Looks like we’re back to a guessing game when it comes to wolves. The Obama Administration has announced they’ll review the recently announced wolf rule that would have delisted wolves in the Great Lakes and Northern Rockies with the exception of Wyoming. The rule was to be published in the Federal Register later this month and is now on hold indefinitely while the new administration takes a look at it.
If our legislators in Cheyenne were wondering what to do when the Bush Administration’s final action surrounding wolves was announced just days ago, they’re really wondering this week with the transition to the Obama Administration. Another wolf bill, legal action against the government to get delisting or go back to the table and try to find out the reasons for the action? It seems as though none of these options can be pursued at this juncture. It could take the Obama Administration until this year’s legislative session has recessed to reach a conclusion. In the meantime, environmentalists are already talking about expanded populations and expanded territories. Some have earlier said it will take 5,000 wolves to make them happy. Hopefully the Obama Administration keeps western ranchers and our wildlife in mind as they again review the wolf’s future management.
This week we do have a new president and his staff in Washington, D.C., a national decision that wasn’t supported by the majority here in Wyoming. Remember, this is not the first president in the last 50 years who doesn’t understand the West and its issues. But, whether you voted for him or not, he is still your President and the West is still part of the U.S.A. We are all Americans and we have more rights and freedoms that anyone else in the world.
It is new times with a new president who happens to be an African-American. If that bothers you, it’s time to get over it. He is our president. Whether or not we approve of his agenda, he has instilled hope in many Americans in these trying economic times. Sometimes asking people to sacrifice and giving them hope and a vision for better times in the future is the most important beginning.
So far his appointments have been centrist and pretty solid. He has even appointed some Westerners to important positions. The West has fared better than the South. They didn’t vote for him either and found themselves ignored for political positions. Personally, I’m willing to give our new president a chance. He deserves that, but in my mind the jury is still out on the new vice president.
As we wish our past administration farewell and the best for their future, we need to really thank them for making America a safer place. This action has not always been popular with everyone, but since 9-11, no one has harmed us on American soil.
We had a saying around the ranch with ranch help — “You could always tell a Texan, but could never tell them how to do something.” With President Bush this won him over with America, but in the end it harmed his popularity. But, to the end he stuck to his guns and never wavered. I respect that. He and the vice president have the same values that rural America has always looked up to. We hope time recognizes these strengths.