A bad idea
EDITOR: Our Mendocino Board of Supervisors is considering approval of a $170,000 contract with USDA Wildlife Services to indiscriminately shoot, poison, and trap wildlife predators that might hurt ranching and agricultural production. I think it’s a bad idea.
County impacts from the COVID crisis has made our financial situation much tighter than usual. Spending $170,000 of county money for this unpopular, short-sighted, unnecessary program needs to be discontinued at this time of budget shortfalls.
Predators are a legitimate issue for ranchers, and these landowners already have the legal right to shoot wild animals encountered in the act of molesting or injuring their livestock, they can also get depredation permits from CDFW. Perhaps a portion of the county money saved from not renewing the USDA Wildlife Services contract could assist ranchers with alternative humane approaches to limit livestock depredation. Neighboring Sonoma and Marin counties have tried this approach with positive outcomes. Taking science based non-lethal approaches can get good results.
Wildlife belongs to the State of California, they are not landowner property. Without a permit you don’t have the right to kill wild animals living on or passing through your land. Wildlife has an intrinsic value that should be respected. Subsidizing irresponsible ranching techniques with county funding for; shooting, poisons, and traps, isn’t the only way of protecting livestock from predators.
Isn’t there some other county priority that would benefit from saving this $170,000 for more vital expenditures in our county?
Amateur historian of the West
EDITOR: I write as an amateur historian of the West. I have grown up in Utah, Montana, Wyoming and California. As the former National Director of the Bureau of Land Management, I traveled weekly to the West. One of my higher aims was to find ways of uniting our diverse population around a common theme of shared public lands. Frequently I would discover “historic names” that reflected serious and dangerous racism. As an example, Negro Bill Canyon in Grand Canyon was a remnant from the 1870s. We changed the name to avoid the connotation, clearly meant, of superior-inferior. Gen. Bragg was an out-andout racist. The lingering racist name attached to your beautiful city needs to be changed, so all are welcome and comfortable. I hope you will fulfill your leadership duties and move your city into the uniting, 21st century.
Independence Day thoughts
EDITOR: “God Bless America,” on this anniversary of our country, I am thinking of the year 1775, when the 13 American colonies, fought a war for independence from British rule. The ruler of Great Britain, King George, the third, imposed taxes on the colonies without any representation in Parliament. A tax on tea was the final insult to the newly formed nation, and resulted in the “Boston Tea Party.”
The colonists were subject to many hardships on their journey to America and once on land faced unfamiliar wilderness, wildlife, and native Indians. “Taxation without representation” was the deciding factor for the Revolutionary War. Congress chose George Washington as Commander in Chief of America’s armed forces. He led them to victory through eight years of bloody, freezing conflict.
King George the third presided over the loss of the American Revolution in 1783.
These are my thoughts today. Peace is not always possible and engagement in hostilities is at times the only solution. My freedom today is the result of the Revolution in 1775. Our freedom through the years was often been protected by other hostilities, and by the many stalwart citizens, that paid the ultimate price to maintain freedom. This is our history, we must never forget, we must be vigilant and protect this precious legacy for future generations. These are my thoughts today.
Our Declaration of Independence
EDITOR: We watched “Hamilton” last night. Recommend signing up for Disney+, if only to see this amazing work (And you couldn’t get these seats for $1,000). Seeing people of color as our founding fathers is especially moving in this time. What kind of nation might we have if we hadn’t built it on the backs of enslaved people?
Hadn’t noticed in the Declaration of Independence, we accuse King George thusly: “He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.”
The real inhabitants of “our frontiers” were, of course, those Indians. And we too might get merciless if our land, lives and culture were stolen.