The Mountain Express is central Idaho’s major weekly newspaper. It is published in the Wood River Valley, where a fair number of fairly rich people live amongst the larger population. This makes the area a target for “populist conservatives” who think that wealth means liberalism.

At any rate, here is their local look at the hunt. As judge deliberates, wolf hunt begins. Hunting opens in Sawtooths; 11,000 tags sold in Idaho. By Jon Duval. Express Staff Writer

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About The Author

Ralph Maughan

Dr. Ralph Maughan is professor emeritus of political science at Idaho State University with specialties in natural resource politics, public opinion, interest groups, political parties, voting and elections. Aside from academic publications, he is author or co-author of three hiking/backpacking guides, and he is President of the Western Watersheds Project.

56 Responses to Idaho Mountain Express’ news story on the wolf hunt

  1. avatar Jim says:

    Well, the wolf hunt made the Chicago news. I did not see the story, but my dad watched it and it was footage of interviews with the wolf hunters saying how overrun the state of Idaho is with wolves…… but at least it not just regional attention. The mindset of people in this area is that of disgust with the claims that wolves are such a problem and need to be killed.

  2. avatar Save bears says:

    Well that is interesting, beings about 2 humans are murdered in Chicago every single day, but the killing of 2 or 3 wolfs made the news? glad I don’t live in Illinois..

  3. avatar Jim says:

    Nice of you to put down where others are from… comments like that are just about as ignorant as the red neck rants about the wolves killing all the elk. If there were millions of people stacked up in your neck of the woods I would venture to guess that violent crime would increase significantly. There is crime in cities, there always has been and always will be. I would guess that about 80%+ of the state of IL is rural, and honestly there are quite a few more open minded people out this way, so don’t comment on something you know nothing about. Painting an entire area with the same brush is pretty sad, but then again that is all I seem to see people do when it comes to certain issues…….

    I don’t come on here and assume all the people that live our your way are either red necks or tree huggers. I made the post because several people were curious as to whether or not the wolf hunt would be news beyond your region. That is the last time this “unfortunate soul” who lives in a suburb of Chicago that happens to be consistently in the top 3 places in the nation to raise a family will bother posting on this site.

  4. avatar Jim says:

    One more thing. Why would you even waste your time posting if the only reason was to make pointless derogatory comments?

  5. avatar Brian Ertz says:

    i would think that folk in Chicago would be pleased with news of the wild.

    It’s been the extractive industries and the obstructionists of progress that have sought to keep the conversation about “local control” and “local entitlement” over our lands & wildlife. It’s a scam to diminish the voices of some – especially those who appreciate the wild – into believing that they are not invested – that they do not have “ownership” – that they don’t have as much a “right” to weigh in as those geographically closer.

    I think it is wonderful that news of these issues is hitting national media. We need more people, not less – to feel invested and responsibility with these issues. After all – wildlife and public lands belong to all Americans – we should all be enfranchised and made aware of these issues.

    Jim, don’t let the local supremacists rob you of your voice on these things – you have as much a right as anyone. the commonality of public lands and wildlife is one of the most important of the values constantly under assault.

  6. avatar DB says:

    We’re back in the news again in the NYTimes. Timothy Egan’s blog today on wolves and Rammel:

    http://egan.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/09/01/hunting-wolves-and-men/?apage=2#comments

    Thre are over 400 comments to this story and most don’t have a favorable impression of Idaho.

  7. avatar Jim says:

    Thanks Brian.

  8. Has anyone read some of the posts in the Idaho Mountain Express story? Oh my God- where is spellcheck when you need it!

  9. avatar jerryB says:

    Jim…..don’t judge everyone here because one person makes an ignorant, senseless comment.
    Stick around.

  10. avatar ProWolf in WY says:

    If I lived in Idaho I would hope that people didn’t think the people who posted on the article in the Mountain Express represented Idaho as a whole.

  11. avatar Debra K says:

    Idaho deserves to get a black eye for its poorly designed and executed wolf hunt. How many progressive folks and businesses are going to want to move here after hearing about shooting “wolfs” for the fun of it and the Rammell remarks about Obama tags?

