This gray wolf could be shot on sight if new legislation is enacted. Upper Green River Basin, Wyoming Canis lupus
Wyoming’s new shoot on sight proposal takes the species straight from endangered status to Medeival wildlife management. Look, I’m no wolf-hugger, but I’m for a pragmatic approach to species management that’s grounded in science. I understand that wolves kill, sometimes overkill, and they need to be managed; but they’re also an apex predator in a complex, yet still functioning Western ecosystem, and shirking our responsibilities after recovering the species accomplishes what? The wolf in the image above could be easily shot for the crime of being a wolf – he happened to be in the area because big numbers of migrating elk – 1,000 or so – were moving north from winter feeding grounds. A lone wolf, doing what he is hard-wired to do. For a little while I thought we had come a long way in managing this most misunderstood species. I couldn’t have been more wrong, nor more disappointed in Secretary Salazar. What will it cost to recover the species again after we give the wolf-haters a few years of open season?