Popular Science Magazine Takes WYO to Task on Wolves
PHOTO: The killing of a popular Yellowstone National park wolf in Wyoming is garnering attention around the country. Photo credit: William Campbell/USFWS.
December 14, 2012
JACKSON, Wyo. – The hunting death of the alpha female from the Lamar Canyon wolf pack in Yellowstone National Park last week is lighting up public interest around the globe.
Popular Science magazine just posted an article taking Wyoming to task for allowing it to happen. The collared wolf had strayed beyond the park boundaries, and even though Montana has implemented a buffer zone around the park to protect Yellowstone animals, Wyoming and Idaho have not.
Bonnie Rice, Sierra Club senior representative for the Greater Yellowstone Ecoregion, says the reaction is puzzling.
"Why should anybody be surprised, because that's what this means with management now by the states and wolves are no longer protected? That's just going to happen."
She says requests have been sent to Wyoming and Idaho to establish buffer zones around the park.
Rice describes the female killed as one of the most visible wolves in the park, and well known for her fierce protection of her pups. She says a hunter also killed the female's partner and the ramifications don't just affect wolf research.
"We also need to look at how this affects the social dynamics of the pack, and I think that's a piece that is not getting out."
Rice says even if Wyoming instituted a buffer zone, there are still questions about its wolf-management plan – which states a goal of maintaining 100 wolves statewide. She points to scientific reviews of that plan that took issue with the low number – and the hint that wolves inside the park would somehow count towards that tally. It's an issue headed to court.
"We challenged the delisting rule because we want to see bigger changes in Wyoming's plan than just having a buffer."