    On the other hand, where were all these concerned citizens when the feds were proposing de-listing the wolves? A torrent of letters/calls to their senators and congresspeople might have stopped the delisting charade, which don’t forget, came under the Obama administration. The blame rests on ALL of us for letting those in power ram through this farce.

  12. avatar Lynne Stone says:

    Debra – we tried, believe me we tried, along with the best legal minds in the conservation movement — to stop wolf delisting. If you lived in Idaho, you would understand that a “torrent of letters/calls” to our delegation, including Walt Minnick, the sole Democrat of that body, didn’t make a difference. The livestock industry, the outfitter & guides, the trophy hunters, all have the ear of Idaho’s leaders (?), Governor, and the media. It’s easy, I guess to throw stones, and criticize all those who were trying to stop delisting, but for now we have lost. If you want to help, get off the sidelines, on to the frontlines, and help.

  13. avatar SR25Stoner says:

    That’s a madhouse in there, fine example of American education if you ask me no matter which side their on, I think for the most part it is just intentional jabs at one another for the irritation effect, they must be very bored with life in general with this attempting at angering others on purpose.. This country has been divided, and politics and important issues such as our lands and heritage are being treated like some kind of sporting event, it’s really no wonder individual thought is becoming over rated and mankind in general are losing liberty’s in leaps and bounds..

  14. avatar Mike says:

    Save bears:

    I can tell you that most people in the Chicagoland area( 10 million or so) are very strongly pro-public land and wildlife conservation even though there isn’t much of it around here. Chicagoans take their public land very seriously because we have none of it here. The land here was suitable for farming and there really wasn’t any natural barrier to prevent complete and total development unlike the rocky mountains. Feel fortunate that you live close to the great outdoors. But be sure that doesn’t put you in exclusive company for understanding or caring about that.

  15. Stoner,

    I think the old media like television treats all of our issues like a sporting event; and some seek to divide us just so they can make money.

    None of the television networks are free-standing corporations any more, but parts of larger ones such as General Electric who have no interests in covering real news.

    That’s one reason why blogs are so popular . . . people fighting back, and actually talking with each other even if sometimes it isn’t very nice.

  16. avatar Eric T. says:

    Well, two days and as far as I can tell the sky is still above me.

  17. avatar Brian Ertz says:

    people are angry on both sides – it’s real. there’s a lot to be upset about.

    i’ve always wondered about the compulsion to avoid contention – whether that’s any more sane than being truthful about the way that people feel – especially when one can deliver reason and a factual basis with passion – a clear indication that people care. that, more than dry and uninteresting ‘facts’ delivered in the absence passion, are what politicians respond to – and in my opinion – it’s what the lay public responds to as well.

    nonsense is another matter – but that’s unavoidable.

  18. avatar Save bears says:

    Brian?

    supremacists?

    Interesting, but so far from the truth….and you know it…

  19. avatar gline says:

    Debra, you could consider deleting beef from your diet… and I’m not being sarcastic whatsoever… Its something you and I, or anyone else can do, especially if you hunt deer or elk (*considering the published stats on good numbers of elk even though we have wolves) Too many hormones and who wants to eat a downer cow?

  20. avatar Debra K says:

    Gline, I haven’t eaten beef for nearly 2 decades, both out of concern for my health and the land’s. I would certainly recommend that others either cut out or reduce their beef intake (and mutton or lamb, if you partake of that stuff), so as not to support welfare producers).

    And Lynne, I greatly respect the efforts you and others in Idaho made to help wolves. I also put a lot of work into seeking reasonable wolf management, as for example drafting WWP’s comments on the state’s “management plan” seeking some balance, reasonableness and respect for wolves.

    My main point is that all these people outside of Idaho who are criticizing us and the hunt sat on their hands, when they could have done something upfront on the delisting. The few of us working for wildlife in Idaho need all the help we can get from the rest of the country.

    It is unfortunate that much of the US populace is passive and uneducated about their public lands and wildlife resources, and is letting them be wasted in favor of extractive interests.

  21. avatar catbestland says:

    Debra K and gline,

    You have both hit on a VERY important issue. Not eating beef and lamb is one of the most potent weapons in our arsenal while fighting this battle to restore some of our ecosystems. Keep educating others to the destructive consequences of a meat based diet. NEVER serve beef to anyone who visits and make it an issue when dining with others. Some will think you are nuts but it is an opportunity to get the message out there. Some will listen. The consumer has a lot of power within their grasp if we will just use it. Keep telling people; “Stop eating beef, it’s killing the planet.” Wasn’t it pointed out in one of George Weurthner’s articles that you can’t be a conservationist and still consume beef? And besides, why put anymore money into the hands of people who are destroying our public lands and wildlife for profit?

