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LETTER: ... a clear and present danger to the future

Dear Editor:
A district federal judge, without one shred of professional wildlife management evidence to support the courts decision, has hurled the timber wolf back onto the endangered species list years after it had been de-listed under the authority of the U.S. fish and Wildlife Service, the present administration and congress. This decision was based solely on the insubstantial claims of an animal rights group vehemently opposed to professional wildlife management of wolves by the Minnesota D.N.R.
I believe this surreptitious ruling by the court was a clear abuse of the intent of the endangered species act by re-listing an animal simply on the capricious whim and fiat of an animal rights group.
I believe this court’s decision creates a precedent endangering the future of professional wildlife management and our hunting and trapping heritage as an animal rights group can simply declare any game animal endangered at whim without proof they could find a biased judge and get their ruling.
The argument that the timber wolf is endangered is in effect a moot point as all wildlife managers in the wolves range in North America agree we have a healthy and sustainable population.
But what about Minnesota’s wolf population and the effects of a no management policy on wolves?
Recently a group of wolf experts, commissioned by the International Wolf Center, did in fact state that the timber wolf is not endangered in Minnesota. More ominously, as a consequence of a non-management of wolf policy here in Minnesota, some of the released data of the moose study is showing wolf predation, especially among calves, is a significant factor in the collapse of Minnesota’s moose population.
Furthermore, a U.S. Fish and Wildlife study by renowned wolf expert L. David Mech shows even more compelling evidence. Over-predation by wolves is decimating the sustainability of our moose herd.
This ruling, I believe, is a clear and present danger to the future of Minnesota’s wildlife management, our hunting and trapping heritage, the survival of our moose herd and the recovery of our northern deer herd.
Much is at stake here but nonetheless much can be done. I believe this ruling is based so extensively on unprofessional and baseless testimony and the fiat of a single judge it begs to be overturned.
Also, federal congress members Amy Klobuchar and Rick Nolan were involved in our support of de-listing the wolf and returning them to state control. I would certainly urge them to amend the criteria of the Endangered Species Act so its intent cannot be abused or misconstrued by biased judges or animal rights groups.
I would also urge my state Congress members to have the D.N.R. use every arrow in their legal quiver to have this ruling expunged. I also believe the Minnesota D.N.R needs to stop its foot dragging on protecting our remnant moose herd.
Selective intense predator management has been tested, tried and proven in Alaska and Canada to restore the predator-prey balance and to ensure a sustainable moose-wolf ratio. It works and I am sure the D.N.R. knows that.
As outdoor people in Minnesota, the task of preserving the future of our cherished hunting tradition falls on our shoulders. Animal rights groups are depending on our fear, apathy and complacency to foist their agenda on us.
We must no longer just talk the talk, we must walk the walk and get involved.
James Aker
Orr, MN

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