- The Washington Times - Monday, May 25, 2009

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

LETTER TO THE EDITOR:

Gene Mueller took from the Maryland Department of Natural Resources’ cruel playbook by directing his anger regarding the deplorable state of the Chesapeake Bay toward Montel Williams instead of where it belongs - with the DNR (“Montel Williams, wildlife manager? Hardly,” Inside Outside, Web, Tuesday). For years, DNR has unfairly blamed mute swans for environmental problems in the Bay in an effort to distract the public’s attention from the real culprits.

Fewer than 500 mute swans are left in Maryland’s part of the Bay, and their impact on aquatic vegetation is minuscule compared to the 500 million pounds of pollutants that factory farms and sewage-treatment plants dump into the waterway each year - the main cause of submerged vegetation loss there. No one - not even DNR - can argue with that.

In addition to being an Emmy Award-winning talk-show host, Mr. Williams is also a humanitarian. We are fortunate that he has lent his voice to criticizing DNR’s indefensible plan to extirpate Maryland’s mute swan population.

Contrary to Mr. Mueller’s opinion, it does not take a wildlife biologist to know when something smells “fowl.” When presented with the hard facts, any intelligent, compassionate human being would conclude what Mr. Williams has concluded, which is that slaughtering mute swans in Maryland is inhumane and scientifically unsound and needs to stop now.

JOHN W. GRANDY

Senior vice president of wildlife and habitat protection

The Humane Society of the United States

Washington


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