What the eyes can see, what the heart can feel
A March 15 letter writer correctly states that wildlife-management science is the only thing that should determine how natural resources should be managed. But then he jumps to the conclusion that moose and deer population in northern Minnesota are plummeting due to the overpopulation, while providing no data to back up his conclusion.
Over the past several years, I have taken canoe trips up into the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness and have observed evidence that the population of deer is very high. Overbrowsing is very evident. I do agree that the population of moose has plummeted, but not because of predation. Climate change is the most probable factor in the extirpation of moose from northern Minnesota.
The letter writer also provided no data to show that wolf population growth is extremely high. I would argue that the population of wolves is significantly less than it was in historical times.
Nick Rowse, Burnsville
The writer is a retired fish and wildlife biologist.
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The letter stating that science and numbers should be the only considerations in “wolf management” held some surprises for me. For example, I had no idea that scientists had concluded that declining moose and deer populations were due to the wolf. I had the impression that the complex reasons behind population decline were still under study.
Hasn’t some science suggested that even wolves have a culture, and that their ability to function is affected by the loss of members, who are more than just random placeholders?
I care what happens to species other than my own, and that value is not strictly limited to those species which I may own or use. While I do some more research, please have the numbers people tally the concern of a Czech-Ukrainian-German-Italian-American. Not that it carries any special weight.
Elisa Hayday, St. Paul
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One of our country’s downfalls in recent times is how we have lost our connection to the natural world and to our own hearts. Just because we are at the top of the food chain doesn’t mean we should ruin the Earth and give science and numbers precedence over relationships with human beings or animals. Our spiritual relationships do matter.
Kristen Wernecke, Minneapolis
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The Opinion section is produced by the Editorial Department to foster discussion about key issues. The Editorial Board represents the institutional voice of the Star Tribune and operates independently of the newsroom.