An Apology to the Wolves
Letters to the Editor / Juneau Empire / December 3, 2003
To the Alaskan wolf population: Deep is my regret to inform you that another winter is upon us and so brings another murder bill. For over five decades you have managed to survive beneath a blanket of legal poisoning, trappings and executions. But you have always known, and continue to know, private poaching for delight and pelts. Once again the politicians and corporate biologists have skewed the data, skewed the reasoning and have risen another death warrant. They've gone looking for someone to blame for the "low" moose count because it couldn't just be a bad year, or a bad couple of years. It couldn't be that subsistence means relying on the balance at hand, instead of manipulating the system - killing your den mate, your pup's mama. Because it seems some have forgotten that living in the Bush means living at the mercy of the land, it means flexibility.
So, wolves, you are a persecuted breed - a species in threat of extinction everywhere but Alaska. Even though the moose population is still 22 times the size of your own, some find your body count menacing. And as our own population peaks to unsustainable levels, may we look at our "needs" and place ourselves within the ecological spectrum instead of hiding our eyes behind the cold, metal rim of the microscope, the rifle sight. I am sorry that years of trial and error bring us to yet another mandated wolf (witch) hunt. I am sorry that people will profit and pilots will praise their handiwork as your blood stains the tundra floor.
Sarah Beth Aronson / Bisbee, AZ
Wolf Song of Alaska, P.O. Box 671670, Chugiak, Alaska 99567-1670