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Working to Protect Wolf and Grizzly Habitat

by Stephen Capra, Executive Director, Bold Visions Conservation

The environment is not tailored to man; it is itself, for itself. All its creatures fit in. They know how, from ages past. Man fits in or fights it. Fitting in, living in it, carries challenge, exhilaration, and peace.  —Margret Murie

Dear members,

as I said in a recent video that was placed on Facebook, we have all suffered from the torture of the Wyoming wolf by a madman. While we all want to see justice, Wyoming continues to slow walk such efforts. In Colorado, trophy hunters we have discovered (we were led to believe it was ranchers) have accused me of illegal lobbying; their efforts are designed to suck energy and time from our organization; why? Because they want wolves destroyed in Colorado and groups like Bold Visions Conservation silent. Their charges are ridiculous and time-consuming. In Idaho, the Game and Fish Department is looking to allow Outfitters to trap wolves and hold them in traps until a client can come and shoot them. All of this means we must act!


So rather than complain, Bold Visions continues to try to be proactive in protecting wolves and all wildlife. In Bozeman now, Michael Stroeger, our Bozeman coordinator, is leading the charge to ban trapping on Sourdough Trail, a trail popular for families and pets that is currently open to trapping year-round. We may have a vote soon to end it.


But our biggest goal, which now has the support of the Rocky Mountain Tribal Leaders Council, is a plan to add 1.6 million acres to Yellowstone by creating a National Monument.  While the Monument would allow the hunting of deer and elk, our goal is to not allow the killing of wolves, grizzly bears, and other predator species and to ban trapping. That is part of making it an expansion of Yellowstone. So, we can all feel sad and outraged, but we can also funnel our energy into a project that can keep the species we love alive and protect perhaps one of the most important wildlife corridors in the lower 48.

I have said this many times: any Monument is difficult to create. One designed for wildlife has never been tried outside of ocean Monuments. No one, to my knowledge, has banned trapping. There will be fury by many, and some op-eds have already begun. Imagine, though, finally making a stand for wolves and grizzlies, giving lands for protection that are free of the mindset of torture and misguided manhood. Something that will be there for generations to come.


Wolves and the many endangered species of this vital stretch of wild land, not only deserve this, they need it badly. While it may seem like a moon shot, sometimes the best things we strive for come from a simple vision, passion and a solid strategic plan, which we have along with some great people working together for this goal. One point six million acres in Montana and Idaho sends a message that magnifies how people are tired of how wildlife is being managed in these states.  Instead, we want to be able to see wildlife when we hike, fish or recreate, not just read about animals lost to the mine field of traps, and the persuasive efforts by ranchers and trophy hunting groups to destroy the wolves and other predators that so many have celebrated. It is also a chance to educate the public by seeing and experiencing these animals in the wild and pushing back on ignorance and misinformation.


Let’s not forget that many of the states actively killing predators get a large share of the federal dole. They are not centers of commerce, and livestock production is about 13th in Montana in terms of revenue. Ranchers want to control federal lands; for them, there is no room for wolves. Wolves not only help the land but are an economic engine.

It is important to write letters of support to the President, the Secretary of the Interior, and local newspapers and let your friends on the East Coast or Central time zone know that this is a monument for wildlife and a vital piece to expanding much of what we love about Yellowstone!


We do not want wildlife to suffer, but the game agencies in these states refuse to use science and continue to be controlled by the legislature, trophy hunters, and trappers. They want wolves and grizzlies to be killed so outfitters can profit. Our job is to begin the process of protecting large landscapes so wildlife can thrive! It’s time that the violence against wildlife is stopped and that sanity returns to the public lands that are owned by all Americans.


Please be a part of making a difference for wildlife! Please give what you can today to a very expensive endeavor and feel free to call or email me if you have any more questions.


Let’s get busy making a Monument for Wildlife! Let’s do something positive for wolves and grizzlies today.

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