Federal officials have just turned the fate of Wyoming's wolves over to state officials -- and soon these majestic animals will be killed across most of the state.
Under Wyoming’s plan, more than 60 percent of Wyoming's wolves outside of Yellowstone National Park -- including pups -- could be wiped out. Already, at least seven wolves have been shot and killed along the Yellowstone Park boundry since hunting season began.Five of those wolves had radio collars and were the subjects of intensive conservation research study.
Wolves play a significant role in ecosystem health. They help keep large herd animal populations in check, which can benefit numerous other plant and animal species. The carcasses of their prey also help to redistribute nutrients and provide food for other wildlife species, most notably other scavengers. Indeed, scientists are just beginning to understand the full positive ripple effects that large predators contribute in nature.
The restoration of wolves has been hailed as one of the greatest successes of the Endangered Species Act. Wolves are a keystone species. The return of wolves to Wyoming has set in motion a wave of ecological recovery that will restore balance to many of your forests.
We ask that, in your capacity as Governor of Wyoming, you restore protection for these noble and beautiful creatures.