Words From Walt, #4

Nate Blakeslee wrote a remarkable article for The Wall Street Journal on October 7-8, 2017, entitled “The Plight of the West’s Wolves, Wyoming reinstates wolf hunting – with distressing consequences for man and beast.” I found his careful analysis strikingly accurate and agree wholeheartedly with his question “How does a dog loving hunter shoot a wolf?”

In the course of his piece, Mr. Blakeslee tells the story of the life of the White Lady of Yellowstone, with particular reference to his question and which he calls a riddle in her case. She lived in Yellowstone all her life and is credited along with her lifelong mate with raising at least 20 pups, and then retiring to let her offspring take over her territory. Her pure white color was unusual and distinctive, a magnificent specimen of her species. But, sadly, she was found mortally wounded at age 12 near the Park entrance, the victim of a worthless poacher. Mr. Blakeslee concludes as follows: “ Every time a wolf is killed – whether in the tourist haven of Greater Yellowstone or deep in the anonymous forests of the northern Rockies – a great story comes to an end. Every wolf is White Fang, struggling for survival in a hostile world; every wolf is Old Yeller, fighting off enemies to save a loved one. Old Yeller’s death – at the hands of the boy who adored him before rabies could set in – was sad but necessary. You might be able to shoot an animal as extraordinary as he was, if circumstances forced you to do so. But if they didn’t, why would you? ” Mr. Blakeslee is the author of the recently released book “American Wolf”.

Wolf advocates are needed now more than ever and their voices need to be heard in the right places. In that regard, I am happy to report that our President, John Glowa, Sr., has announced as a candidate for Maine Senate District #15. In connection with his announcement, Jon has recently stated: “ I will also proactively present the fish and wildlife management and natural wolf recovery issues in this campaign. There is mounting evidence that wolves are here and it is essential for the public to be educated and informed about their importance in order to have a healthy ecosystem.” Contributions to John’s campaign can be sent to John Glowa ME Senate 2018, 30 Meadow Wood Drive, South China, ME 04358.

There have indeed been encouraging signs in the continued natural wolf recovery in Maine (including an important documented sighting this summer in the Western Mountains), and in increased cooperation with some federal and state officials on this issue. John’s election next year to the Maine legislature will be a milestone for our efforts to recover the wolf in its native Northeastern United States from which it has been gone for much too long. We must end forever the saga of a returning wolf being welcomed home with a bullet.


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