Comparison Between Wolves, Plants was Faulty,
Deserved More Research

Letters to the Editor / Anchorage Daily News / April 18, 2003


Concerning a column by Craig Medred, if the author wishes to make a viable comparison between gray wolves and any other species whose population is being controlled by the Park Service, he should first do some research. ("Hickel was right; nature shouldn't run wild," April 13).

Canis lupus is indigenous to Alaska and has never been listed as threatened or endangered here. Gray wolves are, however, either endangered or threatened throughout all other parts of their U.S. range. The Miconia calvescen species of plant that the author uses for comparison, on the other hand, is native to Mexico and parts of Central America, ranging down to Brazil and Argentina -- not Maui, the place where the Park Service is trying to exterminate it. M. calvescen is a nonindigenous species that is upsetting the island's already damaged ecosystem. It needs to be removed.

Canis lupus is an indigenous Alaska species, and care must be taken to keep it from ending up on the same endangered and threatened species lists as its brethren in the Lower 48. By creating a comparison between the two species, the author has made a false allegory, one that is misleading for readers who are unaware of those facts that the author fails to provide.

-- Larissa Kozisek / Anchorage AK

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