To the Editor:
Re “Wolf Haters,” by Lawrence Downes (Editorial Notebook, Dec. 29):
Idaho’s Wolf Derby is a prime example of why wolves still need federal protection. For a population to be successfully removed from the endangered species list, it must be both biologically recovered and adequately safeguarded from becoming endangered again. The Northern Rocky Mountain wolves aren’t there yet, thanks to the behavior of certain two-legged mammals.
When the Supreme Court struck down a key part of the Voting Rights Act because the law had worked so well, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg called it “hubris” and noted that places with greater racial polarization need stronger measures to prevent discrimination. It is similar with wolves. States where antipathy toward them runs high are unlikely to carry out effective conservation measures. Instead, we get the Wolf Derby, and the gleeful slaughter of a keystone species.
Until state management plans are based on logic and science rather than on hatred and the hubris of political expediency, wolves remain endangered, and federal protections must remain robust. Wyoming’s wolves are next to be considered for delisting. Let’s hope that we’ve learned something from the failure in Idaho.
Berkeley, Calif., Dec. 29, 2013
The writer is the author of “Promise of the Wolves” and “Secrets of the Wolves.”