to the editor from this week's Chronicle:
To the Editor
Idaho County Commissioner Jim Chmelik’s opinion piece in the July 14
Chronicle raises local hot-button issues: he, like many others, hates the
federal government and wolves.
But when he writes about “the spirit that makes us great,” he becomes
harder to understand. I gather that he believes we are great to the extent
we are totally free to grow food and build shelter and do whatever else
we feel we need in order to make a living in our rural county.
Unfortunately, those freedoms were much abused when we had them.
He claims that before the feds reintroduced gray wolves, "they were
not endangered, they just did not populate our region." However, the fact
is that hundreds of thousands of wolves were poisoned with strychnine from
the 1860s until 1940, by which time there were almost none left in the
Also, wanton clear-cut logging in the nineteenth century laid waste
whole forests and led the public to demand the creation of what later became
Is Commissioner Chmelik ignorant of this history, or does he just not
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