    EVERYONE-stop eating beef.

  22. avatar Ryan says:

    Cat,

    Less than 3% of the beef produced in the US comes from public lands. So your “protest” is most likely hurting small time farmers like my grandpa was rather than the big bad welfare ranchers. What do you propose we eat in lieu of beef and mutton? Vast amounts of soy which leads to agricultural run off, oil based fertilizers, and truly desolate landscapes.. Or maybe fish which (farmed) which leads to the massive take of base food chain animals for food, sea lice infested dead zones, and is leading to the decline of native stocks.. Or maybe gillnetted or trawled which has a huge by catch pillages the ocean.

    If you want to not negatively affect the enviroment, the best thing to do is kill yourself… In lieu of that, what should we eat and do?

  23. avatar gline says:

    I should have known Debra! Have stopped eating beef myself for over 2 years now because of wolves and wild lands in general, and slaughter practices, hormones, mad cow disease, deforestation, you name it…It would be a very difficult habit for this country to break- and also very difficult to motivate livestock industry to change their ways…. so consumer education (re:their meat and how it got to their table) is one big solution.

    Debra I admire the work you are doing in Idaho and yes I would agree you need and deserve all the help you can get.

  24. avatar Debra K says:

    Catbestland, right on! One of the main things out of staters are saying is that they plan to boycott Idaho potatoes as a protest against the wolf hunt.

    Dairy surpassed potatoes in ID sometime ago as our leading ag product. And of course, livestock production in Idaho is THE biggest block in wolf recovery, as Ralph keeps pointing out.

    So if someone wants to make an impact to ID’s economy in some tangible way that may help wolves, foregoing ID beef, sheep, and dairy products would be more effective than avoiding potatoes, IMO.

  25. avatar Debra K says:

    Ryan–how about wild salmon and trout, free range chicken and eggs, organic greens, locally grown garbanzo, navy, and other beans not soy. These are all part of my diet here in ID.

    Also, I’m not opposed if people want to eat beef, and get it from a locally known producer who uses ethical and humane methods of production. Such is available around here and I encourage folks who can’t give up beef to know and use their local supplier.

    I just did a rugged 50 mile backpack for my 50th birthday, and can still fit into the same clothes I wore in high school, so I think the above diet is pretty healthy. I actually enjoy my life in ID far too much to contemplate suicide. Despite drawbacks such as the rednecks and wolf issues, it’s a gorgeous place to live and recreate. Some political changes, however, would be welcome.

  26. avatar catbestland says:

    Ryan,

    Soy beans are not the only option. In case you haven’t noticed, there is a plethora of delectable dishes out there that are solely plant based. And if done properly, soy production is actually beneficial to the landscape. There is no need to use oil based fertilizers. It has been properly argued that the same amount of land can feed 100 times as many people when used to produce vegetables than when used to produce beef. I suggest your grandpa grow vegetables instead. It will be much more satisfying and probably more profitable for him. There is quite a demand for organically grown vegetables. Don’t eat fish either. I too, have not eaten meat for nearly 2 decades. There are plenty of options.

    So EVERYONE (except Ryan) stop eating beef. The planet and all of creation will reward you for it.

  27. avatar catbestland says:

    Not to mention, Ryan, that Drs. agree that a red meat based diet is one of the leading causes of cancer. Especially considering all the poisons that are fed to beef and used in the packaging process.

    Debra K.

    Kudos to you for the 50 miler. I too, pride myself for the level of fitness that my vegetarian diet has afforded me. I haven’t done a 50 miler yet but a few years ago I completed the Imogene Pass run (considered extreme) in respectable time. I would put myself up against any meat eating outdoorsman in my same age group, as far as endurance is concerned. I need not mention the obvious benefits to brain function when compared to a meat based diet.

  28. avatar bambi says:

    Better stop eating ice cream, drinking milk, wearing shoes and belts– no more wools winter socks what else can we do without?

