|Wolves in Wood Buffalo National Park 1981|
Photo Credit Peter S Jalkotzy
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FROM THE TIMES' OPINION STAFF
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Controlling wolves: War on wildlife or basic necessity? [Most commented]
December 8, 2011 | 8:09 pm
Wolves in Montana and Idaho are no longer protected by the Endangered Species Act. And as soon as federal protection ended, writes J. William Gibson in an Op-Ed that appeared in Thursday's pages, the slaughter began. Right now, people are hunting wolves as a means to control the population and curb damage wolves may wreak on livestock and game. But, writes Gibson, “Pilotless drone aircraft used by the CIA and the Air Force to target and kill alleged terrorists now appear to be real options to track and kill 'enemy' wolves.” How far we’ve come since the 1990s, the sociology professor at Cal State Long Beach laments.
In the mid-1990s, when the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service released 66 wolves in Yellowstone and central Idaho, most of the U.S. celebrated. The magnificent wolf, an icon of wilderness that humans had driven to extinction in the United States, would now reoccupy part of its old range. But in the region where the wolves were introduced, the move was much more controversial.
Now it’s time for Obama to make good on a promise:
During the 2008 presidential election, candidate Barack Obama declared: "Federal policy toward animals should respect the dignity of animals and their rightful place as cohabitants of the environment. We should strive to protect animals and their habitats and prevent animal cruelty, exploitation and neglect."
Readers offer a mixed reaction to this issue on our discussion board. Here’s a cross-section of their views.
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This excerpt from the OpEd referenced in above's story is more than a little scary - remote controlled, seek and destroy drones?
In early November, Sen. Max Baucus, a Montana Democrat, made his own political contribution. Thrilled at the testing of a drone aircraft manufactured in Montana, Baucus declared: "Our troops rely on this type of technology every day, and there is an enormous future potential in border security, agriculture and wildlife and predator management." A manufacturer's representative claimed his company's drone "can tell the difference between a wolf and a coyote." Pilotless drone aircraft used by the CIA and the Air Force to target and kill alleged terrorists now appear to be real options to track and kill "enemy" wolves.