Some email to wolf managers is far too unpleasant



Many people have been upset about recent control killing of wolves, especially the 10 members of the Whitehawk Pack. Ed Bangs and Carter Niemeyer have probably received 300 or more email messages each.

I still think killing the entire Whitehawk Pack was excessive. The last 5 wolves could have been chased further up the East Fork or darted and released near last spring's den site on the other side of the White Cloud Mountains.

Wolf managers need to know how people feel. However, I think things have gone way too far in the unpleasantness of many comments. Disagreement should not be personal. Swearing and calling people personally filthy names puts the sender on the same level as many of the anti-wolf activists, and it doesn't do any good for wolves on the other end.

Hoping I have some influence, I am urging no more email to the wolf mangers unless it is a helpful suggestion. They know how folks feel.

There is another reason for this suggestion. Email is a silent thing. Meanwhile many of the Idaho newspapers, including my paper in Pocatello, didn't even cover the story. Every week or so there is a letter about wolves. Comments run about 50:50. It would nice to get some pro-wolf letters to Idaho, Wyoming, and Montana newspapers. I have noticed an upsurge in pro-wolf letters in some Montana papers. Members of Congress have their staffs follow letters to the editor. They use that as one indicator of the views of people who are politically active and so can influence their political future.

Almost every member of Congress tends to be very attentive to mail from their own constituents, especially if they get 20 or 30 letters on the same subject. It can make a difference say, if you are from Oregon, and your Senator has received mail. When a Wyoming Senator rises to offer an anti-wildlife amendment your senator may well kill it, when otherwise he or she would let it pass as a local issue. The U.S. Senate is an unusual body, just one Senator can often kill seemingly obscure legislation. The classic showdown, Senate floor, roll-call votes get the media attention, but they are the exception. Much of important but less visible legislative activity takes place outside of the glare of the media.

In my opinion, energy on behalf of wildlife and the Western outdoors needs to now be focused  in a different direction. 

Email addresses for members of Congress, the media, and other officials.

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Copyright 2002 Ralph Maughan
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Ralph Maughan PO Box 8264, Pocatello, ID 83209