We live in an era of black-and-white, of lines drawn in the sand, of non-negotiables.
The only problem: That’s not the way life is. Anyone who has ever been married — or involved in any other committed relationship — knows compromise is a large part of life.
Ironically, decisions are often better because of compromise, not in spite of it. But it takes goodwill and a willingness to say “yes” to reach an agreement.
That observation came to mind as we digested the shenanigans perpetrated by four environmental groups that took part in mediation over the revision of the Oregon Wolf Conservation and Management Plan.
In straight talk, they bailed out of the discussions because they wouldn’t budge on their opposition to killing wolves that continue to attack livestock. They believe ranchers are at fault for not keeping the wolves away from cattle and sheep. No doubt they also blame the cattle and sheep for jumping into the mouths of the wolves. The groups — Oregon Wild, Cascadia Wildlands, Defenders of Wildlife and the Center for Biological Diversity — told Gov. Kate Brown in a letter and that the whole exercise was a sham because everyone else in the room didn’t go along with their demand.
“We’ve tried for years to come to an agreement, but the state won’t fix its broken, outdated approach to wolf management,” Amaroq Weiss, West Coast wolf advocate for the Center for Biological Diversity said.
In the letter, the groups attacked ODFW staff for “leading us to a seemingly predetermined outcome.”
In other words, it’s the environmental groups’ way or no way.
This appears to be right out of the environmental organizations’ playbook.
Step 1. “We just want a place at the table and to be part of the discussion.”
Step 2. “We won’t compromise.”
Step 3. “We’re pulling out.”
Step. 4. “We’re suing.”
And so it goes.
In point of fact, wolf recovery in Oregon has been an overwhelming success. More than 124 wolves have taken up residence and thrived across the state, from the northeastern corner to the southwestern corner.
All sides should recognize that success, such as it is, by acknowledging the resilience of grey wolves. The predators know how to take care of themselves.
The idea that an apex predator that dominates the countryside wherever it roams needs protection demonstrates — once again — that the federal Endangered Species Act needs to be rewritten to take reality into account.
Only a handful of those wolves have caused problems, and ranchers and wildlife managers are only saying those few need to be removed.
That’s not an ultimatum, which the environmentalists like to use as part of their playbook.
It’s just plain common sense.