Wyoming’s Embattled Wolves in Dire Need of Life-Saving Protections

Written by Frances Beinecke, President, NRDC (Natural Resources Defense Council)

It’s open season on wolves in Wyoming. Last summer, the Obama Administration stripped Wyoming’s wolves of their endangered species protection, leaving them at the mercy of a wolf “management” plan that allows gray wolves to be shot on sight across about 85 percent of the state. As of last month, anyone who sees a wolf anywhere across the vast majority of Wyoming can kill it—legally—with no questions asked. And what’s more, the plan has been endorsed by the Interior Department.

The science is clear: wolves are a native carnivore and they are critically important for healthy ecosystems. Even more important: Wyoming’s wolf population is crucial, genetically, to the long-term survival of wolves in the entire Greater Yellowstone region.

Yet the Interior Department has chosen to abandon sound science and authorize what is essentially a wolf-killing plan, peddled by special interests that hate wolves and want to see their numbers drastically reduced.

And it’s not just Wyoming. Wolves are under attack all across the Northern Rockies. Just one year after Congress took the unprecedented step of forcing wolves off the endangered species list in Idaho and Montana, a staggering 545 wolves were killed during the 2011-12 hunting season in those two states — making Wyoming’s wolves all the more critical to the future of wolves in Greater Yellowstone.

Allowing wolves to be slaughtered is unthinkable. They are central to the wildness and spirit of the American West. NRDC is heading to federal court to put an end to the killing and return Wyoming’s wolves to the endangered species list until the state puts forward a credible plan that will truly protect its wolves.

Take Action: Send a message to Interior Secretary Salazar and urge him to halt this senseless slaughter and put Wyoming’s wolves back on the path to a sustainable recovery.

This holiday season, help protect wolves in honor of a loved one with NRDC Green Gifts!


Related Stories:

Fewer Than 100 Red Wolves Exist, and Now They’re Being Killed

‘Wildlife Specialist’ Posts Pics of His Dogs Torturing Wolf Caught in Trap

High Death Toll May End Wisconsin’s Wolf Hunt Early



Fred Hoekstra
Fred Hoekstra6 years ago

Thank you NRDC, for Sharing this!

Janet W.
Janet W.6 years ago

Oh yeah, wolves are important to the ecosystm. So are elk and moose but you do't see many of either now in Yellowstone. The wolves have been eating the calves of both long enough that in time, there won't be an elk or a moose in Yellowstone or anywhere else. Then the wolves will leave Yellowstone as they are doing now, and will be eatind domestic animals. When they have decimated those poopulations, what will be next? People????

Thorn Briar
Past Member 6 years ago

so sad :(

Katherine Wright
Katherine Wright6 years ago

Salazar has never been a friend to the animals nor the environment....I had no clue how a sub~human like him ever got himself into such a position of power. Yes, he needs to go bye~bye.....

Katherine Wright
Katherine Wright6 years ago

"Allowing wolves to be slaughtered is unthinkable..."


Carrie Anne Brown

signed already but thanks for sharing :)

Sheri D.
Sheri D6 years ago

So sad!

Beth M.
Beth M6 years ago

I have no faith in Salazar. He needs to go.

Lynn D.
Lynn D6 years ago

Sad, thanks for giving us address to send personal messages to!

Heather M
Heather Marv6 years ago

The wolves were there before white man and livestock and so give them a break!