This is in response to Pete Aleshire’s March 12 article “Senator fights wolf reintroduction.” (http://www.paysonroundup.com/news/2014/mar/13/senator-fights-wolf-reintroduction/). First, it is the local government’s responsibility to protect the health, safety and welfare of its citizens. This includes protecting local citizens from the adverse societal and economic impacts of federal actions.
That is what Senator Crandell is doing, and I commend him.
According to Sherry Barrett, the USFWS Mexican wolf recovery coordinator, the federal government does not reimburse ranchers for their losses, nor does it reimburse families for the loss of their pets. Many pets are “taken” before the eyes of children in their own yards.
Here are a few statements from 30 pages of documents provided to the USFWS by the Arizona Game and Fish Department and the Catron County Board of Supervisors, N.M.
The historical range of the Mexican wolf is 10 percent USA and 90 percent Mexico. The USFWS has: 1) failed to justify the listing of the Mexican wolf as an endangered subspecies; 2) underestimated the number of wolves in Arizona and New Mexico; 3) failed to consider the significant negative financial impact caused by broadening the wolf reintroduction on the State Land Trust which is primarily dedicated to supporting the state’s education system; 4) failed to analyze the significance of lack of success of recovery efforts; 5) failed to incorporate all factors leading to opposition to Mexican wolf recovery efforts.
The pro-wolf, non-stakeholders ignore the cold facts that the actual stakeholders who are forced to live with wolves experience, which is well documented. As the pro-wolf non-stakeholders express their appreciation of the wolf, they never mention how wolves kill, or how wildlife and livestock that have been harassed by wolves are more susceptible to disease and injury, and fail to reproduce at self-sustaining rates.
They don’t mention how wolves run their prey until the prey is so tired it can no longer escape; how, unlike predators such as mountain lions and bears, wolves eat their prey while the animal is still alive; how wolves may consume only the prey animal’s genitals and leave the animal to slowly die; how wolves may slash open their living prey to eat unborn fetuses and leave the mother animal to slowly die; how wolves hunt for fun and don’t bother eating their prey.
These cold facts of how wolves hunt and kill have much to do with the opposition to the Mexican wolf. When it is a person’s own livestock and pets that have been subject to the torture and agony of a wolf attack, and when it is a person’s own family or self that risks a wolf attack, fear is based on harsh reality, and becomes immediate and not theoretical, regardless of interest in endangered species restoration.