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Trusted local news leader for Prescott area communities since 1882
10:23 AM Sat, Sept. 22nd

Editorial: Not all of us wear Little Red Riding Hood capes

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Moms around the world have read some version of "Little Red Riding Hood" to their children for years and years.

The Big Bad Wolf scares the daylights out of us - a mean, human-hunting furry beast lurking in the woods waiting to EAT US!

This is fun story-telling for youngsters. Now that we are grown-ups, can we stop the hysteria that wolves will eat our children at their bus stops?

This silliness has taken hold on Facebook comments on the story the Courier published on Mexican gray wolves being allowed to expanded their habitat....to include Yavapai County.

A new rule from Fish and Wildlife takes effect on Feb. 15, and it eventually expands by 21-fold the areas where the wolves can roam in Arizona and New Mexico without being captured and moved. It replaces a 17-year-old rule.

Eventually the habitat area will include all of Arizona and New Mexico south of Interstate 40.

Without getting into issues ranchers have with wildlife, everyone has a complaint or fear here.

Environmental groups say it didn't go far enough, "Capping the population (at 325 wolves) and keeping them out of the Grand Canyon and northern New Mexico will keep the lobo on the brink of extinction," said Michael Robinson of the Center for Biological Diversity, which sued Fish and Wildlife and forced it to come up with a new rule this month.

I can't imagine if the rule is expanded how many uninformed folks will be terrified for no reason.

Did you know that only seven human deaths by wolves have been recorded between 1820 and 2010?

Compare that to 22 fatal mountain lion attacks on humans since 1890.

Let's not even discuss Arizona's spiders, snakes, scorpions ...

When my husband and I go hiking, we aren't too worried about wolves - they do not, as a rule, seek out attention or people. I'm scanning for mountain lions, big ole spiders and snakes ... those make me shake in my hiking boots!

- Robin Layton, editor