News last month that a wolf pack has taken up residence in California near Mount Shasta has generated a lot of excitement. Editorial board member Gary Reed wrote about possibly seeing one on a recent camping trip. Last week’s Conversation asked: What’s your view of wolves returning to California, and how much should they be protected?
Rose Lawrence – They should be protected, without question. We are the most dominant predators, and we do not actively help the environment. Wolves provide tremendous stability to the environment, help stabilize rivers and forests, bring wildlife and rarely attack. Fears are founded only on fears. We need to protect these creatures in what is their natural habitat. It is human arrogance to debate otherwise.
Heidi Lowe – Absolutely, they should be protected. There is enough space in the mountains of Siskiyou County for wolves and humans. If wolves want to return, we should let them. Humans don’t own the world. Ecosystems do.
Jean Stevenson Cockrell – Allow them to attain a sustainable population. Ensure that poisoning or spring traps for protecting against wolf encroachment are not permitted; it can kill or maim any species. The species should be managed professionally, but not as game through licenses for public hunting – ever. If a renegade needs to be tracked for euthanizing, it should be done by a ranger, law enforcement or Fish and Wildlife official only, not by issuing game licenses. These are pack animals, not solitary like other California predators, and those who are uneducated about wolves can unwittingly affect the whole pack by killing one. Farmers or rural residents should be allowed to shoot a wolf on his property to protect livestock, pets or humans.
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Ron Carter – Wolves have no commercial prospect for humans. They can be menacing to man and livestock. The need for such carnivores is little except for the amusement of future generations of curious children and animal conservationists.
Candi Bellotti – I live in the mountains. I welcome them into my backyard, along with the bears and mountain lions and other critters we already have. I live in their “house,” not the other way around.
David Lemont – A healthy ecological balance is good. Ronald Reagan would be happy to see this portion of our natural heritage restored.
Janet Thew – We should be in awe of these magnificent predators that helped keep nature in balance before we eradicated them. Ranchers are the invaders; they are the ones who need to be managed. May this pack live long and prosper.
Jim Wilson – Maybe there’s still hope for us, if the wolves are returning to California.