About a month ago, concerned environmental groups and local citizens called upon state and federal officials to create a buffer zone around Yellowstone National Park to reduce the chance of killing Yellowstone wolves.
While Wyoming’s Game & Fish has not responded at all as far as we can tell (the Governor of Wyoming, Matt Mead, “says he’s confident in state management and has no plans to change policies”), Montana’s Fish Wildlife & Parks’ Commission decided on December 10, 2012 in response to the public response to the killing of collared and uncollared Yellowstone wolves to close two areas adjacent to Yellowstone’s Northern borders to hunting and trapping. However, due to an appeal by various sportsmen’s groups, those areas were opened again and the hunting continued. Unfortunately, a recent ruling on January 14, 2013 by the district court judge in Livingston, MT confirmed that the areas shall remain open.
While hunting and trapping season in Wyoming has since closed, Montanan’s can still kill wolves. The Yellowstone wolves are still in danger. The recent killing of Yellowstone wolves both in Montana and Wyoming has sent the Yellowstone wolf population into a precipitous decline. The killing especially of alpha animals seriously disrupts the structure and dynamics of any pack.
An omen for what is to come? As we posted a few days ago, 2012 ended on a sad note with the death of the beloved wolf, 832F. For us, it’s about time that the states adjoining Yellowstone National Park take a look at the damage their “wolf management policies” is doing to Yellowstone’s wolf population.
What can the public do? Send comments to the agencies that manage wolves outside of the park.
Montana’s FWP commission will meet again on January 29, 2013 to address a possible closing of the two areas near the Northern border. Comments by the public are invited until January 25, 2013 at 5 p.m.
Buffer zones? We are further away from that than ever. This is a sad time for the wolves and Yellowstone’s wolves in particular. We will keep you updated.