NO HOME ON THE RANGE (CONT.)
I cannot recall when a single article of any nature has aroused and concerned me more than The Poisoning of the West (March 8 et seq.). You are to be commended for exposing in depth the poisoning program condoned by state and federal agencies.
Is it possible that we as a people are bordering on mass insanity? One gets the impression that our particular generation is possessed with a growing passion to eliminate everything from this earth that gets in our way. More and more people seem to care less and less about what this world is going to be like 100 years hence. Thank God there is hope yet as the result of national attention being focused on these occurrences by SPORTS ILLUSTRATED and similar publications.
THE REV. LUTHER R. STOKES
First United Methodist Church
Never in my life have I read such a onesided and poisonous article as The Poisoning of the West by Jack Olsen. From Jackie Boy's first written word to his last, he set out to poison a lot of people's minds. With his poisonous ink and poisonous pen and a few thousand poisonous words Jackie Boy spread more poison over the entire world than livestock raisers have spread over the Western U.S. in the last 100 years.
Write to your heart's content, Poisonous Jack, because the strong men of the vast domestic livestock industry of this country are not going to give up their life's work to return the West to you, your kind or your wild animals! I would suggest that you, Jackie Boy, partake a little of your ink or just prick yourself with your pen.
One hour before this writing, my family and I returned home after seeing The Wild Country, a Walt Disney production. The scenery (southwest Wyoming) was breathtaking, and the good guys triumphed over the bad guys. In brief, the film gave us a feeling of pleasure and contentment. Now I find myself expressing to you my unhappiness, depression and disgust as I've just completed reading the second of the three-part series The Poisoning of the West by Jack Olsen. It is apparent that the sheepmen and the Government poisoners are blind to the damage and destruction to the biological scheme of our wilderness. By our, I mean the people of this country, particularly the children—my children.
How do I tell my children to believe in and have faith in their governmental agencies when flagrant and continuous violations of the law are committed by sheepmen who clearly "own" the Government. How do I explain how an arm of the Government (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service)can ignore its own regulations, practice subterfuge and deception and play games with statistics in order to justify its sickening programs?
While the slaughter of wild game, the destruction of the ecological balance and the occasional loss of human life depress me, the unknown climax to such fun and games frightens me.
FRANCIS P. HILL
After reading your article on poisoning and the two rebuttals by Jack Berryman, chief of the Government's Wildlife Services, and Edwin Marsh, executive secretary of the National Wool Growers Association, I'd just like to know who's lying! According to Berryman, only the most humane toxicants with the least impact on the environment are used, and none of the poisons used moves through the food chain. This doesn't exactly fit your description of 1080—"difficult to imagine a more insidious homicidal poison"; "extremely hazardous to animals higher in the food chain"; "does not degrade easily."
Berryman claims, "We have not brought to the verge of extinction any target animals, let alone any of the others." In contrast to this, we are given quotes from men who actually live in the area (i.e., Glenn Sutton, Charles Orlosky and Paul Maxwell) expressing deep concern over the rapid disappearance of once abundant and relatively harmless animals.
As for Edwin Marsh, who obviously places the "survival" and profit of the wool industry over the ecological balance of nature, I say keep up the good work. If you don't think the present poisoning program is adequate, develop even more deadly toxicants, and eventually maybe you'll have a strain of coyote that is resistant to all poisons. Then it will be baa-baa wool industry.
Fort Dodge, Iowa