The nugget. (Sisters, Or.) 1994-current, March 17, 2021, Page 2, Image 2

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Wednesday, March 17, 2021 The Nugget Newspaper, Sisters, Oregon
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Letters to the Editor…
The Nugget welcomes contributions from its readers, which must include the writer¾s name, address and
phone number. Letters to the Editor is an open forum for the community and contains unsolicited opinions
not necessarily shared by the Editor. The Nugget reserves the right to edit, omit, respond or ask for a
response to letters submitted to the Editor. Letters should be no longer than 300 words. Unpublished items
are not acknowledged or returned. The deadline for all letters is 10 a.m. Monday.
Turn off your porch lights
To the Editor:
A recent article in The Nugget focused on
the very real possibility of the monarch but-
terfly going extinct. Two reasons were given
for this drop in its population: the loss of its
main food source, milkweed, and climate
change. Another reason not stated is this: elec-
tric lights.
For the past 130 years, electric lights have
come to cover the globe, bringing with them
a destruction of the natural circadian cycle
shared by all living things such as butterflies,
See LETTERS on page 10
Sisters Weather Forecast
Courtesy of the National Weather Service, Pendleton, Oregon
Wednesday
Thursday
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Saturday
Partly Cloudy
PM Rain
AM Showers
Mostly Cloudy
59/37
56/33
47/30
46/29
Sunday
Monday
Tuesday
Mostly Cloudy
AM Rain/Snow Showers
Partly Cloudy
49/33
48/30
56/33
The Nugget Newspaper, LLC
Website: www.nuggetnews.com
442 E. Main Ave., P.O. Box 698, Sisters, Oregon 97759
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The Nugget Newspaper,
P.O. Box 698, Sisters, OR 97759.
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Editor in Chief: Jim Cornelius
Production Manager: Leith Easterling
Creative Director: Jess Draper
Community Marketing
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Owner: J. Louis Mullen
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Welcoming wolves?
Sisters artist Wendy Birnbaum
shot this photograph of a wolf.
A group of Sisters Country
residents are forming a
“Wolf Welcome Committee,”
with several events planned.
See op-ed, this page.
PHOTO BY WENDY BIRNBAUM
Got a great photo of life in Sisters Country?
Send your high-resolution photo to editor@nuggetnews.com.
N
Bringing back the
howl of the wolf
By Susan Prince & Jennie Sharp
Guest Columnists
<To be native to a place
we must learn to speak its
language,= wrote Robin
Wall Kimmerer, in <Braiding
Sweetgrass.=
Few of us in Sisters
Country are natives. Most
of us followed our wild
instincts to disperse, travel,
revel, and lay down roots in
a new habitat. Living here,
we learn the wild language
of Sisters Country, and if we
try, we can live in balance
with it.
Paradoxically, while the
natural splendor of Sisters
Country draws us here, our
very presence 4 even when
peaceful 4 can render it less
wild, less ecologically bal-
anced. In the last century,
humans significantly altered
the seemingly healthy forest
that surrounds us 4 the old
growth cut, fires suppressed,
wolves killed.
So, are our wild areas
really wild?
When we listen to the
wild language of Sisters
Country, we don9t hear the
howls of wolves. Less than a
hundred years ago we could.
We ask, can our efforts bring
back this missing voice, so
critical to learning the lan-
guage of our home?
Cultures across the globe
regard wolves as symbols of
the wild. We believe a forest
without wolves is not truly
wild; not truly whole.
Like humans, wolves
once populated habitats all
over the world, including
Oregon. Fear, hatred, mis-
understanding, and U.S.
government policy killed all
wolves in Oregon by 1947.
Due to a change of heart,
wolves are back; and if you
talk to a Camp Sherman
local you just might hear
a story of a recent wolf
sighting.
Wolves are currently dis-
persing across Oregon. Our
wild forests need wolves,
just as we need our wild for-
ests. We argue that we, too,
need wolves.
Wolves and humans have
coexisted in habitats across
the globe for millennia. Like
humans, wolves are coop-
erative and live in family
groups (packs) that protect
territory and invest greatly in
their offspring. We are more
similar than we are differ-
ent; and share a vast major-
ity of our genetic code. We
are both generalists and can
adapt easily to various habi-
tats. We compete for food
and territory.
We disperse. We travel.
We play. We hunt. We cud-
dle. We howl.
We know wolves come
through Sisters Country, but
a pack has yet to settle here.
We recently asked two local
Forest Service wildlife biol-
ogists whether wolves would
want to settle here. Both said
that due to human impact,
numbers of wolves9 prey,
deer and elk, are signifi-
cantly lower than in the past.
There are a lot of humans in
these parts; and wolves are
rightly shy of humans.
So, maybe not. But
maybe.
What can we do to wel-
come wolves back to their
ancestral home? What can
we do to rewild our forests?
What can we do to rewild
ourselves?
To explore about these
questions and more we have
created the Wolf Welcome
Committee. We envision
a time, in the near future,
when wolves will be recov-
ered in Sisters Country. Our
goal is to encourage a cli-
mate of peaceful coexistence
where wolves are welcomed
by their human neighbors.
Together, we will explore the
intrinsic value of wolves, the
benefits they bring to wild
nature, and the important
lessons they have to teach
humans. When appropriate,
we will advocate for non-
lethal solutions to protect
livestock.
Our first project is a
book group in partnership
with Paulina Springs Books.
In the group we will read
two newly released books:
<Reign of Wolf 21: The Saga
of Yellowstone9s Legendary
Druid Pack,= by Rick
McIntyre and <Yellowstone
Wo l v e s : S c i e n c e a n d
Discovery in the World9s
First National Park,= editors
Douglas W. Smith, Daniel R.
MacNulty, Daniel R. Stahler.
We will discuss the books
virtually on April 7, 6:30
p.m. and May 12, 6:30 p.m.
All are welcome to join.
We will host two virtual
events open to the public. On
April 28, 6:30 p.m. we will
facilitate a conversation with
Rick McIntyre, the first wolf
ranger in the National Park
Service, now retired, and
Kira Cassidy, wolf biologist.
This is an exciting opportu-
nity to interact directly with
Rick McIntyre, who has
spent more time observing
wolves than anyone on earth.
We also will host a con-
versation with local and
regional scientists examin-
ing the history and future of
wolves in Central Oregon.
To be part of the group,
visit Paulina Springs Books
to sign up in person, or you
can email us at wolfwelcome
committee@gmail.com.
Views expressed in this column are solely those of the writer and
are not necessarily shared by the Editor or The Nugget Newspaper.