diminished over time — producing even less healthy populations.
Serious study and reasoned discussions must address the issues involving wolves — not hysteria.
The natural world is “inhumane,” according to LeQuieu. What an unfitting characterization! Think about the fact that the natural world (including predators) is God’s creation. Is it wise to think man knows better than God, himself?