Donít Shoot the Messenger
by Dawn Ballou, Editor, Pinedale Online!
April 3, 2008
The wolf delisting issue is very controversial and highly emotionally-charged. We understand and appreciate that there are those who vehemently disagree with the delisting and the next step which has allowed legal shooting of wolves for any reason. We read many of the blogs and know every time a new article gets posted on us that tells of another wolf being killed it makes some people hopping with rage.
However, we want to point out that we arenít making the news here, we are just reporting it. In addition, we arenít the ones who make the laws which govern wolf management in Wyoming.
Weíre starting to see some pretty ugly e-mails come in from some people who somehow think that because our reporter, Cat Urbigkit, is reporting the news about the post-delisting wolf killings in our area, that somehow is ďchest beatingĒ and in support of the killing. There have also been some outrageous statements about the folks in Daniel, Wyoming because of the recent wolf killings near there, as if the town residents are somehow personally responsible for those wolves that were legally killed near their town. Daniel is a tiny town with a population of 110. The hunter/s who killed the wolves near Daniel may not even have been from Wyoming, but somehow Daniel residents are the target of the anger and blame in some peopleís minds. That isnít fair.
Do you shoot your mailman when he brings you a bill? We sponsor Catís Wolf Watch because we want to know what is going on with wolf news around us, and she watches all that very closely and has for years. Wolves have a significant impact on our local ranchers and on recreation in our Upper Green River Valley. Pinedale Online isnít making a statement in favor or against wolves, we just want to track what is happening with them as it relates to our lives here. Cat is very interested in hearing all wolf-related stories and incidents. No, we donít beat our wives and stomp on our kids. We also do not want every living creature killed, as one woman wrote in and claimed. We love living in Wyoming, are proud of our culture and environment, and are happy with our western lifestyle. The people who live here each have their own viewpoints and perspectives on wolves. Some love wolves. Some hate wolves. Some are completely indifferent. It is totally unfair to lump everyone in the state of Wyoming into a ďthey all hate wolves in that stateĒ pot. The reality is that wolves are large predators that have an impact on the lives of the people who live in our valley, and because of that, what they do and what happens to and because of them, is news for us here.
Donít like the current wolf management laws? Please call or write your local legislators or join advocacy groups that support your viewpoint and try to get the laws changed more to your liking. Few in Wyoming disagree that itís great to have wolves in Yellowstone National Park. Having them get in our corrals dining on our livestock here in Sublette County is another matter, and please understand if we squawk when that happens.
We were quite appalled to read in a wolf worship blog recently asking his readers to call our local newspaperís advertisers and ask them to not advertise with the paper because he doesnít like Catís style of reporting on wolf activity here. While we certainly respect anyoneís right to a different opinion, this blogger is confused on some of his facts. We want to clarify that Pinedale Online is not a part of either of our local newspapers. We are completely separate business entities, and our content is entirely on the Web. We are proud to sponsor Cat Urbigkit and Wolf Watch on Pinedale Online, and we are entirely responsible for the content that appears on our website and on Catís Wolf Watch section. We are proud that we are able to provide our content for free and not charge our readers a subscription fee to get access to our stories. Readers who donít like what is printed in a newspaper can stop buying and reading that newspaper. Readers who donít like what appears on our website are certainly welcome to move on and get their wolf news from other websites. If Catís Wolf Watch is your ongoing source for finding out about the wolf happenings in our area, we hope you appreciate the time and research she puts into each story to get that news out to you.
We encourage any of our readers to write a Letter to the Editor to us if you think any of the content in Catís articles is factually inaccurate. Tell us where you think there is an error in her facts and weíll check it out. Sheíll post a correction if we find she got something wrong. If the only news you want to hear is in support of wolves with a slant of outrage at the new legislation and each new reported wolf kill, there are plenty of online blogs that support that viewpoint. You can rant all you want on those websites and have a whole cheerleading squad behind your every word. If you want wolf news as it happens as it relates to the world around Pinedale, good or bad, stick with us and Cat will keep you informed on what is going on.
We encourage debate on any of our stories and the issues that face those of us who live in Pinedale. We donít make the wolf laws and canít change the ones you may not like, whatever your position is on wolves, pro or con. E-mails full of personal attacks do nothing to further the debates. We welcome your comments, but ask that you ďdonít shoot the messenger because you donít like the news.Ē
Dawn Ballou, Editor, Pinedale Online!
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