The future of the gray wolf in Minnesota is not a political issue. The subspecies ecology is too complex for a cursory, open-season notice from the Legislature and the Department of Natural Resources. Responsible science has hardly played a role in the political debate about the approaching hunt, and that should trouble every voting constituent.
Delisting is not a pretext for hunting or trapping any species. No, this DNR has never let a species go extinct on its watch, but those in other states have, so I share with most Americans a jaundiced view of certain legislators and special interests whom we've appointed -- inadvertently -- as ecological stewards.
Many wildlife decisions are enacted behind closed doors without responsible investigation. Money, and the continued power of special interests, are one reason. Repudiation of science is another. Anti-intellectualism is yet another.
So regardless of your political party or position on delisting or hunting, seek sound information from reliable university, trade and government sources before you let ideology run the show. Remember, this hunt is a "first" in a state generally known for responsible species management.
Delisting of a species -- another human concept -- is not a pretext for knee-jerk legislation to permit hunting and trapping. In this case, the wolf is too critical a part of our shared ecosystem to let that happen.
NEIL ROSS, MINNETONKA
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I'm more excited about seeing a real wild wolf in the countryside (twice for me) than the thousands of deer I've seen in my lifetime. I'd like enough wolves so that I can see them on a regular basis, and that's a lot more than we have now. So, I'd prefer no wolf hunting, period -- and never, ever allow traps, bait or dogs if a season has to be.
ROBERT J. GIBSON, FERGUS FALLS, MINN.