Why do those who think they are closest to a problem think they know what's best? Certainly, they have a perspective to offer - though its often clouded by the dust stirred up from their roving livestock.

The Oregonian article was very well reasoned. They did an excellent job of striking a middle-ground between two warring factions - unreasonable ranchers who believe they own the West and some environmentalists who believe that people's needs have no voice at the table on resource use.

Since a rancher whose suffered wolf predation is compensated at the full grown weight for his/her loss, what would possibly be the rationale for allowing a shoot on sight policy? In fact, it can be argued that a rancher has a financial incentive to maximize wolf predation since they are over-compensated for their loss. Ranchers ought to be compensated for their costs, not the value of livestock loss. At most, give them full value minus costs incurred.

How many other industries are compensated for the predation they suffer? Predation takes many forms - wolf attacks, foreign competition, a new business in town, to name but a few. Why not compensate the wolf for the damage and encroachment to its range? What party has a compensation obligation is defined in law and reflects a decision about whose right takes precedent. Compensating the wolf is not so far fetched. Compensation can go to additional investments in ecosystem management, including people in the equation, and also reflecting an understanding that wolf predation is a sign of ecosystem imbalance.

Some ranchers desire to move us back to the 18th century when the only value that counts is the human value. Come to think of it, lets move back to pre-Columbian times when native values honored the Great Creators creatures. The era of Anglo Saxon domination over Nature is gone - get over it - as conservatives are so wont to berate us liberals about.

Cheers to the wolf!

Bob Proctor


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