Wednesday, December 11, 2013

The Paradox of Bighorn Sheep

I would love to say I'm excited about the reintroduction of Bighorn Sheep to the Catalina Mountains, but unfortunately I see several glaring inconsistencies.

For one, the previous herd died out. How have conditions changed so much that this herd will live? But what bothers me the most is my fear that this is all being done to provide hunters something to hunt. This question has been asked, but the answers have been far too vague. 'Yes, maybe in the future.' Who is really behind this? And where are the mountain lions? Have they been taken out of the equation, exterminated to provide safe habitat for the sheep? They are the ones who deserve to be here and they are the ones that should be protected. They are already vilified and I'm sure killed by cattle ranchers. And if dogs aren't allowed in the area because they disturb the sheep, what about coyotes?

I say search in the background for who came up with this idea and follow the money. It's the only way to uncover the truth. I may be a skeptic and I hope I'm wrong, but too many projects are backed by the wrong doners. What is supposed to give residents a glimpse into the past may instead bring the sound of shooting.

For those of us who really care about ecology and habitat retrieval these questions need to be answered. Shame on me for not attending the open forum to discuss this, but I fear that my dissenting voice would not have made much difference. On the other hand it is important to speak out for what we believe in and to fight for what we know is right.

Thanks for reading and I would love your opinions on the subject.

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