Wolves in wilderness part of divine splendor
AZ Daily Sun (original) Posted: Monday, February 14, 2011 5:00 am
To the editor:
As pastor of The Journey, I enjoy living in northern Arizona and hiking in its wilderness areas. Like so many of my fellow citizens, I relish seeing diverse kinds of wildlife in their natural habitat. Jewish and Christian scripture says that God made both wild and domestic creatures and God "saw that it was good." In keeping with my Celtic ancestors, I believe that animals and plants of every kind communicate Divine splendor.
That's why I am concerned, both as a follower of Jesus and as a resident of Arizona, over a recent attempt in Congress to have wolves removed from the protection of the Endangered Species Act. Without ESA protection, Arizona's Mexican gray wolf, a subspecies already endangered, would be at serious risk of extinction.
A recent article in the Daily Sun said that only 50 of these wolves are living in the wilderness of Arizona and New Mexico. The gray wolves are awesome and highly intelligent creatures -- a lovely note in the symphony of nature that would be sorely missed. Predators are a necessary part of the natural balance that keeps deer, elk and other species from overpopulating wilderness areas and damaging the land through overgrazing. Allowing top predator species to fill their proper role in the world provides for a healthier wilderness in our state and an opportunity for those of us who love nature to experience it as it was meant to be.