Letters to the Editor
An Actual Biologist
What an absolute treat to read information about wolves provided by an actual biologist in the field (YNP Wolf Expert Takes on Critics, January issue). It seems that much of the information here in southwest Montana on such topics comes from the bar stool or politicians.
Many Do Not Condone Blood Sport
My thanks to you, the Montana Pioneer, and Quincy Orhai for interviewing Doug Smith. Since the USFWS wasn't all that interested in hearing what the wildlife biologists had to say, and old public myths about wolves die hard, it's not often that the general public gets to hear the fuller story about the part wolves play in our environment.
Hundreds of hunters went out to bait, trap and shoot wolves this winter throughout the Northern America wilds, but hundreds of thousands did not because they do not condone this blood sport. They get even less of a voice in public media than the wildlife biologists do even though they reflect a dissent within a hunting culture, a gradual change that has taken place over time and has rooted deeply now. The dialogue is shut down. But, you helped to open it.
Sometimes government reflects the desires of the many, and often it keeps shoring up the desires of the few. Detailed articles like the one you published allow us a moment of exercising democracy because an informed citizenry is necessary to making informed decisions.
Cedar Mill, Oregon
Keeping Up With Montana
It is a powerful statement about the ever changing role that our great state plays in our everyday lives. Montana, with its vast wilderness, and multi-cultural cities, full of parks, people, wildlife, rugged terrain, infrastructure and roadways, colleges and universities, four different seasons. It is quite a slice of heaven when you think about it.
Montana has produced some of the most influential people throughout its history, and continues that same great heritage today. One could write volumes on that alone.
We have all that anyone could want in the way of urban appeal or for the outdoorsy sorts. If space is what you crave, Montana has it. If close encounters are calling your name (UFOs included), the cities in Montana can offer twists and uniqueness unlike anywhere else. Boasting hotels, motels, ski resorts, natural mineral and sulfur baths, bed and breakfasts, dude ranches, motorcycling envy, delicious restaurants, cafes, bars, brews and indoor/open air concerts galore. Sightseeing beyond your wildest dreams.
Excitements are happening everyday in Montana, and just around the corner. Keeping your eyes open is the key—blink, and you could miss an opportunity. Or, you could just pick up the next copy of the Montana Pioneer and find out what golden morsel of information is on tap in our wild frontier we call Montana. Thanks.
On your article about mountain men (www.mtpioneer.com archives), this article relates to me in so many ways (please excuse my spelling and or grammar. My language is Afrikaans. And I am from South Africa). I stumbled upon the article of mountain men by accident. I watch each episode of the show, about same, and until now lived my self in the so called reality. The series itself is reason why I came across your article. Believe it or not I was searching for the next remote isolated cabin job somewhere in America. I am quite sure that you are laughing at me right now. But as a man of my word I promise you it is the truth. The series builds this image that there are wide spread untamed wilderness. Where men still live by their own law and rules. He survives or dies all by himself. Not once have I thought that there could be a highway or a mall even close by.
Me and my family live in a small community on a wild sanctuary. We have dozens of small and large free roaming game in the village. But it covers a small surface of land between a lot of mines. And 15km we have a small town. And 30km a large mall. So it is not so hard now to think that the "mountain men" also live in a civilized area among people. We only see what the camera wants us to see.
The same can be said when they feature the reality shows of South Africa. At times we laugh our heads off and other times they make us red with anger. What they show on tv and the real reality are so far apart. Free roaming game as we have are a rare privilege for us. I promise you that not all South Africans live like this nor would they choose to. We chose it as we love the wilderness. But I work as a millwright at a smelter just 10 km from home in an industrial area. Not every one in Africa owns a lion or elephant. You will go to jail as it is not permitted.
After reading your article my viewing experience will change dramatically. And I will no longer search Montana for a remote cabin-helper job. I always had eyes but only now they see.
But despite of all so called reality. I can tell you this, you have some of the worlds most beautiful places. The bush, mountains, glaciers, rivers, wild life is mesmerizing. You truly are blessed with a beautiful preserved wilderness. (One of my childhood dreams is to visit Yellowstone, and to see Old Faithful. And if I am lucky maybe Yogi bear as well.
EC Province, South Africa
Bravo Doug Smith Interview
The Doug Smith interview was top notch. Balanced and fair and informative. Bravo and thank you for your work.
Holding Our Attention
Just a thank you for your publication. Everything is so interesting. I agree, you can’t wait for the next continued article. You go in search at different locations so you won’t miss out. If you go on vacation—you have friends pick up the issue so you won’t miss out.