It's good to return from vacation to find lots of letters. Readers have lots of things to say about columns I wrote about Maui - boy, I miss that place right now - steelhead fishing, elk overpopulation at Mount St. Helens and the Seattle SuperSonic's push to use public money to build a new arena.
Thought that was a great column you wrote about you and your daughter's trip to Maui. It painted a nice picture. Experiences like that are the stuff of life. It was good to read about.
I don't really have a question and I am a little late with this comment. When you did the article on the elk overpopulation problem at Mount St. Helens, I should have gotten to you then. Some things took my mind off of it. I agree that hunters are the best solution to the problem, but when I say hunters I am thinking of those with four legs and gray fur. That is, I think a wolf pack is the solution. I can hear the howls now, about endangered children, livestock eaten, etc. People can coexist with wolves if they wish. Many do not wish.
Recently there was a story about a "controlled hunt" in Jackson Hole to reduce the elk herd there. I have the same solution for them.
Biological controls are usually the best answer.
I am not just shooting from the lip on this one. I am a professional forester. Often we need to look at how nature managed a resource and then see if we can use the same methods.
Robert Smith, Olympia
Your column in The Olympian's Outdoor section on Tuesday was excellent. As a member of The Olympia Mountaineers and an avid outdoors person, I agree with your perspective wholeheartedly.
I know the use of public funds and tax monies must be controlled to avoid waste and to serve the greatest need.
Restoration of our state parks and trails, and cleanup of Puget Sound should be priorities for all of us. As you stated, "$300 million would go a long way in outdoors."
While a new basketball stadium for the Sonics might be nice for some, it would be an outrage to ask taxpayers to foot the bill to pay for it.
I read your column regularly, but especially liked this one.
Thanks for your column today (1/26) . I fished the Satsop yesterday for the very first time after moving here a year ago. I have a mailman who's a longtime local resident and ace steelheader and he finally gave in to my entreaties and took me out in his sled. I caught and released two bucks over twenty pounds. I'm still glowing and, just like you, that day will keep me steelheading for years to come. Thanks for putting the feelings into words.
I just wanted to let you know that my boyfriend and I follow your fishing report, and this weekend he caught a 15-pound-plus steelhead out of the Wynoochee River.
Yes, the fishing for steelhead is prime right now. His buddies and he had bites all day long. He beached a bigger one, but the fish flipped and spat the lure out. We are glad to have you as a fishing guide. Thank you!
Chester Allen can be reached at 360-754-4225 or firstname.lastname@example.org.