Letters to the Editor for Feb. 29, 2012

Written by Baker City Herald readers February 29, 2012 08:58 am

Wolves fix all? Really?

To the editor:

Wally Sykes and Christopher Christie state the following about wolves in the Feb. 24 edition of the Baker City Herald.

"(W)olves freely work for the taxpayers by helping to restore the riparian and aquatic habitat..."  "Wolves will move ungulates around so they don't overgraze places..."

"A healthy wolf population can save money by increasing biodiversity..." And most amazingly it was stated by Mr. Sykes that "(W)olves cull the barren and geriatric cows and does and the non-performing bulls and bucks."

Really? What astonishing creatures! And how busy they are. Apparently the wolf's days are filled with environmental evaluation, riparian repair, and the never ending task of keeping the ungulates on the move.  And of course there is the seemingly impossible task of preg-testing the female ungulates to determine which are barren, and finally culling the non-performing bulls and bucks. Do the wolves recognize these non-performers on sight or is there some type of rudimentary backwoods clinical evaluations going on? In my opinion, this is a question best left unanswered.

And finally the wolf pack does all of this while maintaining strict fiscal responsibilities to the taxpayer. All of this must be true since the authors invoke the word "science"as irrefutable proof. They cite no references but since they said it was science it must be. End of discussion in their view.

Maybe a more accurate picture of wolves is that they kill every creature they can catch, eat some, and leave the rest to rot. Maybe wolves know little or nothing about elk gynecology, and maybe they could not tell the difference between a riparian zone and a school zone. Lastly, maybe the wolf packs only interest in a taxpayer is whether he appears edible or not.

Mr. Sykes states "most Oregonians welcome the wolf...".  Maybe. But then most Oregonians don't live in wolf country.  We do. And we will pay the price.

Neal Jacobson

Baker City

Not convinced wolf is Savior

To the editor:

Is the wolf seen as Savior, to save the world from man? There have been a number of opinions recently praising the virtues of the wolf as a means to correct environmental collapse caused by nasty humans. These come with cries for more government money to take the place of once flourishing natural resource industries. Industries judiciously strangled by a never-ending string of “endangered” species: salmon, sage grouse, and spotted owl. 

All money springs from government, for those who say We Can. These cries for money are drowned in a sea of other interests, all begging for that free government money. Money created by 0 percent interest rates that penalizes elderly savers and supports stock and bond speculation; destroying countries such as Greece. Paper dollars that flow to crony capitalism and politically-connected green initiatives, as others, such as China, flee to hard assets such as gold. Gold, the canary in the economic coal mine, currently at $1,750 per ounce.

The problem, it is obvious, there are too many poor. Money freely created by a government deeply in debt in a country where the needs for food and shelter rise daily. Costs of raw materials rise as the value of the dollar falls. Once beloved homes become rental investments for a connected moneyed few. Foreclosure notices flourish in the print media as the homeless and hungry are shunted aside as inconvenient distractions. For those housed in sticks and hay, the wolf is at the door. Those who view the wolf as Savior may well be right, our economic environment is collapsing. The time for tough choices is here, the preying wolf or the hungry child. 

Mark Ferns

Baker City

Wolves have been forced on us

To the editor:

As for the comments made by Mr. Wally Sykes. First, this is typical of an environmentalist point of view.  They can’t use truth and facts to back their opinions because the facts and truth will not substantiate their claims. Mr. Sykes states that “Wolves on the other hand take the weak — it's the easiest and least risky choice.  Wolves cull the barren and geriatric cows and does, the non-performing bulls and bucks.” I ask: “Is that what happened to the Northern Yellowstone herd of elk?” It was the “showcase” herd of the world. That herd numbered 19,000 animals in the mid 1990s when wolves were re-introduced into Yellowstone. The most recent counts put that herd at about 4,500 animals. So Mr. Sykes, are you telling us that wolves took 14,500 “barren and geriatric cows and non-performing bulls?" The myth that wolves will only kill the weak and injured is just that, a myth.

Mr. Sykes also states that “wolves are not being forced on us.”  That is false. Wolves have been forced on us by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service with the support of numerous environmental and animal rights groups. When the agency was told that Congress would not fund this project, it took $60 million from the Pittman/Robertson excise tax fund to pay for the reintroduction of wolves.

Our states have fish and game departments that were created to protect and manage our big game animals. I hear all the time terms such as biodiversity, ecosystems, riparian areas. The environmentalists have come up with a new supposed science-based scheme to get what they want. If big game mammals are destroying habitat in certain areas, there are other ways to manage them such as longer hunting seasons, issuance of more tags, special seasons. That is what the game departments are there for. Turning thousands of large predators, that by the way are not even from the U.S., but from Alberta, Canada, loose to kill everything in their path, is not what I call sound management of our game herds.

Jim Scott

Baker City

Cakewalk a fitting tribute to Helen

To the editor:

Helen Dixon took care of the VFW cakewalks for many years and this year we held it in her memory, and we hope she would be pleased with the outcome.

We would like to thank everyone who took part in our cakewalk fundraising efforts on Feb. 18 at the VFW.

Special thanks go out to the Baker City Herald, and the local radio stations for running our ads for the free.

Thanks to everyone who brought food for the potluck dinner, and those who donated any of the 16 cakes and the cookies. We also want to thank those who made donations toward our fundraiser.

Thank you to the parents who brought their children to win cakes. We hope all the kids had fun and didn’t eat too much cake!

We had a nice crowd of about 30 cake-walkers, and made quite a bit of money for the VFW Ladies Auxiliary Veterans Relief Fund.

Thank you so much, and we hope to see all of you, and many more, at next year’s event. If we missed thanking anyone, thanks to you too!

Jodi and Jim Thomas

Baker City