There are an estimated 625 wolves left in Montana and over 6,000 permits were issued to hunt them. At first this sounds like an awful idea considering that the wolf was endangered in the United States just a few years ago, but there are certainly two sides to this argument. First, there is the argument for the protection of the wolf. They state that wolf populations are still not stable enough and that a hunting season is too risky for the future of the wolf. The wolf plays a surprisingly important role in its habitat’s ecosystem having significant effects on moose, birds, fish, and vegetation. On the other hand, many argue that although mathematically it seems easily possible for the entire wolf population to be killed in one season, it is actually impossible because of the illusiveness of the animal. Just two hundred wolves were killed in the previous season when 19,000 permits were issued. Also, the wolf is framed as a dangerous nuisance to residents that share their habitat. It is clear that the subject of wolves in the United States is surrounded by controversy between “conservationists” and “hunters”, but there is a more fundamental problem underlying it.
The gray wolf was delisted in the United States because of neither of the two reasons stated above. It was a political one. It stems from a rider to a Department of Defense authorization bill in a deal to help a political party retain the senate. It had nothing to do with conservation, public safety, or even the wolf. It was a tool to reach political objectives. This means that the wolf obviously does have genuine value to some people, but to the people making bigger decisions it’s just a card they can play.
Image: It’s Just Politics with Zoe Clark and Rick Pluta