PETITION TARGETS: Yellowstone National Park Supervisor Cam Sholly, Montana Governor Greg Gianforte, Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks (Wildlife Commission)
UPDATE (1/31/2022): Wildlife commissioners have moved to shut down Montana’s wolf hunting season around Yellowstone National Park but have rejected calls to establish earlier kill quotas, which would have allowed only a few wolves near the park’s boundaries to be destroyed each year, according to The Associated Press. We will keep doing all we can for wolves. —Lady Freethinker Staff
Yellowstone National Park’s cherished and beloved wolves are under attack, with 20 shot dead by hunters – including an entire pack – when they roamed outside the park’s boundaries.
Park officials said the hunters annihilated the Phantom Lake Pack over a two-month span, starting in October. Other casualties include two female pups and a female yearling from the beloved Junction Butte Pack, whose den is visible from the park’s road and regularly draws tourists.
Fifteen wolves died after crossing the northern park’s boundary into Montana, where recent and cruel changes to the law allow hunters and private contractors to use vicious traps and snares, to hunt at night, and to lure animals with animal carcasses and bait – including away from the park where they are protected.
Five wolves died in Idaho and Wyoming, which also recently rolled back protections for wolves in favor of brutal tactics following lobbying from ranchers and hunters.
The massive deaths are a “significant setback for the species’ long-term viability and for wolf research,” said park officials who raised the alarm as far back as September over the reckless slaughter of Yellowstone’s wolves.
Yellowstone now is home to only 94 wolves – and Montana’s hunting and trapping season is still underway through March 15.
Previous regulations prohibited the killings of all but a few wolves around the park’s Montana border.
But Gov. Greg Gianforte – an avid hunter and trapper who failed to take a mandatory trapping class, and also got an official warning from the state’s game warden after he shot and killed a radio-collared wolf near the park’s boundary – rolled back those protections, making it easier to kill wolves, and allowing hunters to kill more of them.
With months to go in the wolf hunting season, Montana hunters already have killed 63 of the 82 wolves they’re legally allowed to massacre in southwestern Montana, the area encompassing the land Yellowstone’s wolves will likely roam.
The mass killings have prompted federal concern, with a review underway about whether gray wolves need to once again be given endangered species protections.
It’s time to stop this blatant disregard for wolves’ vulnerable status and the mutinous killing of entire, beloved packs. Montana must take steps to reign in those who clearly have no regard for quotas, laws, or the sanctity of these animals’ lives.
Sign this petition urging Montana Gov. Greg Gianforte to shut down this year’s hunting season near Yellowstone and also to reinstitute the previously authorized quotas near park boundaries. We’re also asking Yellowstone National Park to continue to advocate for these beloved wolves and for the Montana Wildlife Commission to undertake an independent review of the wolves’ situation and do all they can to ensure any needed, additional protections for these vulnerable animals.