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Chicago Sun-Times Opinion This Week
Good morning,
Over the past few weeks, you’ve read Sun-Times commentary about the 182 wolves that were slaughtered by hunters in Wisconsin. In today’s lead editorial, we write about a local environmental issue: bobcat hunting season.
Since bobcat hunting resumed, more than 1,500 bobcats have been killed in Illinois. Before that, bobcats, which had been on the state’s threatened species list, had barely managed to recover from being overhunted. Apex predator species of all types are key to a balanced environment, so the Editorial Board writes that it is time to end bobcat hunting in Illinois.
Speaking of the environment, in Letters to the Editor, read about the long tradition of dyeing the Chicago River green during St. Patrick’s Day celebrations. Regardless of whether the green dye is harmless, it’s time to rethink how the Chicago River is being treated, one letter argues.
Lastly in Commentary, Illinois Senate President Don Harmon tells us about how the Senate will approach the redistricting process this year. Inclusion will be at the center of these proceedings, and for the first time in Illinois, any citizen who wishes to propose a new legislative map will be able to construct one.
— Ismael Pérez, editorial board member

Since bobcat hunting has resumed, more than 1,500 bobcats have been killed in Illinois, the Humane Society of the United States says. | Adobe stock
Since bobcat hunting has resumed, more than 1,500 bobcats have been killed in Illinois, the Humane Society of the United States says. | Adobe stock
Five years ago, Illinois lawmakers trotted out a lot of ridiculous arguments to justify ending protections for bobcats that had been in place for 44 years.
They called the elusive animals, which have never been known to kill a single person, ferocious. They compared them to saber-toothed tigers. They conjured up unsubstantiated stories of bobcats raiding chickens and killing pet cats on farms.
The Legislature voted, by a razor-thin margin, to create an Illinois bobcat hunting season. This year’s season ended on Feb. 15.
Since bobcat hunting has resumed, more than 1,500 bobcats have been killed in Illinois, the Humane Society of the United States says. Before that, bobcats, which had been on the state’s threatened species list, had barely managed to recover from being overhunted in the past. Bobcat hunting remains illegal in Chicago and the northeast portion of the state.
The rush to end four decades of bobcat protections in Illinois was part of an ongoing and unwise assault on predator species in general in the United States. It threatens to upend decades of scientific efforts to return predator species to the land by balancing their needs with those of humans.
The Chicago Sun-Times Editorial Board is the opinion voice of the hardest-working newspaper in America. It is headed by editorial page editor Tom McNamee and includes Thomas FrisbieLorraine ForteLee BeyIsmael Pérez and Mary Mitchell as members.
What others have to say
Illinois Senate President Don Harmon on the redistricting process this year:
We will be guided by the knowledge that the best way to guarantee fairness is to create more room at the table, and the understanding that the only way to truly reflect the great diversity of Illinois is to give a megaphone to those who have been silenced.
When we draw new lines for legislative districts in Illinois, everybody will be at the table
More editorials we published this week
Tough times — and a possible Target store — create a chance to rethink the Mag Mile
Making the case for free community college nationwide
In your words
“Let’s resolve to work together to create a new St. Patrick’s Day tradition, one that honors both the Chicago River and the proud Irish heritage of many of the Chicagoans who helped build our city.”
— Representatives from Friends of the Chicago River, Openlands and Sierra Club, Illinois Chapter
Every day we publish submissions from Chicago Sun-Times readers weighing in on issues facing the city and its residents. Send letters to letters@suntimes.com or reply to this email to share your perspective.
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Chicago Sun-Times Opinion This Week

A weekly overview of opinions, analysis and commentary on issues affecting Chicago, Illinois and our nation by outside contributors, Sun-Times readers and the CST Editorial Board.

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