A funny way to celebrate National Wolf Awareness Week

By Katharine Mieszkowski
Published October 22, 2004 7:26PM (EDT)

The Bush-Cheney campaign picked an ironic day to release its latest fear-mongering attack ad, which features wolves as a menacing metaphor for terrorists. "This is the last day of Wolf Awareness Week in this country. The purpose is to debunk the myth about wolves being threats to humans," says Rodger Schlickeisen, president of Defenders of Wildlife Action Fund, the political arm of the non-profit, which has helped foster wolf recovery in the U.S.

The week for wolves is being celebrated in such swingy election states as Michigan, Minnesota and Ohio. But apparently Bush hasn't gotten the message: No human being has ever been killed on U.S. soil by a wolf. "They are misusing the imagery of wolves to try to instill fear in the voting public," says Schlickeisen. "George W. Bush is the most anti-wildlife President we've ever had. And yet, here he is turning to what some would consider the very symbol of endangered wildlife in America for assistance in perpetuating his anti-wildlife administration." Maybe the Bush-Cheney camp has already long ago given up hope of winning the wolf-lover vote anyway.

"If that's not enough, his department has been terrible on wolves," Schlickeisen continues. "The Department of the Interior has proposals right now to remove endangered species protection prematurely that the wolves need to continue to survive. There are several lawsuits pending against them by conservation groups like ours.

"The interesting thing is that wolves have suffered from kind of myth perpetuation for a century, but the real wolf at their door right now is the Bush presidential campaign, which threatens four more years of its anti-wildlife policies."

Katharine Mieszkowski

Katharine Mieszkowski is a senior writer for Salon.

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