  29. avatar catbestland says:

    Bambi,

    Dairy cattle are not grazed on public lands because they have to be milked everyday. But in fact we can certainly do without ice cream, milk and wool socks whose wool is gathered from public lands grazed sheep.

  30. avatar Brian Ertz says:

    Save Bears,
    Yeah ~ but it’s meant to be local-supremacists, one idea – I figured it was better/more accurate than to use the wishy-washy term local-“radicals” or localization “extremists” ~ which seems to get tossed around by someone I know. “local supremacists” alludes to the belief that locals are somehow better qualified or ought be better enfranchised or that their opinion ought carry more weight on matters of federal policy to the exclusion of others. Usually, instead of uplifting a conversation by way of talking about the actual issues – they put down and diminish others’ contribution for not being “local” enough.

    An example of the phenominon of local-supremacy might be a legislator criticizing a wilderness bill because its legislative sponsors are from back east or DC ~ the local-supremacist believing it ought originate in a western state, but instead of taking the bill on for its merit – relies on an idea of some inherent local superiority (usually associated with right-wing extractive interest) fueled by the putting down of the ‘outside’ people. It relies not just on local pride, but alludes to superiority.

    You put down people from Chicago – or the idea that Chicago should/would be informed of what’s going on in the west. You did so not by uplifting the conversation via merit, but by referencing a derogatory ‘urban’ problem. That’s an allusion to local-supremacy.

  31. avatar Debra K says:

    Funny how people like Bambi see the world in black or white. If you favor ethical meat or dairy practices, you have to give up ice cream or milk. If you don’t want to support welfare livestock production, you have to give up wearing shoes, belts and wool socks.

    To the contrary, I have given up none of these items. I just buy products I’ve researched and feel are ethically and environmentally better. Example: I buy wool products produced in NZ. You can complain that I’m adding to climate change by having products shipped from far away, but after analysis, I’ve decided that NZ is a better wool producer (its climate is great for wool, no predators to kill, small farmer model) and we need some world trade with other nations in our current economic model.

  32. avatar Save bears says:

    Brian,

    Calling people supremacists is a derogatory terminology that illustrates Nazi skin heads, you know that..

    Never once have I said, those back east don’t have a say in this issue, in fact I correspond with quite a few people all over the country that are interested in this issue as well as many others that concern public lands.

    Now if my statement about glad I don’t live in Illinois was so bad as to inflame so many, I apologize for it.

    I will also state I would love to see the same type of coverage for other animals in jeopardy in the west, namely bison! Most of all it is a news media problem, they dictate what we see and what we don’t see, I just happen to think there is a bit of an overblown media blitz on the wolf issue, when there are other things that could be considered more dire..

    Of course merit is in the eye of the beholder, I, quite often see emotional arguments on this blog and others that I don’t consider to be with merit…

  33. avatar Save bears says:

    As far as radicals, after living in Sandpoint for a few months this summer, I can say there are a LOT of local radicals…

  34. avatar Brian Ertz says:

    If the subsidies were in small or large part drawn out of the production of beef ~ the issue would take care of itself.

    This is why I find the “livestock producers put food on the table” or, “you’d better be prepared to stop eating beef” argument so rediculous.

    lobster & shrimp producers put food on the table as well – but no one is starving for the disparity in cost. That’s how I’d see beef, it ought be a more luxury diet – it ought cost more at market, to reflect the actual cost of production. 3% is produced on public land – with the obesity epidemic in this nation, each of us would do well to reduce our intake of beef by 3%. it’d be a wise move to kick the idea of entitlement to 3-4 servings of cheap beef at 2-3 meals every day.

  35. avatar Brian Ertz says:

    p.s. – I don’t eat beef

  36. avatar catbestland says:

    “Nothing will benefit human health and increase the chances of survival for life on earth as much as the evolution to a vegetarian diet.” ~ Albert Einstein.

  37. avatar bambi says:

    Near as I can tell if everyone quits eating beef but still buy shoes the shoe price is going up the problem isnt solved.

  38. avatar Brian Ertz says:

    bambi,
    there is no shortage of leather – nor would there be with the unequivocal removal of livestock from pubic lands.

    besides – the market found synthetics. nice …

  39. avatar bambi says:

    Brian, you are right there is nothing quite as exhilerating as naugahyde on warm summer days. Maybe we can boycott those Idaho potato farmers too that will teach those wolf haters.

