Tuesday, March 31, 2015

7 Reasons to End #Wolf Hunting near #Yellowstone National Park

I found this list on the Campaign for Yellowstone's Wolves' page on Facebook and it is so good that it deserves a much wider audience. Folks, this list makes sense and I recommend that you pass it on to others. We must keep the necessity, the essential need for wolves, constantly in the minds of everyone. If we fail in this task, then we stand to lose our most precious natural resource-our wolves.
Keep up the good fight and howl on!

1. People Do Not Want Park Wolves Hunted. They are a national treasure cherished by countless Americans and people all over the world. Park wolves are accustomed to being watched and admired, and should not be shot or trapped as “trophies” when they happen to cross the park boundary.

2. Yellowstone Wolves Are Very Special. Growing numbers of people follow and script the lives of park wolves, often from one wolf generation to the next, by frequenting the park or through the popular media. Many “wolf watchers” have formed emotional and spiritual bonds with park wolves. Free from exploitation, Yellowstone wolves are “ambassadors” for wild nature and compassionate civilization. And they are helping create a new generation of citizen naturalists!

3. Wolf Hunting’s Tragic Outcomes. Hunting disrupts natural wolf behavior and presence, may destabilize or eliminate wolf families and lineages, can impede transfer of adaptive genetic and cultural information between generations, and may impact wolf viewing. Hunting and general “control” of wolves near Yellowstone Nat’l Park may also, by altering wolf society and demography, increase wolf depredation on livestock. These practices also risk suppressing ecological benefits that wolves provide for plant life, songbirds, and other wildlife, including elk and other wolf prey.

4. It’s Also About Economics. Yellowstone wolf watching is an important economic asset that is surging in popularity. It should not be jeopardized by wolf hunting and trapping around the park. In 2005, visitor spending due exclusively to wolf presence in Yellowstone Park was estimated at $35.5 million. Since then, wolf watching in Yellowstone has become ever so more popular.

5. Government Policies Have Failed To Protect Park Wolves. Trophy hunting of wolves near the park has already eliminated at least 27 park wolves, including some of the park’s most popular. The situation will worsen if wolves are entirely removed from the national endangered species list. State wolf hunting “quotas” near the park afford park wolves little protection.

6. It’s About Democracy Too! Yellowstone Park is surrounded by national forests that belong to all Americans. Citizens who favor protecting wolves or want wildlife populations shaped by natural factors rather than by human impacts have every right to have some national forest lands free of wildlife exploitation.

7. Yellowstone Park Is No Island. The national park goal of conserving wildlife in a natural, unimpaired state for the benefit of people can be achieved only if wide-ranging park wildlife like wolves have “breathing room next door” that is free from habitat destruction, hunting, and trapping. It’s time for genuine “ecosystem management” by giving our park wildlife a break!

Ok, now for the arguments often heard in favor of wolf hunting near Yellowstone Park, with our response (OR):

1. Some hunters and trappers want to harvest wolves right to the park boundary. OR: Yellowstone Park does not raise wolves to be “harvested” for the benefit of so few to the detriment of so many.

2. Local elk herds are being decimated by wolves – it’s bad for hunters, bad for the elk. OR: The truth is that elk hunters, before wolf reintroduction, grew accustomed to having inflated numbers of elk that were considered by many experts to be damaging range and occurring in unhealthy, unnatural concentrations. Wolves have changed that dynamic for the better, while there remain plenty of opportunities for elk hunting.

3. Outfitters will lose out if wolves are off limits to hunting near the Park. OR: Outfitters may benefit by instead offering quality wolf-watching and tracking experiences in authentic wild country near Yellowstone Park. Elsewhere, state game agencies will no doubt offer lots of wolf hunting opportunities and, as current trends suggest, far more than hunters want.

4. There’ll be more livestock depredation by wolves without wolf trophy hunting near the Park. OR: In fact, the reverse may be true. A recent scientific study suggests that wolf killing in general actually increases predation on livestock. Wolf packs that are fragmented by hunting or trapping can produce more breeding pairs and younger wolves more likely to get into trouble.

5. The States should manage wolves as they see fit. OR: This shallow argument simply defends the status quo. The States surrounding Yellowstone have thus far insisted on wolf hunts near the Park despite it being bad policy not in the public interest.

6. A modest harvest of park wolves won’t harm the Yellowstone wolf population. OR: Unfortunately, this is the position of Park Service higher-ups. Overly focused on “the numbers,” it ignores the impact that trophy hunting has on wolf behavior and social organization as well as other potentially harmful biological consequences. And it dismisses the public's interest in safeguarding the natural lives of individual park wolves and wolf families.

7. If a protective area or buffer zone for wolves is created around the park, it will lead to another buffer zone and then yet another. OR: This argument misconstrues the concept of a “buffer zone,” namely to protect wolves that live a substantial part of their lives in Yellowstone National Park.

Campaign for Yellowstone's Wolves
Please like their page and follow them for updates!!! Many thanks to these good folks for their hard work and such a fantastic post!