Why War On Wolves?

Gray wolves in Montana. DENNIS FAST / VWPICS / UNIVERSAL IMAGES GROUP VIA GETTY IMAGES

At Yale e360 this opinion by Ted Williams is an important read:

America’s New War on Wolves and Why It Must Be Stopped

Hunting of wolves is again legal in the Northern Rockies, where running them over with snowmobiles or incinerating them in their dens is now permitted. The Biden administration must stop the slaughter of these wolves and protect their recovery from the brink of extinction.

America’s tradition of persecuting wolves has resumed. And although it’s mostly happening on federal land, the Biden administration appears singularly unmoved and unconcerned.

In 2021 conservative state lawmakers in Idaho, Montana, and Wisconsin seized wolf management authority from trained wildlife professionals and reembarked on the age-old war on wolves, radically liberalizing wolf trapping and hunting regulations.

In Wyoming, where wolves were delisted from the Endangered Species Act (ESA) in 2017, the politicized Department of Game and Fish allows year-round wolf killing across 85 percent of the state at any time and by virtually any means, including running them over with snowmobiles and incinerating pups and nursing mothers in dens.

On July 1, 2021 Idaho implemented legislation designed to reduce its wolf population by 90 percent. It established bounties as high as $2,000, authorized financial compensation for wolf hunters and trappers (amounting to an additional bounty) and, like Wyoming, legalized wolf killing at any time and by virtually any means. Idaho has earmarked just over $1 million for wolf killing.

Montana passed similar legislation that seeks to eradicate 90 percent of its wolves. It also implemented a de facto bounty system by compensating trappers and hunters for wolf-killing expenses. And it did away with the wolf-protection buffer around Yellowstone National Park. Before their 1995 reintroduction, wolves had been the only missing major element of the park’s native ecosystem.

Read the whole opinion here.

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