March 24, 2018

A Few Thoughts On Yellowstone, Wolves And The Environment

indian1Hello. My name’s Allan and I’m an environmentalist. Wow! That was pretty easy. Now I’m out of the closet. As an environmentalist, I can honestly say I love this land. I’ve chosen to live here and I want to protect it. I want my children and grand children to enjoy things just like I have. But as a budding environmentalist I haven’t developed the full fervor of my eco-terrorist, plants and animals before people paradigm. But I do have a few good ideas of my own.

First, I agree that we need to keep Yellowstone (and all of the Yellowstone eco-system, as far as that’s concerned) in as pristine a condition as possible. Unfortunately I don’t believe wolves are the way to do that. But I do have an substitute I think will work even better. For those who want to keep the land the way it was 200 year ago, I suggest we get rid of the wolves and re-introduce Indians to Yellowstone.

Indians (also known in some circles as native Americans) are the original environmentalists. They not only loved the land, they worshiped it as earth mother. They don’t kill indiscriminately and leave the rest to rot. They take only what they need and then only from the weak or sickly (to preserve the best for future breeding.) They don’t interfere with the natural order of things, preferring to live in harmony.

Of course if you’re going to have Indians on the land, you’re going to have to put up with them not camping in designated campgrounds. They’re going to build fires (albeit small fires) wherever they happen to land for the night. They’re going to perform their native religious rituals late into the night (which may disturb some campers.) They’re going to want to be left alone — not saddled with meaningless rules.

All that is a small trade off as far as I can see. So from my point of view we re-introduce Indians as soon as possible. We let them take care of the wolves. We give them what they need to live in peace and harmony with the land (like they’ve always done) and the environment (along with all the rest of us) is the winner.

I suggest if we’re going to get back to the way things were 200 years ago we re-introduce Indians to Yellowstone as soon as possible and get going.



  1. Frank N says:

    Very few, if any, American Indians lived in what is now Yellowstone National Park year around. Wolves certainly did. Also, almost nothing is wasted in nature. What wolves do not eat is quickly cleaned up by bears, ravens, eagles, fox, coyotes etc. Bones, antlers etc. return to and nurture the soil.
    I have to admit, though, that it would be super cool to lie in my sleeping bag at night and listen to distant drums beating, along with the very cool sound of howling wolves.

  2. I have to admit, after spending a week in Yellowstone searching (in vain) to spot a wolf I was pretty devastated over the news of the mass hunting spree that just started. I think in years to come we will look back at this as a very low moment for protection of the species.

    Oh, and incidentally, I’m part Native American! When it comes to the land — Love it, nurture it and don’t waste it.

  3. Allan says:

    Wolves stick to the back country for the most part. You will see them from time to time, especially in the Lamar Valley in the Northeast corner of the park but it’s not common to see them.

    As far as a mass hunting spree, the hunt will be closed to everyone when the prescribed number of wolves has been killed. Each kill must be reported within 24 hours and an inspection of the wolf made by fish and game. I personally doubt this will be a low moment, as the numbers of elk and deer have grown dramatically since the fish and game began aggressively protecting the herds and I would expect no less for the wolves.

    I think there is a place for all the species, but I also think they need to be kept in balance for it to work for everyone. Controlled hunts will maintain that balance. As a side note, the F&G sold nearly 12,000 tags, but only expected to see 200 wolves killed. So apparently you’re not the only one who won’t be seeing a wolf this season.

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