  40. avatar Ken Cole says:

    While reading the exchange between Brian and Save bears it appears that you are talking past each other. If you look at the comment Brian made I think it might be better understood by putting quotes around “local supremacists”. I don’t think Brian was referring to the supremacists of Chicago, I think he was referring to the “local supremacists” who believe that you have to a local to have an opinion about an issue.

  41. avatar catbestland says:

    Bambi,

    There are alternatives to leather and naugahyde. Have you ever tried hemp canvas? Or Gore-Tex for wet and cold?

  42. avatar Save bears says:

    Ken,

    You may very well be correct, we have both shown in the past that we rarely agree with each other on how these issues are handled, although, I believe his and my goals are essentially the same..

    But I would say, I disagree with the use of the terminology “supremacists”

  43. Save Bears,

    I just read Brian’s comment. It’s clear to me that he meant those folks (I call lot’s of folks, “folks”. . . seems neutral) who believe only those closest to some matter of interest get to have a say.

    I disagree with those kind of folks. I’ve usually heard them just called “locals,” as in “locals know everything about this and the rest of you the outsiders should shut up.”

  44. avatar bambi says:

    I hunt deer and antelope in eastern Montana. I love the prairie. Blocks of land are private with large tracts of BLM that are held by land owners to use for grazing. While hunting on BLM My brother and I have been approched by land owners who assume that they own the BLM land too. Its fun to set the record straight.

  45. avatar Save bears says:

    Ralph,

    you are probably correct, but it really does not matter, they still have their opinions and will continue to vocalize those opinions…

    I base my statement on what I have read in the past from Brian……and still feel the use of a derogatory term that is associated with a certain sect of American society is incorrect..

    I don’t believe you can call a group of people supremacists, without others not as close to the issue having a picture in their mind of who you are referring to….

    Anyway, at this point it matters little, I have made my statements as has Brian, Ken and you…

  46. avatar Brian Ertz says:

    su⋅prem⋅a⋅cist  [suh-prem-uh-sist, soo-] –noun

    a person who believes in or advocates the supremacy of a particular group

    in this case, the supremacy of “locals” over “others” (as in people from Chicago) to weigh in on federal public land & wildlife issues.

    p.s. – i use the derogatory connotation of the term with purpose – but would not do so if the term did not call for it. in this case – it did – SB diminished the idea that people from Chicago, alluding to derogatory “urban” transgression – ought weigh in on federal land/wildlife issues

  47. avatar Save bears says:

    Brian, sounds like both you and I were reading between the lines…and I am still glad I don’t live in Illinois…

  48. avatar BrianTT says:

    Looks like 23 more sheep killed on the Flat Top Ranch Monday night.

    http://www.mtexpress.com/vu_breaking_story.php?bid=7706

  49. avatar JimT says:

    I think Save Bears is reacting more to the pejorative history of a word rather than Brian’s assertion. One only has to skim the history of the Sagebrush Rebellion to understand one of the THE major problems is the assumption by those who live next to or near PUBLIC lands owned by all citizens of the US assume THEY know best, and it is their land to do with in their own best economic interests regardless of the laws, regulations, or damage done by their activities.

    Get the damn cows off of MY land; I won’t miss them a bit. I do infrequently eat beef, but only locally raised organic beef. If we eat red meat, most of what we eat is locally raised bison or lamb. End the damned federal grazing permit system, and then see if the ranchers can make a living on their own private lands they hold so sacred. That I can live with…

    This sort of reminds me a little of the attitudes in New England villages that unless you are a NATIVE, or have been in a town for over 30 years, you basically should shut up, pay your taxes, and keep quiet at any town meeting or on any public issue. As I said, I am Vermont born, but also have spent almost an equal part of my life out West in Arizona, San Diego, Oregon and Colorado. When we moved from DC to Vermont, we were invited to a neighborhood gathering whose main purpose, we determined rather quickly, was to check us out to see if we were “ok”. At one point in the conversation, “weatha” issues were raised, and how we really didn’t know anything about REAL winters, even if we had spent several years in Colorado. I got sick of the “locals” attitude, and brought out the trump card..NATIVE STATUS. Well, you would have thought I had morphed into Ethan Allen because suddenly the attitude was “Well, YOU know then”…Interestingly enough, not ONE of these folks were natives, but most refugees from Connecticut and New York..LMAO.

