Conservationists rally outside Yellowstone to protest wolf hunts

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A rally to protest sport hunting and trapping of wolves in the United States drew about 150 participants on Saturday outside the gates of Yellowstone National Park, an organizer said.

Demonstrators at the event in Gardiner, Montana, at the northwest entrance to the park called for an overhaul of government wildlife management policies for the animals.

Thousands of wolves have been legally hunted, trapped or snared in the three years since the predators were removed from the federal endangered and threatened species list in the Northern Rockies and western Great Lakes.

“We need some places out West where wolves can be wolves without fear of being shot, trapped, strangled or beaten to death,” rally organizer Brett Haverstick said in a telephone interview.

Haverstick said roughly 150 people attended the rally, with participants coming from a range of U.S. states such as Idaho, Montana, California and Florida.

Wolves neared extinction in the Lower 48 states before coming under U.S. Endangered Species Act protections in the 1970s. Federal wildlife managers two decades ago released fewer than 100 wolves in the Yellowstone area over the objections of ranchers and hunters, who complained wolves would prey on livestock and big-game animals like elk.

Wolves in the park and its border states of Idaho, Montana and Wyoming were estimated at nearly 2,000 at the time of delisting and now number about 1,700 due to liberal hunting and trapping seasons and population control measures by states such as Idaho.

Ranchers and sportsmen say wolf numbers must be kept in check to reduce conflicts.

“Livestock producers have made many concessions to accommodate wolves on the landscape and the result is we have a healthy wolf population and yet a decrease in cattle depredations,” said Jay Bodner, natural resource director for the Montana Stockgrowers Association.

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Bill LB    
Minneapolis  |  July, 01, 2014 at 05:57 PM

Animals are the natural extension of the human race. Many need protection, before they are wiped out due to ignorance. In the United States, the Grey Wolf is one such species that is on the “run” again for its survival. Please go onto MoveOn and read, and if inclined, please sign my petition. Search by the words: States are Reckless – Please put Grey Wolves Back on Federal Protection List

Cork Meyer    
Wyoming  |  July, 03, 2014 at 07:02 AM

MoveOn is enough for me to say. NO WAY

Texas  |  July, 02, 2014 at 07:26 AM

Take ALL the wolves out of Yellow Stone National Park, divide them up into equal numbers and send them to the homes of the 150 protesters.........

M. Dora    
Wyoming  |  July, 02, 2014 at 09:00 AM

First of all they imported almost as many wolves from Canada as had been killed in total during all 16 years wolves were killed inside of Yellowstone, which was 56 adult wolves and 80 pups. The elk numbers were reported at 19,000 at the time, the last year the elk were counted in 2012 there were less than 4000 left, they didn't count last winter. The 3 states impacted by the wolves have gone way beyond the original plan of 300 wolves total, the 1200+ reported in the article is 400%. This demand for more control over wolves by the very profitable "non profit" professional beggars is only a ploy for getting more money. The ranchers forced to feed their sheep and cattle to the wolves and hunters who have contributed lots of money to restoring elk herds in the surrounding areas, are the ones footing the cost along with American taxpayers. Meanwhile the "non profits" are bringing in the dough and contributing nothing except lawsuits to harvest more dollars paid by taxpayers and problems.

Dan Holland    
CT  |  July, 02, 2014 at 01:22 PM

The people protesting the wolf hunt are preservationists not conservationists. Hunters are conservationists, environmental wackos are preservationists.

Walt C    
NE Wy  |  July, 02, 2014 at 02:23 PM

These people obviously don't understand the concept of ecosystem (food, water, shelter) carrying capacity. Once the wolf population exceeds the carrying capacity of the ecosystem, the the sources of food, water and/or shelter will be affected and decline. This will result in the entire population becoming weak or diseased and a major die off. The game & fish biologists spend countless hours studying the ecosystem to maintain a healthy population of all species and sets hunting quotas to reach that number. It is balance between predator as well as prey animals. Hunters are the primary contributor of funds for conservation. Through the Pittman Robertson act, a percentage of all sales of hunting and fishing supplies goes to wildlife conservation. When you include that with the private conservation groups such as Ducks Unlimited, Rocky Mountain Elk foundation and numerous others, hunters are the primary contributor of conservation funds in this country. As someone else said, these environmentalists take money that could be used for conservation and have it applied to legal fees for law suits. For them it's about the money and not the wildlife. They just recruit a bunch pf college age saps to do the protesting for them.

Almon P Premo    
CA.  |  July, 02, 2014 at 06:38 PM

WHAT ABOUT OUR BALD EAGLES? Why don't you care about them?

Wyoming  |  July, 03, 2014 at 12:34 PM

Yep, how about the bald eagles? Obama and the EPA just ok'd the killing of up to 1000 bald eagles per year by wind farms. On the other hand they prosecuted an American Indian to the fullest extent of the law for killing ONE eagle for a religious ceremony!

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