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Of Wolves and Men

Maybe the reason that there have been slurs against Larry Lightner as a person is because of the old saying a man is as good as his word. It is difficult when important issues that people work very hard to clarify and represent often for years like ATV travel, wolves and their future, the health of the Gila River, or the simple things we take for granted about the natural world around us are written about with a narrow and superficial style in columns. I know there have been articles that have shown more depth but many people will read the short version before the long, and think that is a full picture.

I personally commented on the ATV /Lightner column and addressed the tactics and style of writing I found empty. Someone wrote something about me in the next issue but I understand if they feel my words are uptight, and that I might be as well. I am sure I am but I know also engaging with a perspective with others in controversial ways teaches us about ourselves. I do not know why we have to resort to who is good, who represents true community or summarize each other's character in the process, and all the other tiresome ways we create gated ways of living even within work with a well meaning outcome.

I think it is poor taste to use a letter to the editor to vent issues with another community member as I saw in the April issue when the time has not been taken to speak in person about them. I find that approach is just an opportunity to take out a grudge and not an opportunity to look at the overall efforts of another human being or to understand how personalities might clash. If anything e-mail and even writing has created this kind of distance between talking or the old town meeting or simply standing over the fence to relate kind of way. Rule of thumb: I think picking up the phone and saying, "Let's go for a walk and talk," is a lot more constructive, but we don't often take the time to do this and it is a shame. We talk a great deal about community in this area but we spend very little time being in one just as people, and more time debating topics, and worthy projects; we build friendships often on what group we are in, and see people more from what they do rather than who they are—just human.

Nanda Currant
via email


Larry Lightner once again, wrote an excellent article ("Ramblin' Outdoors," April). Being prepared in the wilderness or anywhere else for that matter is good planning that might keep one from possible misery and harm. Larry always talks from experience and research.

His latest article seems to be a little less controversial than past articles that he has written. His article in March brought out such hate and bitterness from people who disagree with his stance on wolves. I was taken back by those who disagree with Larry on the lobo issue. Not because they disagree—that is their right—but because of the avenue they chose to use. Have any of these people ever heard of tolerance? Do they feel that the only way to get their point of view across is to personally attack a person with total inaccuracies? I can understand having a different viewpoint, but to call someone ignorant just because they think different is really sad. It think it says a lot about these people who love to engage in charter assassination.

I remember traveling as a child with my family in the 1960s through the Deep South. Even as a small child, I could see the prejudices towards African-Americans in that region. What is scary, even though this is a different topic, is that the same hatred and lack of ability to communicate with reason, which I saw in the South, is portrayed by those who disagree with Larry. Regardless of where a person stands on the "lobo" issue, some of these people who respond with such poison towards Larry remind me of the KKK. These people need counseling.

Roger Maris
Silver City


Larry Lightner's latest article on being prepared was great. I guess Larry needed to take a break from the hot topics because of the envrio-religious left that cannot wait to crucify him for having a different opinion. It was interesting to see the environmental wackos come to life. The great saviors of the world are here and we all can rest now. All we need to do is just turn off our brains and follow as the helpless blind idiots that they think we are, and everything will turn out great. I just love it when these enviro-religious nuts try to cram their religion down our throats.

After all, they're here to save the world, and by chance if you disagree with them, you can expect character assassination. They love to use their McCarthy style of journalism, with inaccurate information and false accusations. If you disagree with these lobo jihad crazies, they become furious.

There is no dialog with these people. The hard-working ranchers have worked with all honesty and integrity to communicate, but to no avail. When a person really takes a look at the Mexican Gray "Hybrid" Wolf Reintroduction Program, things look a little funny. In all accounts, the federal agencies are in bed with the enviro-religious left-wing loonies, and stuff does not add up. I think there needs to be an independent investigation of this failed program to uncover what might be illegal activity. It is now time to bring "lobo-gate" into full view. There seems to be coercion forced upon the honest ranchers of the Southwest by the federally funded terrorists and the US Government. These lobo lovers will scream in your face and shout you down if you disagree with their ill-fated agenda, while they are on their way to the next "Peace Coalition Meeting." What a farce.

Matthew Jones
Silver City


Thanks again, Larry Lightner, for an inquisitive and informational article. "Just in Case" (April) was well written and will save someone from a headache down the road. As always, Larry does a great job in taking a subject and writing in-depth about it. One thing I do appreciate about Larry is that he always does his homework. Never does he write off the cuff, though there are some who disagree with him on some subjects. My question on those who disagree is why do they write back with such hatred? I mean, come on. Some of these people need to take a chill-pill. They do not have to agree with Larry. It is perfectly OK to make a strong case against Larry's article, but to respond with such meanness and lack of self-control?

