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Wolf packs are natural

— filed under:
By Larry L. Whitesitt
Spokesman review

A letter to the editor describing the ecological benefits and beauty of gray wolves.

Recently, two more gray wolf packs were discovered in Washington state, bringing the total to five packs. Hunters are concerned that wolves will kill large numbers of elk, making it more difficult to bag a trophy. Ranchers are concerned wolves will kill their cattle. The Cattlemen’s Association reported one cow was killed about a year ago in Washington. Hopefully, with proper game management hunters, ranchers and wolves will be able to get along.

Since the introduction of the gray wolf to Yellowstone Park about 15 years ago, plant life along the creeks that were badly overgrazed by elk herds have returned to a normal healthy state. Studies have shown these wolves primarily kill old elk. The elk herds are healthier now and act like the wild animals they are!

One winter several years ago when I was a bush pilot in British Columbia, I flew officials from the B.C. Game Department on an extensive aerial moose count near Smithers, B.C., in a Cessna 185 ski-plane. The moose they found killed by wolves were old and their teeth well-worn.

Watching wolves running wild and free from a ski-plane is among my fondest memories of the North.

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