People are fighting about wolves. Ranchers and a hysterical public hate them and want every one shot on sight.
Native Americans, conservation professionals, scientists and wildlife workers, however, know the truth. Wolves and other predators are absolutely crucial for the future of not just our National Parks and wilderness areas but – our healthy, sustainable planet.
As the recent uproar over the so-called ‘wolf-rider’ illustrates, our endangered species and conservation programs are being ham-strung by special-interests. We use wildlife as bargaining chips for unrelated issues.
We don’t think much about it – it fades from the forefront of our concerns as the next ‘shiny new object’ attracts our attention.
Yet, damage from such hastily made or compromised decisions ends up coming back to haunt us in the end.
No where was this folly better demonstrated than the damage done to our beloved Yellowstone National Park when the last wolves (through pressure from the livestock industry) were exterminated.
Most people may not be aware of it, but the removal (killing) of those wolves, and the resulting degradation of that once-magnificent landscape brimming with vitality and diverse life, very nearly cost America one of our greatest National treasures.
Yellowstone National Park was slowly dying.
Certainly the landscape was undergoing some grave changes.
Aspen forests, for instance, stopped growing. The wildlife that depended on those aspen forests began vanishing.
Luckily we wised up and set about restoring the wild wolf population.
In short order, the wolves, doing the job they were put on Earth to do to begin with, began to repair our mistake.
With wolves once again in residence, Yellowstone National Park began to regain its former glory.
Despite the unqualified success of wolf-reintroduction into Yellowstone and the American landscape, the livestock industry (which wants to turn the range into a large, cultivated back yard instead of the thriving, healthy wilderness it needs to be) as well as anti-wolf hysteria, is jeopardizing those vital wolf populations just as they’re getting a tenuous foothold back in their home ranges.
What a breath of fresh air when you come across videos such as this one, by WildEarth Guardians.
Please take a moment to watch this short and well-done presentation, narrated by Alan Arkin, explaining just some of the reasons why restoring the natural balance, including intrinsically critical predators such as the iconic wild wolf, is the key to saving our National Parks and imperiled wilderness.
The wolf, as you will see, is vital to the healthy functioning, and even the continued existence, of our wild landscape. Ranchers can protect their livestock through fencing and shepherd dogs rather than wolf-extermination (the same way we’ve learned to stop shooting vital hawks, owls, eagles and falcons), but nothing can restore the aspen forests and associated wildlife of the west, for instance, except the wolf.
This is about saving our planet from ecosystem collapse. The wilderness, complete with all the glorious wild things that belong to it, is your and mine and our children’s legacy. The wolf is the guardian of our estate and all the wildlife, forests and grasslands it includes.
This is a lesson not just for those of us in the US, but for the world. No matter where you are, Nature was complete and perfect before Man arrived. Our best course now is to restore and allow. Let Nature and all her glorious creatures exist, and do what they intended to do. There is room for animals and wilderness, and there is room for us. We just need to practice some maturity, some wisdom, and some self-control.
Please join the growing legions of enlightened ‘diverse-ecosystem’ advocates. Support wolf-restoration efforts and help strengthen protections for wild wolves and other predators. Together we can revitalize our National Parks and enjoy healthy, sustainable ecosystems for generations to come.
Also, please see this trailer for a new film on the critical importance of predators, including wolves, on the planet: