The heavily-funded Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation is fond of spreading the hype that today’s wolves are Johnny-come-latelies and thus should keep their paws off of theose prized trophy “game” species. But unlike sport hunters, wolf packs play an efficient and necessary part in nature’s narrative—a role that has served both predator and prey for eons.
Like rightful kings returning from exile, wolves are far from new to the Yellowstone ecosystem. Their 71-year absence was the result of a heartless bounty set by the real newcomers to the fine-tuned system of checks and balances that has regulated itself since life began.
New to the scene are cowboys on four-wheelers with their monoculture crop of cows and ubiquitous barbed-wire fences. New are pack trains of hunters resentful of any competition from lowly canines, yet eager to take trophies of wolf pelts, leaving the unpalatable meat to rot. And new is the notion that humankind can…
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