After decimating the timber industry, our government has decided that the best way to save the spotted owl is to kill the barred owl. Throughout time, species less able to compete have been replaced by others that are more adaptable, stronger or better suited for the environment. This is called natural selection. So today, our tax dollars are spent to try to alter the process of natural selection. The laws of nature will triumph.

The government wants to transplant 200 grizzly bears into the North Cascades. To the best of our knowledge, the area has never supported that number of bears. Early settlers in the North Cascades did not write of the giant bears as they did in the Rocky Mountains. Why weren’t the bears here? Why does government believe the bears will choose to stay if they have never inhabited the area in those numbers before? Once again, the laws of nature will triumph, and taxpayers will lose. Grizzly relocation is estimated by the National Park Service to cost $100,000 per bear for a total of $20 million. It's enough money to waive permit fees and build almost 700 “more affordable” houses ($30,000 average cost for a building permit). It’s about priorities.

How much are we spending to kill owls? The Oct. 16 article, "Owl killings spur moral questions about human intervention," didn’t give any cost figures. What’s the cost of decimating the timber industry in Washington? It all is part of the cost in our government’s crusade to alter the laws of nature.

Does it cost more to transplant wolves into Washington? Or for government-paid hunters in helicopters to kill them for being wolves?

Don’t we have better uses for our tax dollars than paying our employees to kill animals? Or to relocate them? Or relocate them and then kill them? It’s about priorities.

Mike Newman

Sedro-Woolley

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