How the reintroduction of wolves changed Yellowstone National Park

How the reintroduction of wolves changed Yellowstone National Park

However, times are changing. Wolves were reintroduced to the park in 1995 and they are now protected. They have since rebalanced the ecosystem, reined in elk populations, and reversed the effects of overgrazing. But not all attitudes have changed, says Nathan Valli of Yellowstone Wolf Chasers, despite the evidence that wolves contribute to the prosperity of a wide variety of plants and animals.

“Wolves are still a lightning rod for controversy,” he explained. “I don’t think it’s gone away much since they were reintroduced.”

Yellowstone Wolf Trackers are the pioneers in offering wolf watching tours within the park. These wolves are now considered a major attraction. Sadly, however, when it comes to what happens outside of Yellowstone’s protected confines, attitudes remain stuck in the past.

“They have enormous appeal and are an important part of our economy,” Nathan said. “But a lot of people don’t realize that the wolves they come to see are under siege. Yellowstone is a sanctuary, but if the wolves leave the park, they’re likely to die from hunting or trapping. State authorities are allowing this to kill the goose. “

You can’t stop the wolves from raging, so what can you do? “We want to see that message spread,” Nathan said. “Tourists are putting more pressure on states to do the right thing.”

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