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Tue., Aug. 6, 2013

Speak for wolves

To rancher Carla Gitlitz’s reference (July 14) to wolves as “ruthless killers,” my response: Wolf trappers are a pack of wolf killers, who deserve the description “ruthless.”

Please check to get information on nonlethal practices to control wolf populations.

Such methods are being successfully adopted by the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission, making Oregon the only state in the West where killing wolves that attack livestock is a last resort.

Ranchers must show that they have tried nonlethal steps before the state steps in.

The Oregon Court of Appeals barred the state from killing wolves for more than a year before a settlement was reached. The settlement represents a step forward to cooperation between ranchers, conservation groups and the governor’s office to protect private interests and wolves.

In Idaho, which lacks alternatives like those available to Oregon ranchers, wolf-trapping, torturing and killing have been the only solutions funded and encouraged by the Idaho Fish and Game Commission to protect private interests.

I encourage people to speak up for wolves. Contact the secretary of the interior to argue against ending federal protection for the 6,100 wolves in the lower 48 states by the end of the year. The comment period will end in September.

Cecilia Nolthenius

Coeur d’Alene

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