Sunday, September 14, 2014
New “Yellowstone Wolf Patrol” monitors MT wolf hunt next to Park
A new group has formed to go into the lightly monitored backcountry to protect the Yellowstone Park boundary from any violations in the Montana wolf hunt, which is now underway for archery. The general wolf rifle hunt begins September 15.
Calling itself “Yellowstone Wolf patrol,” a news release says nine members are already inside the Absaroka-Beartooth Wilderness which runs for miles along the north boundary of Yellowstone.
Wolves from inside Yellowstone Park have absolute legal protection from hunting. However, beginning with Montana’s first wolf hunt in 2009-10, “Park wolves” have been shot by wolf hunters. Nine were killed inside the Absaroka-Beartooth (AB) Wilderness that very first hunting season. By “Park wolves” it is meant wolves that normally range inside Yellowstone Park. Park wolves reported shot by wolf hunters have supposedly all been killed outside the Park.
The most controversial wolf season along the Park boundary was 2012-13 when every Park wolf with an expensive GPS collar was shot. Many more Park wolves were also killed.
Early on, Montana’s Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks tried to create a small buffer zone along part of Yellowstone’s north boundary. They were soon slapped down by a local judge and then the state legislature. The legislature required FWP to have a hunt directly adjacent to the famous national park. The high mortality of Yellowstone wolves due to the 2012 hunt required the cancellation of the Park’s important annual wolf winter study that winter. That was the first year since the wolves were restored that there was no winter study.
Since that time, wolf conservationists have struggled successfully to have FWP to reduce the wolf quota north of Yellowstone to some degree, but hunters still enter and hunt the vast AB Wilderness. Its boundary with Yellowstone is mostly a straight line that cuts across steep mountain slopes, rockslides, gentle meadows, creeks, marshes and ponds, and deep forests. Here and there the boundary is identified with marked trees, but it is easy to stumble into the Park while travelling cross country rather than on established trails.
The Wolf Patrol issued a news release today.
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Activist Teams Enter Yellowstone Backcountry To Document And Protest
Montana Wolf Hunt
Contact (satellite phone) 881-631-613-954.
Sept 14, 2014: Americans outraged with the killing of wolves from
Yellowstone National Park (YNP) have organized the Yellowstone Wolf Patrol,
whose members have entered the Absaroka-Beartooth Wilderness
to monitor and document Montana’s wolf hunt which begins September
Nine members of the Wolf Patrol are currently trailing hunters, who in
the last two years, have killed wolves belonging to packs originating
from YNP where hunting is prohibited. Wolf Patrol members are opposed
to the sport hunting of wolves in Wolf Management Units (WMU) 313 &
316, and are asking Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks (MFWP) to
immediately stop the hunt before more wolves are killed.
Yellowstone wolves cross over from the park into WMU 313/316 where
since 2012, twelve have been killed by hunters. At least three of the
wolves shot in the 2012/2013 season were of high social rank (alpha
female or beta male), thus negatively affecting reproduction, hunting
behavior, and territorial defense of these unique packs. 7 of 10 (70%)
packs living primarily in YNP had at least one wolf killed by hunters.
Wolf hunting in WMU’s 313 & 316, negatively impacts the local economy,
including wildlife guide companies, hotels, restaurants, park tourism,
and other wildlife-observation-based industries.
Yellowstone National Park is one of the few places left in the world
where wolves can not only be studied, but also provide tourists from
all over the world an opportunity to see a wild wolf. The recreational
killing of apex predators is negatively impacting important predator
research while also robbing wildlife watchers of a once in a lifetime
Yellowstone Wolf Patrol supports the growing economy in wolf tourism,
and believes that MFWP is catering to a few special sport hunting
interests, all at the expense of one of our nation’s most pristine
“In allowing the killing of Yellowstone wolves, MFWP is not just
shooting wolves, but also itself in the foot, because this hunt is
giving the entire tourism industry a black eye.” says Patrol member,
Julie Henry, “We are not opposed to Montana residents filling their
freezers with elk, but the wolves were here first, and deserve
protection from recreational killing.”