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I enjoyed the article “Man vs. Wolf” (6/20/13) but wish Mr. Jones had included a few more facts. He mentions that advocates emphasize that wolf’s account for only a miniscule number of livestock deaths, and then gave some numbers from official reports for the entire Northern Rocky Mountain region. The numbers cited are indeed miniscule, but a few additional facts would help people unfamiliar with the data understand this better. One indicator is cattle and calf deaths. The USDA prepares a report once every 5 years documenting the causes of cattle and calf deaths due to predator and non-predator causes, and the most recent is for 2010 (see http://usda.mannlib.cornell.edu/usda/current/CattDeath/CattDeath-05-12-2011.pdf). This report states that the percentage of deaths from non-predator causes is 94.5%, and the percentage of deaths caused by predators is 5.5%. The percentage of all cattle and calf deaths caused by wolves is 0.2%. Another part of the article where a little more info would have been helpful is that Mr. Jones didn’t mention that Mr. Rockholm is paranoid. I went to a public meeting held by the IDFG in Coeur d’Alene once that Mr. Rockholm attended and he was wearing a side arm. The only thing I could figure is that he was actually afraid the pro-wolfer´s might attack him during the meeting. But perhaps the reason Mr. Jones didn’t mention Mr. Rockholm’s paranoia is because it didn’t seem necessary. Mr. Rockholm did a pretty good job of showing the reader this using just his own words. Still, I think it would have been useful to the reader if Mr. Jones had explicitly pointed this out. Like the facts presented above, there are people who don’t know Mr. Rockholm and who might actually believe that they need to be afraid of wolves, or that they can’t go anywhere without a gun, or that they can’t let their children play outside because a wolf might eat them. I thought everyone knew that Little Red Riding Hood was a fairy tale, but I guess I’m wrong.
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