Letter: Wolves have proven beneficial

Regarding the Daily Miner's article, "Supervisor: No wolves in Mohave County," it's ridiculous that chairman Watson wants the Mexican gray wolves vaccinated, licensed, tagged and sterilized as part of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's reintroduction plan. The USFWS already vaccinates and collars wolves prior to releasing.

Also, the idea of sterilizing wolves would obliterate the purpose of the releasing plan. There are only 75 Mexican grays in the wild. Releasing more would prevent interbreeding and strengthen the genetic pool. This would help in the prevention of the wolves' extinction.

The Mexican grays are the most endangered mammal in the U.S. because of people like Mr. Watson and their lack of respect and unwillingness to understand, protect and treasure nature.

Science and nature itself has shown wolves are necessary in the wild. In Yellowstone National Park, the benefits of the return of wolves are clear. Wildlife and vegetation not seen in decades have begun to return. Deer and elk herds are stronger and continue to relocate, thus preventing overgrazing, so streams have begun to run cleaner. Wolves provide a healthier, naturally balanced habitat.

In Oregon, where wolf hunts are banned, there's been a decline in cattle killed by predators. Ranchers are encouraged to use fencing and alarm boxes. Also, the USFWS removes and relocates problem wolves. There's no acceptable reason to kill wolves. Fines of $50,000 should therefore be doubled.

Last month, the Mohave County Board of Supervisors sent a letter to the USFWS asking to be part of the study process. Apparently the board understands the value of wolves. Instead of making outlandish statements that are insulting to the public and the board of supervisors, Mr. Watson should educate himself on wolves instead of relying on myths.

I'm sure the board will continue to value the Mexican gray and will stand behind their decision to participate in the releasing of this majestic, proud creature - an historic event for all of America. Generations will be proud that you've taken this step in maintaining this key creature in nature.

Irene Sette

New Milford, N.J.