Whenever we try to play God, we inevitably get it wrong. Examples abound including fire suppression that is resulting in catastrophic fires, trans-basin diversions that de-water streams and the extermination of anything wild that interferes with livestock – especially wolves.
Anyone who attended the Durango Wolf Symposium knows that this scientific meeting was about restoration and stewardship. Extirpation of wolves resulted in near elimination of the most important carnivore in North America – and with them the unraveling of connections that enable ecosystem functions, essential functions that support humanity.
Restoring wolves can begin the process of ecosystem restoration and restoration of our relationship with the land as stewards, instead of conquerors. Science can and does change as knowledge increases – in other words, we’re not stuck with our ancestors’ mistakes.
Cleansing the land of carnivores to benefit livestock and grow game herds was a mistake, not supported by contemporary science. Wolves are shepherds of elk and deer, selectively preying on the weak and diseased, effectively making herds healthier.
Decades of experience in the Northern Rockies has led to successful livestock-carnivore coexistence strategies that reduce already minimal depredations, often to zero. Decades of verifiable evidence supports the science that says gray wolves are essential to healthy ecosystems.
Contrary to the assertion that “Wolves Do Not Belong in a Settled Landscape” (Jan. 21), we need wolves now more than ever – to restore health to a land that we’ve wounded and restore our promise to God to steward her creation – the entire creation.