Letter to the editor for Oct. 14

By Observer editorial October 14, 2013 11:27 am

Wolves, wildlife as American as motherhood and apple pie

To The Editor:

I would like to thank Nicholas Smith for his letter castigating the presence of wolves in Oregon as un-American. It gives me the opportunity to correct his error about the acceptance of wolves in the USA.

Contrary to Mr. Smith’s belief, wolves are popular with the majority of Americans, according to national polls and the comments submitted to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife and state wildlife agencies on wolf policies.

At home in Oregon, a poll in 1999 (as mentioned on Page 6 of the Oregon Wolf Plan) found 70 percent favoring wolves; 90 percent of the comments for the 2010 Wolf Plan Update favored increased protection for wolves.

More recently, a University of New Hampshire survey from the fall of 2012 found that 68 percent of Baker County residents, 69 percent of Union County residents and 59 percent of Wallowa County residents tolerate wolves. 

This fall, a survey of Northwest residents found that at least two-thirds support restoring wolves to suitable habitat — Oregon (66 percent), Washington (71 percent) and California (69 percent) — and large majorities support keeping wolves on the Endangered Species List — Oregon (63 percent), Washington (72 percent), California 80 percent). 

All these sources are available publicly online.

Wolves and wildlife, it turns out, are as American as motherhood and apple pie.

Wally Sykes