The Yellowstone Wolf Controversy

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One of the biggest reasons for the reintroduction of wolves back into Yellowstone was that they had originally roamed from Yellowstone all the way down to Mexico. While a lot of people were in favor of the reintroduction of the wolves, there were many who were against it. The main people who were against the reintroduction of the wolves back into the park were the ranchers who made a living in the areas surrounding the park.

During 70 years of absence from the Rockies, the Grey Wolf had been protected under the Endangered Species Act that was passed in 1973. Since the wolf is under the protection of Endangered Species Act a person could be punished with up to a $100,000 fine and up to 1 year in jail for killing a wolf. Back in the 1850's there was a major population increase of the wolves in America, this was due to settlers moving west. These settlers killed more than 80 million bison, the wolves started to scavenge on the carcasses left behind.

By the 1880's the majority of the bison were gone, so the wolves had to change food sources. This meant that they turned their attention to domestic livestock, causing farmers and ranchers to fight back. There were even some states offering bounties for the wolves. Montana had a bounty on wolves that totaled more than $350,000 on 81,000 wolves. Due to the lack of a food source, as well as the bounties being offered, a wolf was no longer safe in the lower 48 states.

However, there was one safe haven, and that was Yellowstone National Park that was established in 1872. In the year 1916 the National Parks Service started to eliminate all predators in Yellowstone National Park, which meant killing 136 wolves, 13,000 coyotes, and every single mountain lion. By 1939 this prog...

... middle of paper ... has signed off on this plan before it went to Congress then it must be a good plan to manage the Grey Wolf population in the state. This is a highly controversial topic that will continue to be debated.

Literature Cited

Ferguson, Gary. The Yellowstone Wolves. Falcon Press. Helen, Montana. 1996. pgs 139-140.

Lopez, Barry Holstun. Of Wolves and Men. Charles Scribner's Sons. New York. 1978. pg 171.

Mader,T.R. Wolf reintroduction in the Yellowstone National Park: a historical perspective. Common Man Institute. 1998. 26 pgs.

McNamee, Thomas. Return of the Wolf to Yellowstone. Henry Holt and Company. 1997. pgs 41-42.

Phillips, Michael K., Smith, Douglas W. The Wolves of Yellowstone. Voyage Press, Inc. 1996, pgs 25-30.

Schltz Jr, Thomas M. Wofl reintoduction into Yellowstone Nation Park: a symbol of changing values and hiden agendas? 1995.
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