Wyoming is facing a major dilemma today. The gray wolf (Canis lupus), which was RE-introduced into the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem in 1995 (after being wiped out by humans in the early 1900’s), has become the symbol of many things in the human world. Are they wanton killers or indispensable protectors of the natural ecosystem? Are they evil monsters driving moose to extinction or are they extraordinary allies bringing balance to an area that has been suffering from human interference for so long that we no longer know what is “normal” or natural?
There are two very distinct and very vocal sides to the “wolf issue” here. Both sides are convinced that they are right and the other is wrong. There are no easy answers. . . and time is running out. Local outfitters feel they are being driven out of business by the wolf, while conservationists believe the wolf has only just started to make a comeback, and is hardly recovered yet. And there are a lot of angry Wyomingites who feel that the wolf is the symbol of government control… and even THAT issue is seen on both sides!
One side believes that the Federal Government had no right to re-introduce a predator that had been successfully eradicated from the area. The other side is enraged with the current Wyoming State Government for implementing a new rule that will allow people to kill any and all wolves (including new born pups in their dens) at any time even while trespassing on private property with absolutely NO penalty! This new policy would again upset the fragile balance of nature which the re-introduction had finally restored.
September 9th is the deadline for public comments to be received and considered by the Wyoming Game and Fish Commission. The Commission will only read comments which are on the proper form. Visit the Wyoming Game and Fish website and click on “Wolf Plan Comment Form.” Be sure to read the revised Gray Wolf Management Plan and send your comments soon if you are concerned about how the future of the wolf will be handled in Wyoming.
Wildly Scenic is a blog by Barker-Ewing employees and fellow river enthusiasts.
Established in 1963, Barker-Ewing Float Trips has been sharing the beauty and wonder of Grand Teton National Park with visitors from around the world for over 40 years, floating beneath the Grand Tetons on the headwaters of the Snake River.