Gosar bill is wolf in sheep’s clothing

Arizona Daily Sun (Original) Letter to the Editor Posted July 3, 2015 by Shawn Newell

To the editor:

Thanks for your reporting on the Gosar-Pearce bill — oddly called the Mexican Wolf Transparency and Accountability Act. Mexican wolves are transparent enough — they are just trying to live a life in some of the country they've inhabited for millennia.

Accountable? At just 109 in the wild, they are few, but growing from the seven individuals that hid out in Mexico, remnants of an all-out extermination campaign in the US. Finally listed as an endangered species in 1976, the US FWS had to hire one of the extermination program's trappers just to find live wolves to begin the recovery.

These wolves still need the protections that this bill would strip away. Why the 180-degree turnaround in U.S. policy? We know now that natural systems need predators, without them systems fall apart. Hunters can't fill the role. We know how to manage livestock to minimize losses. The risk to people from wolves is significantly less than from vending machines. These are foolish reasons to kill wolves. We all lose when the wolves aren't there.

So this transparent and accountable bill is not really. It overrides science and leaves a tiny group of wolf families vulnerable to hate killings from anyone who still thinks the only good wolf is a dead wolf. It would also leave the Southwest broken and the majority of Americans who value wolves helpless to do anything but grieve their loss for all time. Not the future I hope for.