Letter to the editor: Protection for wolves makes a lot of sense


February 9, 2024

When politicians meddle with nature, trouble can happen. But people, such as Minnesota Department of Natural Resources wildlife manager Kelly Straka, seem to be a voice of reason when it comes to managing the population of Minnesota wildlife. As a hunter and a wildlife expert, I feel she can be trusted when she states wolves are not the only reason for the decline in deer populations.

Over the course of a couple centuries, the wolf population in the United States declined from the millions to mere hundreds. The last survivors in the continental region retreated deep into the woods of Michigan and Minnesota to survive.

Wolves played a vital role as apex predators to balance ecosystems, but this was the price nature paid when politicians such as President Theodore Roosevelt called for the complete eradication of the wolf and hunters claimed lucrative bounties for wolf skulls and pelts.

But thanks to the conservation efforts starting with the Lacey Act of 1900 and continuing with the Endangered Species Act of 1973, the gray wolf, as well as many other endangered species, have been preserved.

I am leery of U.S. Rep. Pete Stauber’s efforts to delist the gray wolf. His co-sponsoring of the ironically titled Trust the Science Act, is simply the latest effort that adds to his questionable environmental voting record.

When individual states are allowed to manage their own wildlife populations, our country’s historical record tells us the gray wolf and many other species will be in danger of simply disappearing.

James N. Bragge, Carlton


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