This is so wrong.
Like thousands of others I have been supporting the efforts to ensure that the US Government did not proceed with the proposal to remove wolves from endangered species protection.
Wolves are the animals that enabled early man to ‘progress’ from hunter-gatherer to the life of farming, and thence to our modern world. As I write elsewhere on Learning from Dogs,
There is no hard evidence about when dogs and man came together but dogs were certainly around when man developed speech and set out from Africa, about 50,000 years ago.
I used to believe
As some of you may have heard, late last week the Obama Administration officially delisted gray wolves from endangered species protection. This means that 40 years of wolf recovery efforts have come to an end. Wolves only occupy a tiny fraction of their former habitat and with anti-wolf governments occupying the state houses in the few places that still have wolf populations, states like Montana, Wyoming, Idaho and Wisconsin, it is hard to imagine that wolves have a bright future in the lower 48 states.
I am deeply, profoundly saddened by this decision. I have learned over time how wolves -like so many other species- just don’t register on the list of national concerns and priorities. A great many people oppose the delisting, in fact one gets the impression that the effort to remove these protections has consistently been guided by political pressures and a political agenda and not by a true commitment to a sustainable and enduring wolf recovery. I know that I am hardly alone in registering my disappointment and voice of protest.
I cannot let this sad milestone pass without acknowledging it here on this blog. If you do not like wolves -if you feel hatred or resentment towards them or are pleased at what has recently transpired, I respectfully request that you refrain from sharing your feelings here. I seldom offer any “directives” like this, but if you are a reader of this blog then you know how strongly I feel about this issue. I am sharing these thoughts because I want to not only draw attention to what has happened, but also because I feel the need to mourn it. I tremble at the thought of a United States -or a North America- without wolves. Defenders of the administration and the Department of Interior’s position will say that the United States Government is committed to protecting wolves and ensuring their future but I am afraid I see things quite differently. This is not a partisan political issue: Democratic and Republican administrations alike are behind this stance towards wolves.
I would like to share a poem which I feel is very incomplete and does not begin to adequately draw upon the well of feelings, concerns and thoughts I have on this subject. But I would be remiss I think if I did not mark what has just happened.
I used to believe
I used to believe that one day
I might live carefully, cooperatively
beside the wolves
I would go to them but respect their
space; wait for their return and tend
my garden with local mind, open my windows
When they moved off I would wait
and make a space; I would lock my guns
in bolted cabinets to honor and not to intrude
I used to believe that there was a chance
of this because there were others who saw
in wolves the same uncertainties and histories
And we, a new community, would redraw
the map, eradicate “the frontier” and perhaps
expunge that word altogether from our plans
It is ironic really how a word, a concept,
one invisible line can have more tendrils
and seeds than a weed, more pups than a pack.
–Jeremy Nathan Marks
The Center for Biological Diversity has been incredibly active in fighting for the continued protection of the wolf. The Press Release about the loss of protection is here. Do read it and do everything you can to help. PLEASE!
Let me share some of my special feelings about wolves.
Back in September, 2009, I wrote about An amazing true story of a relationship between a wild wolf and a man, from which this picture is taken.
Then in February this year, I wrote about Oregon and the wolf. The following picture was in that Post.
Please now listen to this:
So you can see that I have written frequently about wolves; indeed just a few days ago did so and included this photograph.
Now just look at those eyes of the Grey Wolf above and compare them to the eyes of the German Shepherd dog below and tell me that wolves aren’t as close to man as dogs.
Finally, feel free to share this post as far and wide as you can. Learning from Dogs is published under a Creative Commons License. This link covers how to share my material.
Please do something to help these ancient animals who, more than any other creature, helped put mankind ‘on the map’.