Monday, June 7, 2010

Trying to take off the gloves

I love going to the woods with the dogs every morning.  In the summer its always a little cooler in the shade.  Its much safer than walking down the same road that the big gravel trucks use.  And of course its just pretty darned interesting to always have something new to see.
Do I worry about coyotes?  Of course I do .. in the same way that I worry about startling a skunk or bumping into a bear during blackberry season.   Should it stop us from going to the woods?  Not in my opinion.
Mind you.. I wouldn't dream of going to the woods by myself without the big dogs.  Nor do I insist on heading down any trail where Andy is reluctant to tread.... because I do not believe that a small senior dog with only two teeth could survive being a hobo last year without an extra measure of common sense. 
I do stay on my friends land right now and don't go wandering afield. Why?  To be perfectly honest, I'm more concerned that parents in their panic will send someone out hunting coyotes before the bounty even comes into effect.
I'm a mother and a grandmother .. so I understand that there is very little that a parent will not do to protect a child.   Unfortunately ... a coyote cull is not the path to safety for children.
It would be more to the point if DNR would send someone into the schools to teach the children about being safe around wildlife.  Country kids learn these things before they can walk ... but there has traditionally not been such a need for 'townies' to be taught.  In truth, many of their parents might not even know where to begin.
The thing that really troubles me about the coyote cull ... besides of course the obvious bit of thousands of dead animals ... besides the concern that stray and lost dogs could be at real risk .... besides the risk to human and dog safety with snares in the woods ... besides the lesson we are teaching the next generation - if it gets in your way , kill it .... besides the existing evidentiary proof that a coyote cull is ineffective .... is the thing that nobody seems to want to talk about.
Why are coyotes losing their fear of man?  Cross breeding with wolves wouldn't do that, because wolves have a very natural caution towards humans.  My flannel coated, bearded buddies think that coyotes have been cross breeding with feral dogs and THAT is very likely the reason they are losing their natural caution.
When I was a girl in Whitehorse, we were surrounded by potentially dangerous wildlife.  In the two years that we lived there, not once was there an instance in the news about a wolverine/ bear/ etc attacking a human.  Why?  I think that when we recognize hazards, people are more inclined to prepare for them.
When there were specific animals of any species that insisted on hanging around where people lived, the wildlife folks came in and relocated the animal.  Then they explained to the people how to properly store their food waste  or whatever it was that had attracted the animal in the first place.
I'm a mother and a grandmother ... so I know first hand that there isn't anything that I wouldn't do to protect the ones I love.   The most frustrating thing about the impending coyote cull is that it won't be protecting anyone's children or grandchildren. 
It will simply create an illusion of public safety that is paid for by mountains of dead coyotes. 
All it is going to do is teach yet another generation that it is acceptable to solve a problem by killing.
If you are not already accustomed to communicating with your MLA, click here for contact information.  As with any other issue ... the way ahead is always paved by strong voter feedback.  It is the only thing that will motivate politicians ... because they never ever forget that the voters "hired" them and the voters can "fire" them.
Apathy is the glove into which evil slips its hand.  Bodie Thoene

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