Leave the Wolves Alone

Letter to the Editor / Juneau Empire / February 5, 2004

I am a member of the Canadian Firearms Association. I, along with many of the Canadian hunters, are rightfully disturbed by the aerial wolf killings introduced through Governor Murkowski's archaic and cruel wolf policies. Now, though, I am are not surprised we find out the senseless killings may not end there. They possibly may be extended once again.

This time it may include wiping out every wolf on Douglas Island. The understanding, or so they say, is this will enable the deer to survive. How dramatic. I see it, as does the rest of the world, as a giant venison game ranch. How anthropocentric.

The residents of the island say the wolves will kill the island deer first and then they die or move off. Off how, and since when do wolves wipe out their primary food source?

There is no science here, so let's talk about science. Isle Royale, the world longest predator/prey study ever done, is now in its 45th year of research. The study encompasses the effort to understand the relationship between wolves and moose.

It was proven on this isolated and remote Island that both animals fluctuated greatly in numbers but neither was ever wiped out by the other. One consideration is that this study was done without human disturbance or number manipulation through wildlife management, with the exception of researchers accidentally introducing canine parvo virus, which almost did wipe out the wolves.

Leave the wolves alone and do not manipulate the deer in accordance to human understandings. Wolves always have and always will possess the capacity for self-management. Perhaps there is something in this we as humans can all learn from.

Ellie Archer / Calgary, Alberta

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