ANOTHER DISASTER FOR WILDNESS
An essay by Lynette Brooks, HUPC Board Member, Sandy
I attended the Utah Wildlife Board meeting in December to hear discussions about the spring bear hunt and wolves in Utah. My hope of someday having a psychic conversation with a mother bear would not let me stay away. I have been to enough of these to know the results, and should have been prepared for the sadness, but the desire of some to kill these magnificent animals never ceases to distress me. The desire of some, I say, because I do not wish to believe it is the desire of most, or even many. The results were that bears will probably be killed in spring 2001, and that wolves will never be allowed in Utah if the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service delists them.
The discussion of the board revolved only around the fear of these wild animals acting like wild animals; their beauty, their place in the wild, their right to live unharassed were never discussed.
So what, I ask myself? I have never seen a wolf and have seen only one bear in Utah, so why do I feel this sadness? Because bears will not be able to emerge from their dens in the Uintas and elsewhere unharassed. Because wolves will not be allowed to reestablish packs on the Uintas, a large, wild landscape that is missing enough predators to complete the wildness. Because, on a completely selfish note, I will never be able to hear a wolf howl in the Uintas, a place where echoes of their old howls still ring.
The impacts of the decisions pre-made by the Utah Wildlife Board (predestined, given the makeup of the board) affect the wildness, both of the Uintas and of those of us who love the wild and the predators who belong there.