Yellowstone, MT – The Endangered Species Coalition is seeking a ban on wolf hunting and trapping in areas bordering the Yellowstone National Park.
Gray wolves in the United States have begun a slow, arduous road to recovery following their near-total extermination from the country in the mid-1900s. Late last century, wolves were reintroduced to Yellowstone National Park and central Idaho, establishing the population from which many of today’s wolves have descended. Thanks to the Endangered Species Act, they now roam the Northern Rockies and parts of Oregon and Washington.
Until Congress legislatively delisted the species in 2011, all gray wolves in the Northern Rockies were protected from hunting and trapping by the Endangered Species Act. While a court recently placed Wyoming wolves back under the protection of the law, wolf hunting and trapping is once again legal in Montana and Idaho.
Wolves in Yellowstone National Park are protected from hunting and trapping while inside the park. However, sometimes wolves wander outside the park, where they are subject to the threat of injury or death during trapping and hunting season.
Acording to the Endangered Species Coalition, least a dozen Yellowstone wolves have been legally killed by hunters and trappers in the states bordering the park. In 2012, the “most famous wolf in the world”—832F (or ’06, marking the year she was born)—was killed when she ventured from Yellowstone National Park into Wyoming. She wore a radio collar and was beloved by both the researchers who tracked her movements and the enthusiasts and photographers she drew to the park. More recently, a female from the Junction Butte pack (968F) was killed in December 2015 when she walked out of the park and into Montana.
This is why the Endangered Species Coalition is asking the bordering states of Idaho and Montana to eliminate hunting and trapping adjacent to the park. In Idaho, the coalition is asking the state to shut down wolf hunting and trapping completely in areas adjoining Yellowstone. In Montana, where state law prohibits the complete closure of lands adjacent to the Park to wolf hunting and trapping, the coalition is asking the state to establish the lowest quota and shortest season allowable under law.
The Endangered Species Coalition is a national network of hundreds of conservation, scientific, education, religious, sporting, outdoor recreation, business and community organizations working to protect our nation’s disappearing wildlife and last remaining wild places.