Gray wolves have again lost Endangered Species Act protections (front page, Oct. 30). The last time this happened, in 2012, more than 400 Minnesota wolves were killed in the ensuing hunting season (nearly half by trapping or snaring), including more than 100 pups. Pups!
I get that wolves (and all wildlife) die in many unpleasant ways in the wild, but why add to that so unnecessarily? Why does a hunter's or trapper's desire to have a stuffed wolf or wolf skin outweigh my (and most Minnesotans') desire to know the animals are living free and wild and unmolested? (Not to mention the wolf's desire to live ...)
The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is currently updating its wolf management plan and is seeking input from citizens. You can fill out a survey sharing your attitudes/wishes regarding wolves at engage.dnr.state.mn.us/wolf-plan. Let's give these beautiful, intelligent, highly social animals the life they deserve and keep them safe from hunting and trapping.
Holly Einess, Minneapolis
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Here at the Center for Biological Diversity, we were deeply disheartened to read Dennis Anderson's response to the removal of Endangered Species Act protection from the gray wolf ("Gray wolf delisting glosses over need to protect other species, too," Oct. 30). Anderson would have readers believe the center is concerned only with saving wolves, and he cynically mischaracterizes our passion for conserving wildlife as opportunistic greed.
Anyone who has even a passing familiarity with the center's work knows that, as spelled out in our mission statement and attested to by three decades of advocacy, we work to secure a future for all species — not just wolves — that are hovering on the brink of extinction.
So not only do we fight for the survival of "charismatic" species like wolves, grizzly bears, orcas and wolverines, but we're also in the trenches on behalf of freshwater mussels in Appalachia, endangered wildflowers in the Nevada desert and legless lizards living in the shadow of California's oil fields.
The suggestion that fighting for the full recovery of wolves somehow diminishes the plight of other imperiled species in Minnesota is an incorrect exercise in zero-sum thinking. And it's false and misleading to accuse the center of greed when it's nearly always an obsession with profit on behalf of private interests — and at the expense of the environment — that we're up against as we fight for the survival of species and the persistence of wild America.
Collette Adkins, Blaine
'IN GRIEF, A PLEA TO THE POLICE'
But police families, as well, deserve coverage of their losses
Sometime I'd like to say thank you to a newspaper for a story on what a cop's family goes through in the death of a loved one; a loved one who was beaten, shot in the head, ambushed or stabbed in an encounter with a criminal or a member of the public.
But newspapers rarely think to interview cop families, rarely give cop families front-page headlines on stories about "their darkest moments" like the Star Tribune did Oct. 25 with "In grief, a plea to the police." It's strange newspapers are so content to keep the cop families' stories so firmly buried.
Maureen Hansen, Savage
The nuclear test ban differs from the Paris climate accord
While I agree with the Oct. 27 letter writer who stated that the well-intentioned nuclear weapons pact is not meaningful without the signatures of the major states that own such weapons, the Paris climate accord should not be regarded as in the same category for two important reasons:
1) The biggest carbon emitters have signed the Paris accord and committed to a specific shared goal. That includes China and India, which are both high on the list of major emitters, as well as the United States, which emits more carbon per capita than either of those nations (and which technically remains a signatory until Nov. 4 of this year).
2) Catastrophically dangerous though nuclear weapons may be, there is at least the hope that they will never be used even if they are not eliminated. But carbon emissions have already indelibly altered our environment. Our inaction is causing harm — right now — which will only grow worse the longer we postpone finding new ways of doing business and of living in order to save our planet.
Jeff Naylor, Minneapolis
Four things you may not know about the U.S. Supreme Court
1) Nowhere in the U.S. Constitution is the Supreme Court given the right to declare validly enacted legislation unconstitutional. The authority to do so is strictly a precedent — established in the Marbury v. Madison Supreme Court decision of 1803. Precedents can be overturned. The strict constructionists on the Supreme Court should think about this as they consider overturning Roe v. Wade — another precedent.
2) Nowhere in the Constitution is the court given the right to adjudicate arguments concerning the election of the president. In fact, Article III, Section 2 states, "In all the other cases before mentioned, the Supreme Court shall have appellate jurisdiction, both as to law and fact, with such exceptions, and under such regulations as the Congress shall make." In other words, the Congress could, if it chose, pass legislation saying, "Supreme Court, keep your nose out of presidential elections." The 2021 Congress should do so.
3) Nor in Article II, Section 1 (which describes procedures for presidential elections) is the Supreme Court given any role in presidential elections. Presidents are elected by the states, period. (Technically, elected by the state's chosen electors to the Electoral College.) State laws determine the electors, and the number of electors for each candidate determines the winner. The Supreme Court has no role.
4) Nor does the Constitution say that Supreme Court justices are appointed for life. What it says (Article III, Section 1) is, "The judges, both of the supreme and inferior courts, shall hold their offices during good behaviour … ." Appointment for life is just an interpretation of that section. It can and should be reinterpreted. Justice Brett Kavanaugh's demonstrably false and legally indefensible statement about not counting ballots received after Election Day qualifies as "bad behaviour," as far as I'm concerned.
Stephen Kurt Partridge, Edina
WHAT'S IN A NAME?
Former U president Eric Kaler is headed to Case Western … Reserve
We at Case Western Reserve University are delighted to welcome former U president Eric Kaler. I note that the article covering the announcement ("U's former leader to helm Ohio university" Oct 30) refers to our school with the colloquial misnomer "Case Western." The full and correct name, Case Western Reserve, may be a mouthful, but it honors the rich history of the two schools that merged in 1967 to become one of the nation's top private research universities: Case Institute of Technology, founded in 1880, and Western Reserve University, founded in 1826.
Michael Householder, St. Paul
PEOPLE BEHAVING WELL
The doers and the messengers, too
A heartfelt THANK YOU to Jean Greenwood, Minneapolis, for writing about her 9-year-old hero, Vincent, who "was removing leaves from the street to keep them from ending up in the lake" (Readers Write, Oct. 27). He wanted to "help the turtles.
And an even bigger THANK YOU to Vincent for thinking about the environment and the turtles and doing something about it. Young people like you provide hope and inspiration to the world.
You both warmed my heart!
LaVonne Ludke, Chisago City