Mail July 14 2004 

BIG, BAD ... BAMBI

On May 5, I politely cracked my knuckles and choked back a yell or two as I heard Ron Gillette, founder of the anti-wolf coalition, speak at a hearing to decide the fate of Idaho's wolves. He began by talking about depredation and blah, blah, blah we know the rest about it. Another man said, "I want to paint a picture for you," and then went on about how wolves have killed everything--all the squirrels in the woods and were chasing the bears, which this man happens to hunt. Then more men came up and spoke that wolves have killed people so on and so forth. "No, there is another creature roaming America's woods that is far more dangerous than these big predators. The most dangerous mammal in North America is ... Bambi.

The U.S. Department of Transportation estimates that white-tailed deer kill around 130 Americans each year simply by causing car accidents. In 1994, these predator deer had a banner year, causing 211 human deaths in car wrecks. I got this off of several Internet sites, some posted for amusement others posted for defense and protecting of large predators. After getting a few facts (Internet, biologists and others) it turns out this is true. Deer cause more human deaths each year than wolves. So much for the big bad wolf.

--Molly H. Brown,

Boise

CONTROLLED HUNTS

Are you sick of applying for a controlled hunt year after year and never drawing? I am. It doesn't have to be this way. Other Western states have a point system where an unsuccessful attempt allows a hunter to accumulate points for that hunt. Once you have enough points, you can hunt. If this concept makes sense to you, and you're fed up with the current (sloppy and unfair) process, I encourage you to write a letter to your Fish and Game Commissioner. I can hear the rebuttal: "That kind of computer system is expensive and complicated." Well, I just flushed $19.50 for (another) unsuccessful attempt at three controlled hunts. There's some money for the cause. That money should at least buy me a point. As far as difficult to implement, I don't buy that. My name is on the Fish and Game's database.

If you hunt, yours is too. If our names are already collected, how hard can it be to track points for us? That's why people graduate with Computer Science degrees. Why not take $10,000 down to Boise State and give it to the first kid who makes a program that will track points for the fee-paying sportsmen?

I've been to the Fish and Game meetings. They say a point system isn't effective and hunters generally don't like it. Even if the point system has flaws, nothing could be worse than the current method.

After many unsuccessful attempts, I can summarize our controlled hunt lottery in one word: worthless.

Sportsmen, let's change something. Obviously, this isn't working. But my neighbor's wife just drew a nice hunt on her first try. She probably won't even go. Isn't that nauseating?

Send your letters to:

John Watts/Southwest Region Commissioner

P.O. Box 2601

Boise, Idaho 83701

Happy trails...

--Scott Serrano,

Chubbuck

REVELING IN RALL

This is big, fat thank you! I was overly delighted to see that you had made the executive decision to let Ted Rall's column stay in Boise Weekly. I'm sure that you'll be getting quite a few of these thank you letters from your faithful readers, and at the same time many more that will bash you for making such a decision while somewhat intoxicated. But no worries; those who aren't one with your vibe don't even deserve to be mentioned. If anything, just think that they actually had to pick up a copy of Boise Weekly and read it in order to write a letter to you. Back to the subject ... thanks again for letting Ted Rall stay and provide all of us a little cynical enthusiasm about the wonderful life that is Ted Rall.

--Dasha Velichko,

Boise

WILD ABOUT THE WHITE CLOUDS

The Boulder-White Cloud Mountains are the bounty and privilege of Idaho we all share. Mountain water has an enormous impact on all Idahoans because it is where much of the world's freshwater is stored as snow and released as cool, clean streams providing drinking water, irrigation, hydroelectric power, food production, recreation, fish habitat and other resources. The mountains of Idaho allow its residents the benefit of the greatest per capita water-use in the United States.

The future supply of mountain water depends upon thriving land and contributes to rich biodiversity. But mountains are fragile; the steepness of the slopes, severity of storms, motorized corridors, and deforestation can result in uncontrolled surface runoff, soil erosion and excessive sedimentation of downstream waters seen as lowered quality and quantity, at a detriment to people, fish, other animals and plants. These regions must be conserved complete, for when segmented, they lose their viability to translate snow to streams that flow year round, bringing the freshwater supply we depend on in the West. As Congressman Mike Simpson drafts legislation, I encourage him to recognize the need for clean, plentiful water for Idaho by protecting an intact region of the Boulder-White Cloud Ranges via wilderness designation. Please join me, e-mail: mike.simpson@mail.house.gov.

--Laura Grant,

Boise

CLARIFICATIONS

• A Boise Weekly reader wants us to clarify the definition of Idaho Housing and Finance Association (BW, News, May 26).

Idaho Housing and Finance Association is a self-supporting entity that generates revenue (fees for work, sale of mortgage bonds) to cover the cost of its operations. Although started in 1972 as a state housing agency, it became a private not-for-profit organization in 1996, dropping the sales tax backing for outstanding bonds and changing its name from Idaho Housing Agency to Idaho Housing and Finance Association. IHFA uses no state-appropriated funds or staff. IHFA is governed by a seven-member board of commissioners, appointed by the governor to four-year terms.

• Contact information for last week's cover artist: Lys Beckman, lys_Beckman@yahoo.com.

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