Of wolves, wildfires and grizzly bears

Hi, I live close to Medford, Ore., and we are having smoke so bad a person cannot go outside for anything. Today I think it is hazardous. Bad stuff.

I am not a rancher or farmer but I owned a hunting business in northwestern Montana for four years. No wolves then, just grizzly. I don’t know what “Einstein” proposed griz in the northern Cascades but they have to be one of those overly college-educated morons. Griz are a pain in the backside. They are very big and very scary opportunists. One whiff of something tasty and they come in. They tear things to hell and eat anything that isn’t tied down.

My opinion about griz in the northern Cascades is no, no and nope. No way! You want to go have a hamburger? Remember, griz eat meat and hamburgers translate into cows. Be they large or small cows, the griz will try to eat one. That means the owner of that cow or calf loses that animal but also — and no one seems to think of this — they lose all the future production of that cow or calf. That amounts to a lot of money and livelihood and I don’t want to see that happen. Griz eat a lot of baby deer and baby elk, too.

As for smoke, I have been cooped up in my house for almost four weeks and I am not happy with the situation that has finally, I hope, made people stop and think. (Thinking seems to be a lost commodity a lot of the time.) Gee, if you let the forest get nice and thick and don’t take care to keep it cleaned up, gosh, it might burn up.

Well, duh! I feel sorry for all the parties involved because common sense just doesn’t seem to be in vogue. The BLM and Forest Service try to put out a plan to clean up as much as possible and bam, the enviro-nuts file a lawsuit. Everything stops, the forest gets thicker than hairs on a dog, the brush fills in the empty places and bingo, a forest fire going someplace to happen. And it never seems to get settled one way or the other, for a long time. It is a sad situation and the judges who do not dismiss the frivolous lawsuits are just as guilty as the rest. Shame on them.

Now, I move to wolves! They are great big dogs. Emphasis on dogs. Big dogs! Would someone please tell me why a woman is out researching in the wilds (without a gun, God forbid she should have one) and goes up a tree because she is scared as the devil. Since when is a wolf more important than a person? Why wasn’t she carrying a gun? More environmental claptrap? More regulation?

We have been demoralized in the name of environmentalism and it is crippling our economy, our society and our environment. And it has stopped critical thinking. There was a reason why wolves were killed out here in a lot of the western U.S. They raised holy particular hell with the livestock and they got shot. So some enviro-nut decided to reintroduce big Canadian wolves back into the Northwest. Pardon my sarcasm, but it was a “brilliant” decision.

Dumb as a box of rocks! Wolves belong in the big-time wilderness, not in farming and ranching areas. And don’t tell me they are in big-time wilderness. They are a large, dangerous nuisance and were I a rancher, I would shoot every one.

I don’t blame the ranchers; they have been vilified on a continuing basis and it is damned unfair. Their pasture practices and procedures have improved mightily and the ranchers should be respected. They raise a product important to our economy.

I read a saying that I think is more than appropriate, “Thin It, Log It, Graze It Or Watch It Burn.” Do you suppose the enviro-nuts who seem to be over-educated morons will get the message? Sadly, I don’t think so.

Ann Hathaway is a retired outfitter.

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