Accepting wolves back into our landscape, after having eradicated them in the 1920s, should not be such a challenge for us.
Wolves are an essential part our ecosystem, placed there by nature to keep the system in healthy balance. In spite of this, we bear witness to anti-wolf propaganda and false scare tactics that too often meet with success in influencing governmental decisions that jeopardize a healthy, functional and sustainable population.
It was especially encouraging for me to attend the recent "Speak for Wolves" event in Gardiner. This was the second annual of its kind, the first having been in Washington, D.C. Attendees came from all over the U.S. and shared their desire to see wolves managed in a manner consistent with nature's plan — by science and not politics. There were over 16 well-informed speakers and several educational films during the two-day event. (See "Speak for Wolves" website for schedule.)
Wolves were the primary subject, but speakers touched on other wildlife issues and effective methods which eliminate conflict between livestock and predators. The dominant message was the importance of relying on facts, science and education to achieve broader understanding and acceptance of all the species essential to the long-term health of our Montana landscape.
We can and must work together to ensure that the gray wolf can fully return to its rightful place in nature's beautifully designed scheme. This will require time and our continued dedication speak out on their behalf.
Sue Ann Stephenson-Love