Letters and comments for March 4, 2011
Letters and comments for March 4, 2011
Our Eastern Oregon community had the opportunity to enjoy outstanding music performed by the Grande Ronde Symphony Orchestra directed by Leandro Espinosa on Feb. 16.
The orchestra played three pieces, each featuring amazing soloists, Rodrigo Gonzalez Barragan from Mexico on the piano, EOU professor Lisa Robertson on the violin and EOU student MaeLee Shepard on the violin.
We are fortunate to have the symphony here in La Grande. Many thanks to Lorna Spain, chairman of the symphony board, for all her dedication to the orchestra.
Thanks also to our community for their support.
Wally Sykes has a $10,000 reward for arrest and conviction of the person or persons who shot a wolf.
I would have more respect for him and his group if they would raise as much or more money for livestock loss compensation!
Maybe he should put his money where his mouth is.
No pros to wolves
As an avid outdoorsman, businessman and natural resource conservationist, I am getting discouraged and frustrated with the lack of common sense in our society these days.
There is nothing positive about having wolves invade our ecosystem. The ranchers lose what little profit they work so hard to get due to cattle losses. The taxpayers have to contribute millions of dollars to manage the wolf menace. This takes away from an already burdened state budget whereas the money could go to our children’s education, roads, seniors or something to benefit our communities as a whole.
ODFW will eventually lose a majority of their funding due to the lack of tag sales since there will not be enough game animals for sportsmen to hunt after the wolves and other predators get their fill. A friend of mine had to shoot a doe that came into a residential area after wolves had completely tore most of the hide off of it. This is acceptable per the wolf supporters because it is nature at its finest, but don’t let a human do something like that because it is inhumane.
At least the cougars and bears kill for sustenance, not just for fun like wolves. I feel that our forefathers had a lot more common sense than the left-wing environmentalists who have more money to burn than brains to use. They would probably try to re-establish dinosaurs also if they could since they once roamed this land.
Room for wolves
Michael McAllister wrote a plausible letter, but I differ from his conclusion that Oregon lacks suitable wolf habitat.
The conflict he refers to is primarily with livestock and livestock operators, and this conflict can be mitigated by use of a variety of non-lethal techniques, which are only just now being deployed in Wallowa County. At present these consist of fladry and RAG boxes, but other methods such as changed livestock management practices and the use of certain guard animals all lead to reduced conflict levels. These methods are used successfully in Alberta, where ranching has always co-existed with wolves, and in Montana and Idaho.
Traditional Oregon ranching has always relied on killing predators, and in the wolf’s case, to complete extermination. The perspective of ranchers who wish to continue this practice is not the only perspective in Oregon, and as McAllister says, the return of the gray wolf in Oregon is desired by many people. In fact, a clear majority of Oregonians have favored the return of this keystone predator.
It was never intended that wolves should inhabit only designated wilderness areas or national parks, nor was it intended that isolated populations should remain unconnected, unable to interbreed and maintain a viable population. Oregon has 2.5 million acres of wilderness, much of it creating a corridor through the Cascades into Washington. There are more than 32 million acres of federal public domain, nearly all in vast contiguous tracts. Half of Oregon, including state lands, is public. There is plenty of room in Oregon for wolves, and most Oregonians want them.
Livestock operators account for about 1 percent of Oregon’s population, and of these even less call for exterminating wolves yet again. Why should they be entitled to set rules about what wildlife exists in Oregon?
Doing their best
It seems that lately we have heard a lot of negativity aimed at our state wildlife managers and the department in general. I don’t see why. I hear a lot of jokes about the “Oregon Department of Failure and Waste.”
Most of the time, these comments come from small-minded individuals who have a problem with someone telling them they can’t hunt here or you can’t fish for something during these months and so on and so forth.
I believe that the department is using science (yes, folks, it still exists) to decide hunting and fishing regulations. It is a lot more difficult than it may seem. The men and women who work for ODFW are top-notch individuals who usually come from a hunting or fishing background, or, at least the ones I have met.
They are there for a reason. That reason is to protect and preserve natural resources for future generations while managing them at certain levels so sportsmen and sportswomen can use them responsibly and sustainably for their enjoyment. They are like an underfunded school trying to do their best with what they have, and, frankly, the attitude that select members of the region have isn’t making their job much easier.
Letters From Readers
The Observer welcomes letters to the editor. Letters can be no more than 300 words. All letters must be signed by the author and carry the address of the sender.
The Observer edits letters for brevity, grammar, taste and legal reasons. We will not publish consumer complaints against businesses or personal attacks against private individuals. Thank-you letters are discouraged.
Include a telephone number and address for verification purposes only.
Letter writers are limited to one letter every two weeks. Those who submit Community Comments of up to 800 words are limited to one every three months.