There are those who are in support of the reintroduction of the Gray Wolf who will discuss their beliefs with reason and civility and there are others who will not debate in a civil manner. It became apparent in the last "Letters" that some who do not see things the way Larry does, respond with such disrespect for open argument. To attack someone personally for his beliefs, using such spiteful words, is a sad commentary for the pro-wolf people. I have never meet Larry, but as always I look forward to his next "Ramblin' Outdoors."

Sergio Garcia


Just got finished reading Larry Lightner's article "Just in Case." Very good. Even though Larry will write about something that gets some people's dandruff up, it's all good. There needs to be open debate on a lot of concerns facing us southwesterners that other people do not have. I find Desert Exposure and Larry's articles that bring hot-button topics to the forefront a great venue to discuss these issues.

I do find it somewhat unfortunate that some choose to respond to Larry in a way that is incorrect. Deirdre Wolf says Larry murders animals for no good reason. Wrong, he hunts animals in a legal fashion. He does so because he likes to eat wild game. He and millions of others do and can because it is legal. Deirdre might not like it and that is OK, but it is OK for Larry to hunt. If Deirdre does not like it, tough. Get over it and quit trying to impose your beliefs on us. S. Gardner mentioned that Larry was arrogant and ignorant. Hmm, it sounds like if you believe different than S. Gardner that you are arrogant and ignorant. I think that S. Gardner revealed who really is arrogant and ignorant.

Anyway, let the debate continue but in a peaceful manner. Let's have open discussion without the name calling and demeaning and belittling remarks. Come on, Deirdre, S. Gardner and Joanne Cockerill, let your speech be with grace, seasoned with salt. Practice peace, not hatred.

Susie Forest
Lake Roberts


About two years ago I read in the paper that someone in Pinos Altos had (somewhat hybrid) wolf puppies. It was Valentine's Day, so my wife and I went to see it, finding the cabin in the forest. There were three puppies and a mama wolf. I made a deal with the man—the biggest wolf puppy against my .300 Savage rifle. We called her "Cheyenne" and brought her home. She felt at home right away and made friends with our two other big dogs.

Cheyenne was different than a dog. When someone came, she kept her 100-foot safe distance; only the meter-reader lady was allowed to get closer, but no closer than 10 feet. Cheyenne was never aggressive, never unhappy, very gentle, very big, very beautiful and mysterious. We have 13 acres at the edge of Silver City. Sometimes our "gang" needed more than that, but they were known and tolerated. We loved our Cheyenne. She wouldn't hunt anything bigger than a squirrel or a jackrabbit. She was a happy canine.

One day, she came home from a stroll, poisoned. In the early morning hours, she died under her favorite big pine tree. That year, the big pine tree died, too.

Hans and Karen Kruse
Silver City


No Free Launch

Very informative article about the proposed Spaceport ("Failure to Launch," April). I especially liked the sidebar piece; it's always good to be reminded about how facts may be twisted depending upon which ax a person wishes to grind.

I was surprised that the Dona Ana County commissioners did not want to postpone the vote until at least some of the commitments had been met, and further surprised that the voters went for it, though they did not in a big way.

Of course John L. Hummer is "more than willing to adjust his personal expenses to pay the monthly amount"—he's probably a millionaire at least once over. I doubt he will even notice when the sales tax reaches 20 percent! Along with a steep sales tax percentage, New Mexico also has a pretty enthusiastic state income tax rate.

I always wonder why, when these billionaires have these wonderful ideas, they always seem to want to fund them with the money of others? I suppose if one is worth $6 billion, it's real scary to think that you might wind up with just a mere billion if the venture failed.

New Mexico would seem to be a good choice for the Spaceport without having to provide huge incentives. Columbus, Ohio, while having a skilled work force, hardly has the nearly year-round good weather of New Mexico. With the many years that White Sands has been in operation, a skilled workforce should also exist in Southwest New Mexico. One need look only as far as Silver City and its experience with the Stream Co. to see how easy it is for a company to walk, no matter how large an incentive was paid to get them in town to start with.

I doubt that we will see Mr. Branson signing anything like a 20-year commitment unless it has included in it a whole lot of "ifs, ands and buts."

Space tourism sure doesn't sound very viable for the near future; the technology has a long way to go before it's anywhere close to being as safe as a cross-country airline flight. The first crash with humans aboard (and there will be one) will pretty much kill any enthusiasm there is for it right now.

The Spaceport might be a better investment if the focus were more on launching payloads and doing contracted research than on space tourism.

I'm certainly not against the idea. I wish the federal government would spend more on such things and less on wars. It's just that I would like to see these wealthy folks invest and raise their own money for the project. They stand to gain the most if it does succeed.

Craig D. Merz
Silver City


Let us hear from you! Write Desert Exposure Letters, PO Box 191, Silver City, NM 88062, email letters@desertexposure.com or fax 534-4134. Letters are subject to editing for style and length. Deadline for the next issue is the 18th of the month.


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