From: KFALLS@aol.com [mailto:KFALLS@aol.com]
Sent: Thursday, August 25, 2005 8:42 AM
Subject: MORRISON: And you thought there was no such thing as “Rewilding America"?MORRISON: And you thought there was no such thing as “Rewilding America"?
Wednesday, August 24, 2005
OPINION - By now most everyone has heard about the plan to introduce elephants and lions and other wild animals to the United States.
"Illinois lists the Gray/Timber Wolf as threatened," writes Morrison. "People in Illinois didn’t even know we were supposed to have wolves. Strange how the sightings have increased in the past few years which would indicate the wolf re-introduction is well underway."
Instead of going to the Serengeti Plains, we will have Discovery Channel in our own back yard. This bizarre plan grew from a retreat at Ted Turner’s New Mexico ranch.
“Lions eat people,” said Cornell University ecologist Josh Donlan, the lead author of the proposal. “There has to be a pretty serious attitude shift on how you view predators.”
Lion, elephants, tigers, zebras and the whole works will be introduced and you can bet people will be thrilled and excited about it.
Ted Turner and his friends have the money to give us that “serious attitude shift” and make us “think” it is the greatest thing we could imagine since sliced bread. In reality, we will be paying for the transformation.
In February of 2005, three wilderness bills cleared the Senate Committee. There are wilderness areas everywhere. Even Chicago has a wilderness.
Since we are no doubt getting close to the 50% mark of United States land being owned by the government and environmental groups, or controlled by measures such as conservation easements, there is plenty of room for these huge creatures to roam. Some may get very close to where you live because they don’t care who owns the property if the food is there.
The Northeast is bracing itself for the re-introduction of wolves. “The wolves are howlin’” in celebration, said Patric Parenteau, director of the environmental law clinic at Vermont Law School. Dogs, cats, horses, cows and sheep will be “howlin’” as they are eaten by these wolves and the residents will be afraid to even leave their homes for a walk.
Apparently the government wants to combine the Northeastern states into a new, 21-state eastern region since the restoration efforts were successful in Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan.
The people who live in those states are not exactly thrilled at this success as they see their livestock and domestic animals attacked while they helplessly stand by unable to stop the attack due to the wolves’ endangered status.
Illinois lists the Gray/Timber Wolf as threatened. People in Illinois didn’t even know we were supposed to have wolves. Strange how the sightings have increased in the past few years which would indicate the wolf re-introduction is well underway.
I grew up in a rural area that was rich with wildlife. As children, we were never afraid to take to the woods in search of mushrooms and berries. Deer or wild turkey had not yet been re-introduced to Illinois and a skunk or snake was about the worst thing you could encounter.
Last fall, our neighbor caught a cougar devouring a pet deer in their huge back yard. Now, even the adults think twice about hiking in the woods. What if a child had been playing in our neighbor’s yard, would the cougar (mountain lion) have preferred the child to the deer?
Numerous reports of sightings and pictures of cougar are becoming more common in Illinois, according to a report by Scott Maruna in an Illinois Times article published July 28, 2005. The word on the street is they are being released to help control the deer population.
Nature can be cruel, but do we have to help it just because the wildlife “experts” did something stupid by reintroducing and over-populating deer until they have become a nuisance?
For those of you who think mountain lions and cougars (same species) are like kitty cats, here are just a few of the many recent encounters pulled from news reports:
- Near tears several times during a news conference on Friday, Bazille described the horror of seeing the cat over (4 year old) Hayley, her little) girl’s blood on it’s muzzle.”
- “Mountain lion killed near yard where children are playing.”
- “Parents of cyclist killed by mountain lion sue SoCal Wilderness Park.
- “Mountain lion killed in Magalia back yard”
- “I just got attacked by a mountain lion,” the nine-year-old told his father
- “Mountain Lion Encountered on Front Lawn.”
Rattlesnakes are listed on the threatened and endangered lists in Illinois, and it makes one wonder if they will over-populate and find their way to the city the way the deer, coyotes, and the mountain lions have?
We love animals, wild and domestic. It is a pleasure to watch a small red fox tending her pups. A neighbor said he found a den of coyote pups and couldn’t bring himself to kill them. But the flip side of this is when domestic pets such as dogs and cats cannot be left outside in the rural areas for fear they will become some predator’s lunch.
A young man recently told me his small breed dog had been picked up and carried off by a hawk (endangered species) right in front of his children. The children are still traumatized.
An animal rights activist I visit with on occasion is a very nice person, but then we reach a certain point in our conversation where we see things in a totally opposite perspective. She said the most exhilarating experience is to “watch a wolf take down an elk.”
That would be a sickening experience to me. It was then I realized the difference between being humane to animals and animal rights.
Cruelty to animals by man or beast is abhorrent to me. Animal rights people are not big on domestic pets but see wild animals as having equal rights as humans. The law of the jungle prevails and they get a “thrill” in seeing nature in action.
Kieran Suckling, policy director for the Center for Biological Diversity, said there would be no need for predator control if there were more habitat. When you give thought to this, more habitat means fewer people. Is this the choice we have been given?
"It is not restoration to introduce animals that were never here," said University of Washington anthropologist Donald K. Grayson, "Why introduce Old World camels and lions when there are North American species that could benefit from the same kind of effort?"
There are millions of acres of land owned by the government in the form of open space, forest and parks. Add to this connecting conservation easements on private lands and we should ask “will this be the new place for the buffalo and elephant to roam?” These areas were supposed to be “for the people” to hunt, fish, hike and enjoy, but now they will be afraid to go there. Will we find ourselves sitting enclosed in stacked, sustainable communities afraid to go to the park because wild animals will patrol the once “public lands?”
Derry Brownfield on the Common Sense Coalition often quotes Leviticus 26: 21-22: “If you remain hostile toward me and refuse to listen to me, I will multiply your afflictions seven times over, as your sins deserve. I will send wild animals against you, and they will rob you of your children, destroy your cattle and make you so few in number that your roads will be deserted.”
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