Letters to the Editor

Ron Sutherland: Leaders failed red wolf program

Regarding Cindy Dohner’s Oct. 5 Point of View “Feds have not surrendered on saving the red wolf” defending the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s new red wolf plan: I can’t decide which slogan is more appropriate for the approach being taken by Dohner, her deputy Leo Miranda and their boss in D.C., director Dan Ashe. Should it be “Peace in Our Time,” or “Up in Smoke”?

There’s no question that the FWS leaders’ strategy has been to give the lead anti-wolf opponent (a wealthy real estate developer from Greenville) exactly what he wants, ending the program. Apparently their plan is to appease the anti-wolf/developer crowd in North Carolina, in the hope of securing some sort of truce that might save other endangered species around the region?

There’s also no arguing the point that the net effect of Dohner’s leadership over the past three to four years has been the collapse of the wild red wolf population. A $30 million-plus investment in successfully recovering one of the world’s most endangered species has been squandered, as the wolf population has crashed from a robust 120 to 150 animals to only 29 to 45 today, all because the FWS leaders have refused to defend their own program via law enforcement, public outreach or landowner incentives.

Ron Sutherland

Conservation Scientist, Wildlands Network