In the Press: Desert Sage: Entertainment Among Wolves, Trees
On June 23, for example, came a modern retelling of Little Red Riding Hood, the exciting tale of how sheriff's deputies in one of our neighbor counties held off wolves from children on the schoolgrounds. Guns not blazing as the wolves didn't attack the unharmed children, they stood their ground. In the modern version, the wolf doesn't eat anyone. They are getting so friendly with folks that "they come to homes where children play." It is only a matter of time before one dresses up in Grandma's clothes. The modern story ends with the children in the county, having been exposed to the wolves coming to the house where they play or the sight of a wolf in the distance, or the sight of the forest where they are in there somewhere, have been psychologically afflicted.
"Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder has been documented in our children from wolf interactions at homes."
The cows are having the same problem. These animals who live in the wild until the rancher comes for them to take them to dinner, encounter bears, mountain lions, rattlesnakes, and coyotes without flinching but the sight of a wolf causes "decreased pregnancy rates, open cows, pre-mature birthed calves, abortion of calves, weak calves, loss of body condition, weight loss, immune suppression, increased susceptability to diseases" (I'm not the doctor here, I'm just quoting). This argues that introducing wolves into Luna County could be the long sought solution for our teen pregnancy problem, although "loss of body condition" may be too drastic a measure.
Who would have thought that rancher kids and open range cows were really so fragile psychologically? That tough six-gun swagger and bellicose glowering bull look is just a cover up for a delicate PTSD damaged soul from childhood/ calfhood viewing of a wolf. The neighbor county has done what it could. Little forts have been built for the schoolchildren as they wait for the school bus and the county has hired a wolf investigator. Since, unlike local dogs and snakes, no wolf has bitten or otherwise harmed any human in New Mexico since wolf reintroduction, we presume the investigator is working on the psychological damage. In a county widely known, well before wolf reintroduction, for the amazing mental state of its residents, he will have an interesting job.
And then, on July 11, our congressman from the oil soaked eastern reaches, made a brilliant suggestion which would solve the wolf problem along with others. There are too many forest fires, he notes, caused by environmentalists forcing the forest service to follow its own policies by calling the failure to do so to the attention of federal judges.
There are probably long-haired hippies involved in this, too, but Pearce doesn't say. Pearce has a better idea. We should log the forests. No more forest, no more forest fires. And no more habitat for the wolves.
Mission accomplished doubly! "Imagine where we could be if the Forest Service would harvest our valuable timber," he dreams. I imagine we would live next to a harvested ex-forest. The Forest Service (i.e. Government) logging and selling the timber is called "socialism," Mr. Pearce. Just wanted to remind you. Or is this a scheme where somebody's friends get a contract? The last time we tried this, some contractors made out and the Forest Service actually lost money on the deal.
We could log the forest. Lots of countries do. They do it carefully, a tree at a time, with the prime goal of managing the forest, not making some bucks. The ways Americans log, mostly, is to clear cut, take all the older growth tall timber (the trees that don't burn in most wildfires, but do make a profit) and leave a mess of dead branches and debris in the sun, which burns like crazy. Then, the new growth takes a long time to be old. In the meantime, there is no forest, no timber, no profit, and all the tourism, recreation, and hunting and the jobs they spawn are gone.
Pearce does make a little concession to niceness, a sanctuary for spotted owls, a few square miles where the birds could hunker down and remember what it used to be like, sort of what the Feds did to the Apaches a few generations ago. Maybe he'd let the wolves join them. Maybe you and I could sneak in as well and hide until the Ghost Dancers bring better times. Or just maybe we've had enough of greed and craziness and we can rise up and save the whole thing. And it would have all started with your fifty cents for this newspaper.
(Quotes above are from "Mexican Wolves and the Liberal Press" by Glyn Griffin, Catron County Commissioner and Jess Carey, County Wolf Investigator, June 23 Headlight)
Win Mott is Desert Sage. He lives in Columbus, New Mexico and his column appears in the Deming Headlight on Thursday.
The original post of this column on the Deming Headlight website is here.
REPRESENTATIVE PEARCE'S MOST RECENT INSANITY INCLUDES AN APPROPRIATIONS BILL RIDER TO STRIP FUNDING FOR THE MEXICAN WOLF RECOVERY PROGRAM. CLICK HERE TO TAKE ACTION.