    People are funny about places and their relationship to them…and the consequences can be tragic and misguided as well as amusing.

  50. avatar Ryan says:

    Cat,

    “soy production is actually beneficial to the landscape”

    Having one species of plant completely dominate a large portion of the landscape is never a good thing. The lack of bio diversity in the midwest farming areas is a great indicator of that.

    “I need not mention the obvious benefits to brain function when compared to a meat based diet.”

    Now thats funny..

    http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/HealthSci/Eating_veggies_shrinks_the_brain/articleshow/3480629.cms

    http://books.google.com/books?id=Ju3c3SEGEM8C&pg=PA108&lpg=PA108&dq=brain+function,+vegetarianism&source=bl&ots=NJ1BdBpATh&sig=B7mV045GkZuHEIV2FIR95jwsnKw&hl=en&ei=AjugSvHcPIvcsgP72JSNDw&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=6#v=onepage&q=&f=false

    We’ll never agree on anything, Just remember for every animal you don’t eat.. I’m going to eat 3 🙂

  51. avatar Ryan says:

    “wild salmon and trout”

    Please try to ensure that they are hatchery reared and troll caught and their a very eco friendly and healthy food. I have been lucky to eat salmon or steelhead that I have caught myself atleast once a week for the last 20 years.

  52. avatar catbestland says:

    Ryan,

    Then don’t dominate a large portion of the landscape with one plant species. Diversify.

    In case you missed it earlier; “Nothing will benefit human health and increase the chances of survival for life on earth as much as the evolution to a vegetarian diet.” ~ Albert Einstein. ‘Nuff said.

    Go ahead and eat 3 animals for every one I don’t eat. That means you have 3 times the chance of getting cancer than I. And for those who must trophy hunt, well I suppose if there is no other way of expressing ones verility than to take the life of another virile animal, then so be it. I suppose in some warped sense it is better to take ones frustrations out on defenseless animals than to unleash that aggression upon mankind.

  53. avatar Jim says:

    Funny, how some can not admit if they are wrong. All I was trying to say was that is wrong to put down an entire area of the country you know little to nothing about and act appalled that what is happening in your corner of the world is news outside of your realm. I can only imagine the verbal beat down I would have received had I come on here and said something like whoa, save bears, I am glad I don’t live in Idaho “beings” there is nothing but small minded people who want to slaughter wildlife for no reason. You seem to form an opinion about an entire state off of what you hear in the news. Maybe you should practice what you preach and have some solid evidence before you denigrate and entire state, or at least admit you are wrong or made an ignorant comment.

  54. avatar rick says:

    “I am glad I don’t live in Idaho “beings” there is nothing but small minded people who want to slaughter wildlife for no reason.”

    Jim, that comment or words to that effect are often reiterated on this website. You would have fit right in.

  55. avatar Save bears says:

    Jim,

    please explain, how you know I have not lived in Illinois? I don’t even live in Idaho any longer.

    Now, I won’t admit I was wrong, or I won’t say I made an ignorant comment, but I did apologize because it seemed to inflame so many, but that is here nor there, and by the way, after living in Sandpoint, ID I am glad I am no longer there as well, I don’t like being around hate groups.

  56. avatar Ryan says:

    “Nothing will benefit human health and increase the chances of survival for life on earth as much as the evolution to a vegetarian diet.” ~ Albert Einstein. ‘Nuff said.”

    Seeing as how he didn’t research it and only practiced it the last year of his life. Hitler was vegatrian as well.

    http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=139

    At this point, who cares you can go back to quoting studies that you won’t share and feeling morally superior to others. I’ll go back to being a neanderthal. 🙂

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Quote

‎"At some point we must draw a line across the ground of our home and our being, drive a spear into the land and say to the bulldozers, earthmovers, government and corporations, “thus far and no further.” If we do not, we shall later feel, instead of pride, the regret of Thoreau, that good but overly-bookish man, who wrote, near the end of his life, “If I repent of anything it is likely to be my good behaviour."

~ Edward Abbey

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