The big bad wolf...and other fairytales

Yesterday in the mail I received a letter from an 8 year old boy named Ben.  He had chosen to study the gray wolf for his school’s endangered species fair only to find out that the wolves in the Rocky Mountains were being removed from the endangered species list without adequate protections to ensure their long term survival. 

He wrote a letter to the Bush administration asking them to keep protecting the wolves and got almost 170 signatures from kids, teachers and parents at his school.  Keenly seeing beyond the rhetoric, Ben implores in his letter, “Please don’t let the fairy tales about wolves being mean make you think they are our enemies.”

I’m preparing to send a letter back to Ben thanking him for his efforts.  And I’m glad that I can tell him that for now a federal judge has reinstated protections for the Rocky Mountain wolves

But Ben’s letter raises another sharp point.  Our children these days are not afraid of wolves – they’re afraid there may not be wolves and other majestic wildlife around when they grow up.  And that story is enough to scare anybody.

Gray wolf

About the Authors

Sylvia Fallon

Senior Director, Wildlife Division, Nature Program

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