Outdoors blog

TUESDAY, JAN. 7, 2014, 6:01 A.M.

Wolf bias is in eyes of beholder

This wolf chased Sandpoint bicyclist William
This wolf chased Sandpoint bicyclist William "Mac" Hollan on July 6, 2013, as he pedaled along a stretch of the Alaska Highway about 60 miles west of Watson Lake, Yukon. Motorists had to throw rocks and waterbottles at the wolf to stop it from attacking Hollan's bike even after he'd taken refuge in an RV whose driver stopped to lend assistance. (Becky Woltjer)

PREDATORS -- In my recent package of stories and lists reviewing the year 2013 from the outdoors perspective, I focused one short review on notable 2013 news items regarding the gray wolf, which drums up all sorts of issues, emotions and controversy where ever it roams.

I focused on news, updates and milestones related to the species in 2013.

But a reader named Michelle emailed this comment on my review:

In your article about the year in review for wolves you picked some interesting things to focus on. What about mentioning the wolves that were hounded in Wisconsin? Or the pups killed in Idaho? Or the fact that people are purposely torturing wolves to death, and posting the evidence online? Instead you talk about a man who didn't know how to respond when a wolf chased his bike, perhaps you didn't know, but those types of encounters are not the norm, but when they do happen people have much better luck when they stand their ground, running from a predator is not smart. It would be nice if a newspaper was more objective.

The objective observer likely would note that my short review was a more objective summary of how wolves occurred in the news than the angles suggested by the reader criticizing my lack of objectivity.




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Rich Landers
Rich Landers writes and photographs stories for a wide range of outdoors coverage, including a Sunday feature section and a Thursday column. He also writes the Outdoors Blog.

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