Originally Published: December 20, 2013 6 a.m.
I'm writing in response to the editorial on Dec 4. Returning wolves to Yellowstone has been a great success story not only for the wolves but for the whole ecosystem. Google "Yellowstone before and after wolves" and you'll see a huge difference in the whole area, and it's all an improvement for the animals and the landscape.
Their return has helped everything from beetles to pronghorns to grizzly bears and eagles. Those of you who think it's a waste of money should check into USDA Wildlife Services and see what a waste of money that is. Their job is to kill predators for ranchers but, in the process, they are killing thousands of non-target animals such as eagles, owls, and our pets. They leave leg hold traps around and don't have to check them for a month. Can you imagine the poor animals in those traps? One of their "trappers" sics his dogs on coyotes he finds in his traps and then posts the pictures of the massacre on Facebook. It's all true, just check it out.
I say dismantle the agency and use the millions they spend on non-lethal methods of predator control, and to reimburse ranchers for their losses if they are using good animal husbandry practices. Some ranchers are using range riders in the heart of wolf country in Montana and Wyoming and have lost few animals. It's workable to live with wolves on the landscape.