Letters to the Editor Aug. 15, 2018
Killing mountain lion counterproductiveDear Editor,
I, too, live near Sonoma Creek, one of the last wildlife corridors left providing native animals a retreat to roam, drink, and eat. I am careful with my pets at night but also am aware we live in the wild – we have to protect creatures we love. This wildness is how generations of Sonoma’s residents became co-existing partners with the apex predators who have created the healthy ecosystems invisible to our eyes.
Yes, mountain lions are much needed to keep diseases like Lyme from exploding, deer, rabbit, wild boar populations in check, water retention in our watersheds (otters, beavers), and they promote seed regeneration and forest reseeding. Importantly, apex predators, when removed from an ecosystem, can cause cataclysmic loss that is hard to repair.
When deer populations, for example, go unchecked, opportunistic plant overgrowth contributes to massive wildfires, unchecked disease and a significant loss of carbon sequestration. When the large trees are burnt, it can take centuries for new ones to take their place in trapping carbon. Fire fuel plants that combust easily become abundant, and the apex prey population becomes unchecked, leading to a cascade of biogeochemical changes that directly affect our human population. Mother Nature has her checks and balances and we continue to upset them.
Lack of risk management from the farmer contributed to this unfortunate event, as well as his/her inability to absorb a livestock loss as the cost of doing business. I am also assuming there were no lights, dogs, or human presence keeping his/her livestock safe.
We need to live in peace with the ecosystems that surround us. Saving the biodiversity of this land we call home is important. When we wantonly kill the few apex predators we have left, we ultimately hurt the human race.
Please, let’s have some constructive conversations around who is the real apex predator (us), and how we can be partners in saving the biodiversity that made this valley. This is a global problem as well, as we humans are setting the stage for our species demise through extraction, greed, and over farming. We now have more carbon in our atmosphere than ways to reduce its warming impact.
We live on the land of animals that were here long, long before our arrival. Killing them off does not make us good neighbors and hurts us far more than we imagine.
Maria Felice Cunningham
Easier solutions than killing mountain lionDear Editor,
Humans are the most deadly of all predators. Humans kill for anger, hate, sports, greed and power. Years ago, one woman casually told me that when she had a large antlered buck in her scope, she could kill it or let it live. When she pulled the trigger it made her feel like God!
Wildlife habitat is being rapidly destroyed. It is natural these creatures of the wild will seek food from unprotected enclosures. Fencing keeps domestic animals confined but not protected from hungry predators.
The Kenwood ranchers who senselessly killed our magnificent, highly valued mountain lions, had left these [livestock] animals totally unprotected for many years and even though one has now been killed, the living ones are still unprotected and vulnerable to further predation.
Try very inexpensive solar power wiring attached to the fence. It works. The predator hears the hum and click traveling through the wire. It will circle the enclosure, listen, and leave.
When all the animals are gone, there will be nothing left for humans to kill but each other.
Setting the record straightDear Editor,
The letter in August 1 Kenwood Press by Carol Smith regarding Supervisor Gorin’s failure to keep her campaign promises about where commercial marijuana should be grown has an inaccurate fact that involves me, so I must correct it.
The letter writer says that the Sonoma County Democratic Club during the last first district supervisor election interviewed all the candidates. I was a candidate in that race, and even though I’m a Democrat, the Democratic Club didn’t interview me. This is because I had intentionally declined being interviewed by the Sonoma County Democratic Party. I sent a letter to the Central Committee making it clear that I was running to represent everyone in the first district, no matter their political party, and because supervisor is a nonpartisan position, I wanted to keep it that way.
I trust that what Ms. Smith says about Gorin is true, but I wanted to clarify that not all the first district candidates were interviewed.
Boyes Hot Springs