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    Who benefits from ‘managed use’ of wildlife?

    Who benefits from ‘managed use’ of wildlife?

    In Leila Philip’s pursuit of “bipartisanship” (“Bullets save wildlife,” Opinion, Aug. 2), she forgot to ask why American conservation shifted from a “John Muir ideal of preserving wilderness in a state unaltered by man” to a “managed-use” model. Who benefits from such a shift? And is the cruelty of trapping, in which many animals chew off their trapped limb to alleviate the pain and free themselves (callously called “wringing off” by the industry), really her idea of “meaningful connection to nature”? Beavers have been around far longer than humans have. Maybe our aggressive, unchecked development policies are forcing more beavers into narrower habitats. Maybe we are the ones who need population control.

    Given Philip’s failure to raise a basic question, does it not follow that there is something perverse, if not paradoxical, that “gun sales” save wildlife? For what? A shooting gallery? Does not wildlife have a right to enjoy its habitat free of bullets and development? Does wildlife exist only for human convenience? Surely there are more constructive, less harmful ways to “save wildlife.”

    With “Democrats” like Philip, who needs Republicans?

    Dana Franchitto

    South Wellfleet

    What do assault rifles have to do with hunting?

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    Re “Bullets save wildlife”: The title is certainly a head scratcher. Is Philip attempting to cloud the issue of assault rifles by intermixing arguments for wildlife conservation with the ban on assault rifles in Massachusetts? I admittedly am not a hunter, but I don’t believe hunters need assault rifles to hunt deer, wild turkey, moose, and the like; and I find her question — “How much income for wildlife would be lost if assault rifles are banned?” — absurd. I am a Vietnam War veteran, familiar with assault weapons used by the military in a war zone, and such weapons aren’t needed by civilians to hunt deer and wild turkey.

    Antonio Cosentino

    Burlington