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PRI's Environmental News Magazine

Listener Letters

Air Date: Week of March 11, 2005

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We dip into the Living on Earth mailbag to hear what listeners have to say.

Transcript

CURWOOD: Time now for your comments.

[LETTERS THEME UP AND FADE UNDER]

CURWOOD: Our recent story, "Sacrificial Ram" evoked strong feelings from many listeners. In the broadcast writer Daniel Duane tells of tagging along with a hunter who paid almost 60,000 dollars for a permit to kill an endangered bighorn ram in Baja, California. Ninety percent of the money went toward the preservation of bighorn sheep

But Victor Gerard, a listener in western Massachusetts, says this conservation plan needs to be reconsidered.

GERARD: I think we gotta think more about this. Why don't we find rich people who want to keep them alive without hunting them donate $60,000 and keep the old man alive? Let him pass his genes on until he drops in his drawers.

CURWOOD: And a listener to WBEZ in Lockport, Illinois, found little solace in Duane's recounting of the actual kill. Whitney Cox writes, "Your guest commented that when shot and killed, the ram was in good health, was of a mature age, was among his family, eating his favorite food. What better time to be shot and killed? he asked.

I am 54, in good health, and was planning on having dinner at a nice restaurant with my family tonight. I just cancelled."

CURWOOD: Yet plenty of listeners supported the conservation effort. Dan Harasty who listens to Philadelphia's WHYY, is one of them. He writes, "I would describe myself like Daniel Duane: left-liberal east-coast environmentalist-type. I've never been hunting and, as a younger man, had similar stereotypes of the ‘redneck hunter.' However, the conservation program described in the story makes perfect sense to me, and I give praise to the organization, Mexican government, and residents near the game preserve for pulling it off."

Roger Abbott in Michigan agreed.

ABBOTT: I support the hunting for the sake of the preservation of animals, for preservation of their habitat, like the bighorn sheep program, because when it comes to helping endangered animals, the most important thing is to think of this: It's their habitat, stupid. Loss of habitat is the greatest danger to all animals who are facing extinction. It's not hunters, it's not ranchers shooting wolves, it's the preservation of habitat.

Also, some of you objected to our interview with writer Ken Lamberton who wrote a collection of nature essays while serving 12 years in prison for having sex with a 14 year old girl .

Tim Lacy listens to Living on Earth on KQED in Sonoma, California. He writes, "Regardless of the merits of his work, I do not think it is appropriate to highlight child molesters on your show. If people want to read his essays, and he can find a publisher, that is a personal choice. However, I object to making this man a celebrity."

CURWOOD: Your comments on our program are always welcome. Call our listener line any time at 800-218-9988.That's 800-218-99-88. Or, write us at 20 Holland Street, Somerville, Massachusetts 02144. Our email address is comments at loe dot org. Once again, comments at loe dot org. [LETTERS MUSIC THEME FADES IN] You can hear our program any time on our web site, Living on Earth dot org.That's Living on Earth dot org.

[LETTERS THEME ENDS COLD]

CURWOOD: Coming up: if you can't stop washing your hands or pulling your hair it may be in your genes. Genetics and obsessive compulsive behavior is next on Living on Earth.

[MUSIC: "Come Dancing" Jeff Beck: Wired (Epic) 1976]

 

 

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