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Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Years of Wolves in Government Clothing

David Spady | Jan 19, 2015

The 20th anniversary of a government program to bring gray wolves to Yellowstone Park marks two decades of debate over the Federal government’s role in forcing wolves on individuals, communities and states that may, or may not, want them. Sixty Canadian wolves planted in Yellowstone Park in 1995 and 1996 have turned into thousands of wolves roaming the surrounding states. For those who idolize wolves as an icon of the wilderness, this week marks the historic success of a government program to bring a species back to an area it once roamed prior to the settlement of human populations. But there is another side to this story. Many of those forced to live in areas populated by wolves see them as unnecessary, and an expensive burden to state budgets, livestock growers, and hunting industries. As a fourth generation Montanan, who has spent time in Yellowstone Park almost every year for five decades, I find myself in the latter category.

Wolves were removed from most settled areas in the lower 48 states nearly a century ago for a reason – they are a very difficult predator to manage. This is an apex predator that multiplies quickly and must kill more animals to survive than any other species in North America. It is also a species that is a threat to humans, as evidenced in the recent death of a teacher in Alaska who was killed by wolves while jogging.......To Read More.... 



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