I tried to stay out of the debate, but Calvin Lary’s letter about “nature’s way of balance” was just too much to swallow.
Yes, nature has a way of balancing life out here on the Plains. It is an ancient plan and has worked for eons, until man came out here and tried to turn nature into his back yard.
The plan involved buffalo, coyotes, prairie dogs, ferrets, owls and rattlesnakes. Prairie dogs were the anchor of this plan. They created an environment of burrows and well-trimmed grasses. The short grass provided a rich source of food for the traveling herds of buffalo and the burrows provided homes for many animals.
The ferrets, owls and rattlesnakes living in the burrows would feed on the young prairie dogs and coyotes would feed on anything they could catch in the prairie dog town.
This worked for ages until man arrived.
First he killed off the buffalo, killed every prairie dog, rattlesnake and coyote he saw and then he put up fences. Next he bred his cattle and horses to be docile and stupid, so they were easier for him to handle.
And what happened?
The coyotes, robbed of their natural diet, found easy pickings in the offspring of this unprotected livestock.
So what does the modern rancher do to fix this problem? He has coyote hunts, rattlesnake roundups and when he’s bored on a Sunday afternoon he plays “Whac-A-Mole” with a high-powered rifle and the unsuspecting occupants of any existing prairie dog towns.
What great stewards of the land.
I’m sure our grandchildren will thank them.