Letters to the editor (04/03/14)

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Wildlife existed here first
Editor:
I do not consider residency dating back to the 18th century a qualifier for environmental carte blanche given virtually every persecuted and maligned species in New Mexico is indigenous.
New Mexico’s environment, wildlife and water supplies were healthier and in balance prior to the agrarian/ranching invasion.
I am in total agreement that humankind (which may be an oxymoron) has created an unnatural imbalance in Valencia County and virtually all of New Mexico. Virtually every problem raised by Mr. Donald Chavez y Chavez has man being responsible for the unfortunate conditions addressed.
The true folly is placing blame on the coyote or other predators, and to suggest that this species monitors school and work schedules and plots accordingly is ludicrous. The folly is furthered by suggestions of “not hobbling coyote hunters,” which in actuality is a veiled endorsement for the deplorable killing contest nationally and internationally associated with Valencia County (which has the unfortunate nickname of “Violencea County”).
It’s pure manipulation to suggest the loss of a small child due to coyote populations, especially in a county which such a tragic history of at-risk children involved with domestic violence. It’s a well established fact that when we keep animals safe from harm, we also help keep children and adults safe as well.
If brutalizing coyotes was actually a solution, then how can their range expansion and populations be explained after they have been targeted virtually for elimination?
There is a profoundly naive expectation that non-indigenous, invasive species, including our own, somehow are entitled to live unthreatened in a hostile environment. There are solutions for peaceful and profitable coexistence, but these are met with an entrenched anti-intellectual territorial human supremacist attitude.
Domestic-companion animals should be spay or neutered, chicks and ducks can be safely contained, livestock can be contained, supervised, guard animals enlisted — it’s a long list of viable, intelligent,  solutions that do not involve killing.
Whether or not one is a “native son” or a new arrival, the environment and wildlife existed here first. It’s our job to adapt and coexist and not place further burden by profoundly bad decisions and management.

Joe Newman
Santa Fe

We need to be responsible
Editor:
I don’t dispute Mr. Chavez y Gilbert’s statements regarding there being an abundance of feral dogs and cats (thanks to irresponsible people), but I do take exception to his remarks about an increase in coyote attacks.
Check statistics from any emergency room and you would be hard pressed to find reports of coyote attacks in even a 10-year period, much less on a daily basis, which is what you’ll find as far as dog attacks go.  Statistics on dog attacks, however, do not indicate feral dogs are to blame as often as the family’s own dog or that of a neighbor.
Mr. Chavez y Gilbert also needs to do some research on the “imbalance in nature” having a “cascading effect on other wildlife habitats.”  Sir, there is one cascade that accounts for extensive damage to our ecosystem – it is the top down trophic cascade, which occurs when the removal of top predators disrupts the balance in nature.
Removal of keystone species, such as wolves, coyotes and other predators will result in elk, deer, rabbits and other herbivores taking a very heavy toll on our rangelands, riparian areas, forests and farm produce.
I applaud your concern for “ethical treatment of all animals,” however, I must challenge your statement that feral dogs, cats and coyotes are responsible for the deaths of domestic and/or farm animals.
It is the responsibility of humans to be accountable for protecting their animals, especially when you know there are threats to them. If you have animals being taken from your property, then it is your responsibility to protect them with proper enclosures or any number of non-lethal methods.
Your comment about the fires puzzles me as it seems as though you are somehow blaming coyotes and other predators for these fires. The severe drought is causing wildlife to look for food and water where it is available.
The fires are a result of the drought as well. Surely you are not advocating the removal of all wildlife because they are trying to survive are you?
On one thing we can agree, and that is the imbalance in nature is human-caused, but you are misinformed and lacking scientific data if you believe coyotes need to be removed or controlled. They self-regulate, as most wildlife does if we leave them alone.
I’m a native New Mexican, born and raised in the cattle country of Catron County. Successful ranchers and farmers take responsibility for their livestock and crops, and have found ways to use non-lethal methods of protection that are proven effective.
If you are soliciting “the support of reasonable people for the ethical treatment of all animals,” then I suggest you speak to those who have managed their animals without slaughtering others.

Judy Paulsen
Corrales

BWVC need your help
Editor:
The Business Women of Valencia County are asking for your assistance. May is “National Older American Month,” and we feel it is important to remember the senior citizens in our community.
Each year since 2004, the BWVC has collected funds and donated items to help needy seniors. You may be surprised to find that items such as cleaning supplies, warm socks and general food items are often something our seniors cannot afford and thus go without.
The funds that the Business Women of Valencia County can offer only go so far without your help. We are asking local businesses for donations which can be in the form of cash, goods or a discount for purchases from your business.
Another way to help is if you have five or more employees, then we would like to challenge your business to do an “Employee Donation Drive.”
Ask your employee’s for the five weeks in May to bring in an item each week, such as paper towels, canned meat or cereal or many other items that are needed. Come up with more ideas and see what you’re able to do for our community.
BWVC will be hosting a “Community Donation Drive” at Wal-Mart in both Los Lunas and Belen from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday, May 3, (and we will be) collecting donations to assemble gift baskets for our seniors.
Contact Nan Ziegler at 866-0798 or 866-9014 if you are able to make a donation, sponsor an “Employee Donation Drive,” help with the Walmart donation drive or have any questions.
All donations and assistance will be greatly appreciated. Thank you in advance for your generosity in helping our senior citizens.

Cheryl Ryder
President
Business Women of Valencia County