Letters and comments for March 22, 2012

By Observer Upload March 22, 2012 02:57 pm
Letters and comments for March 22, 2012

Tracking wolves 


To the Editor:

It seems as though each week there is a letter or notice of more and more wolf sightings in Idaho and surrounding states. 

After three failed attempts on the Idaho Fish and Game website to report a wolf-killed elk cow near our home in Orofino, I decided to take matters into my own hands and founded the non-profit Northwest Wildlife Foundation, Inc. to start a real-time, resident-reported, wolf sighting mapping program with the intent of better public safety.

Because of the map’s popularity and the over 350 sightings I have received and mapped, the map has been expanded to include not only the remainder of Idaho, but now includes Montana, Oregon, Washington and Wyoming.

The map is completely resident-driven and the sightings are color coded to include wolf sightings, scat, tracks, suspected wolf-killed animals, as well as resident reported wolves taken with hunting tags. 

Also are numerous reports of horses, dogs, elk, deer and cattle killed by wolves as well as numerous hunters, hikers and campers coming face to face with these predators.

Residents have even reported wolves within feet of their homes and small children, and even scat found at a local school bus stop within a few minutes of our town.

Alarmingly, I have been told many times of firsthand accounts that these 100-plus pound creatures have been sighted in packs of up to 25, and many have been reported to have a complete lack of fear of people, even when fired upon.

The intent of this map is to educate residents of these states to be aware of active wolf locations so that they may plan their hikes, camping trips, horseback rides, prospecting and hunting trips accordingly.

Residents can view the map at www.NorthwestWolfSightings.org and can report sightings through the link on the map. They can also join our Facebook page there.

Dr. Damon Popovics

Orofino, Idaho 



Wyden wrong on wind 


To the Editor:

I am embarrassed, frustrated and deeply disappointed by Senator Wyden, who joined a bipartisan group of senators on March 15 in introducing an unmerited bill to extend wind energy tax credits for two years --- just two days after the U.S. Senate wisely defeated a similar proposal.

Senator Wyden continues to ignore the indisputable facts about wind energy even though it is widely known that wind energy is neither green nor efficient and is horribly expensive.

Oregon’s wind project, Shepherds Flat, is already being touted as the biggest example of this taxpayer boondoggle in the world. Federal, state and local subsidies total more than $1.2 billion — about 65 percent of its $1.9 billion cost.

It is calamitous that any of these industrial wind facilities were built in the first place.

Isn’t it time for our legislators to cut taxpayer losses rather than belly up to the wind developers’ snake oil trough?

Pamela Wilkinson



Letters From Readers

The Observer welcomes letters to the editor. Letters can be no more than 350 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. Writers of longer Community Comment columns are limited to one every three months.

Send your letters to: The Observer, 1406 Fifth St., La Grande, OR 97850, or they can be emailed to This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it , or faxed to 541-963-7804.