How Grey Wolves are Getting Wiped Out by Bad Legislation, and How We Can Help Fix It
OR16 was a healthy yearling male wolf with a black coat, a dominant trait found only in wolves who have dog genes in their lineage. Known only by his radio tag designation, OR16 crossed the border from Oregon into Idaho in December, and was shot to death by a hunter. That makes him the second member of the Oregon Walla Walla Grey Wolf pack—which biologists have studied for years—killed senselessly because he crossed an invisible line in his forest home. Last year another hunter illegally killed OR9, another wolf from the Oregon Walla Walla pack, as it crossed the Snake River and into Idaho. The hunter was issued a warning.
This season alone, more than 600 wolves have been killed in Idaho, Montana and Wyoming, the latter allowing an unlimited number of the recently endangered wolves to be hunted, trapped or killed by any means, even by gassing dens full of pups.
In Montana the Department of Fish and Wildlife Committee recently held a hearing concerning a bill that would allow hunters to use silencers on weapons while hunting wolves. This year the big sky state extended the wolf hunting season, removed the long standing quota for maximum numbers “harvested,” and allowed cruel leg-hold trapping of wolves. Big game trophy hunters who flock there for elk are salivating over a proposal which would hand out free wolf licenses to anyone, Montana resident or not.
Idaho, a state used to luring tourist money with its lush scenery and wildlife, is now considering a bill that would allow hunters and trappers to lure unsuspecting wolves to their deaths using dead wolf carcasses, roadkill, and the distressed cries of wolf pups as bait. A backcountry trapper will usually only be able to pack out with the wolf skin and skull, leaving the entire skinned body behind. This law would allow trappers to “kill two wolves with one stone” as it were, now leaving behind two skinned, decapitated wolves instead of just one.
Government officials are held at bay by greedy ranchers and psychotic hunting lobbies who have enough blood money to whitewash the facts. In fact, the hysterical anti-wolf campaign has little to do with reality. The state of Montana has 2,500,000 cattle, of which a mere 74 were estimated to be taken by wolves last year. Those numbers hardly sound like an epidemic out of control. 74. Out of two and a half million heads of cattle.
Yet these ranching and hunting interests have hijacked the American West to the point that last fall the U.S. Dept. of Fish and Wildlife delisted the Wyoming Grey Wolf as an endangered species. The hunter camps started popping up on the edge of Yellowstone National Park, and in December of 2012 the most photographed wolf in park history was blown away by hunters as she stepped just outside the park boundaries. She was 832F, the radio collared alpha female of the Lamar Canyon pack. It is uncertain whether the pack will survive due to highly regimented breeding habits (wolves usually don’t inbreed with close relatives, and the pack has only one male adult left).
Researchers and biologists have spent decades and millions of dollars to restore wolves to their rightful place in the American West. The beauty, the peace and the magic of the forest, the mountains, the canyons and rivers—now lost due to ignorance and rage. Misplaced anger and bloated greed. Welcome to America.
This is an immediate call for action on behalf of the wolf and against the extermination in progress in the Northwest and Rockies. These rogue elements are stealing North America for the second and last time. This is unacceptable. These state representatives need to know why you’re there. Yellowstone alone makes a hefty 35 million off tourism each year. Do you feel like celebrating the beauty and perfection of your wilderness amidst this trashing of one of the most important species in the forest ecosystem? If not, call and explain just how important it is to you to visit these pristine wild lands with all the wild inhabitants safe from hunting and trapping.
Call or e-mail Idaho governor Butch Otter at: (208) 334-2100 or [email protected] and urge him to make significant amends to protect wolves now. Explain that wolves and wildlife are a major reason for your visit to Yellowstone National Park, Hells Canyon National Recreation Area, Sawtooth, Sun Valley and Lake Couer d’Alene areas.
Call or e-mail Montana governor Steve Bullock at (855) 318-1330 or [email protected] and urge him to make the sensible choice of protecting wolves. Explain that wolves and wildlife are a major reason for your visit to Yellowstone National Park and Glacier National Park.
Call or e-mail Wyoming governor Matt Mead at (307) 777-7434 or [email protected] and urge him to take stronger action to protect your wolves. Explain that wolves and wildlife are a major reason for your visit to Yellowstone National park and Grand Teton National Park.
Call Yellowstone National Park tourism department at (406) 841-2870 and explain that wolves and wildlife are a major reason for your visit.