Wolves, © Gary Schultz/Alaska Stock/National Geographic Stock

Wyoming Approves Flawed Wolf Plan

The state of Wyoming took swift action this week to approve a misguided wolf plan that would allow wolves to be killed by anyone at any time by any means across the majority of the state. On Monday, the Wyoming House voted overwhelmingly in favor of the wolf bill, and Gov. Matt Mead signed it into law late yesterday.

The following is a statement from Mike Leahy, Rocky Mountain director for Defenders of Wildlife:

“This isn’t responsible wolf management, it’s predator control under the guise of wildlife management. The current plan would allow unrestricted killing of wolves across the majority of the state, including in our national forests. What we need is a plan that will ensure the long-term future of a sustainable wolf population. This plan, however, potentially threatens the viability of the wolf population in Wyoming. It could also have severe impacts on the dispersal of wolves to neighboring states and impair the genetic health of wolves in the region.

“Wolves are an important part of Wyoming’s wildlife heritage and play a vital role in maintaining healthy ecosystems. They have already boosted tourism revenue near Yellowstone and have the potential to do so in other parts of the state as well.  The species should be managed as wildlife by the Wyoming Game and Fish Department based on the best available science, not politics.”

Wyoming’s approved wolf management plan would treat wolves as trophy game in the northwest corner of the state surrounding Yellowstone National Park, where they could be hunted with a license during a specified hunting season. Wolves would be considered predators in the rest of the state where they could be killed at any time by almost any means. An additional “flex zone” would extend the southern boundary of the trophy game area into the predator zone for five months of the year. The plan would require the state to maintain 100 out of the 243 wolves currently residing outside of Yellowstone National Park. About 100 wolves currently reside within the park and would remain protected.

Federal protections for wolves in the Northern Rockies were removed in 2011, except in Wyoming. Now that Wyoming Gov. Matt Mead has approved the plan, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is likely to publish a proposed delisting rule to remove protections for wolves in Wyoming as well.

We’ll need the support of all our members to stop the federal government from putting this ill-conceived plan into action, so stay tuned for updates on Defenders next steps.

Learn more about what Defenders is doing to protect wolves in the Northern Rockies

Get weekly updates of wolf news on Defenders blog


8 Responses to “Wyoming Approves Flawed Wolf Plan”

  1. Lance Rasmussen

    So pretty much all the petitions I’ve signed over the years and money I’ve donated is for naught because they’re just gonna do it anyway Disturbing

  2. victoria mathew

    How in the world are they keeping track of the wolves killed??
    They have to keep a viable breeding number Right? This is a big mess, I can believe this is happening!!!

  3. Betty Lacasella

    Please Stop the KILLINGS of our wolves….they were on the land first. Please, it is the Human encrachment of their lands……please understand and try too work it out. And STOP killing our wildlife
    thank you

  4. Betty Lacasella

    Human encroachment onto the lands of the wolves………..wolves were there first. Please try to work out a solution for both sides. Thank You.

  5. Louise Kane

    This plan and Wisconsin’s unequivocally prove that the politics and inherent bias against wolves still pose the biggest threat to their survival. Its time to do some radical pushing back to help wolves. We need to get the word out, get a coordinated movement to sign petitions, call legislators and get media attention. Yellowstone has millions of visitors that love wolves, lets get going. Wolves in idaho, Montana, Wyoming and Wisconsin need protection now.

  6. Gary Simmons

    Why don’t we just withhold Any Support or Votes from Obama until and unless he get’s rid of that Jerk Salazar at Interior – This guy has not done ANYTHING Right. President Nixon did more for the Enviroment (like creating E.P.A.) Than These so called Democrat’s. Do It, Don’t Vote Unless President Obama Fire’s MR. Salazar – They remind me of the James Watt days

  7. Rhoda Gachui

    “You know, I am yet to understand. Don’t these people realize that every creature, even insects have a role to play in their ecosystem? Without them, there would be an imbalance. Who passes these kind of laws?! Only a blind, ignorant man. Here in Africa, we are trying to protect out wildlife by creating laws that ban poaching. Ou elephants and rhinos are dying in numbers because of poachers, as we helplessly try to stop the trade in ivory. Animals should be protected. Those who kill should be prosecuted, heavily.”

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