I was disappointed to read the letter to the editor “Stop Mexican Gray Wolf Expansion program” due to the amount of misinformation it contains. True, I live in California, not Arizona, but I spent some time in Arizona in July at a get together in part of the current recovery area in the White Mountains with people who had come in from around the country to learn more about, and learn how to help, Mexican gray wolves.
Also in attendance were two employees of Arizona Game and Fish Department.
I am also a member of the California Wolf Center, a participating facility in the Mexican gray wolf Species Survival Plan.
Wolves are not going to attack great numbers of livestock, as the letter author claims. According to a report by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, predators (which included a lot more than just wolves) only account for .23 percent (that’s less than 1 percent) of all cattle deaths and 4 percent of all sheep deaths nationwide.
Do wolves eat a lot of deer and elk? Yes, that is a natural food source for them. Is this a tragedy? No, it is the way a healthy ecosystem stays in balance. It sounds like the author wants to make sure there are plenty of elk and deer around for hunters to kill, so he wants to get rid of the wolves.
I think it’s time that people other than ranchers and hunters have some say in what happens to wolves and other wildlife.