High Time to Send the Cowboys Packing

The sad story of wolf “recovery,” since their unjust removal from the federal Endangered Species list in the Northern Rockies and Great Lakes states, reminds me of some Western b-movie wherein trigger-happy cowboys and corrupt cattle ranchers ride into a peaceful town, oust the sheriff and replace order with chaos, clear-headedness with insanity and serenity with violence.

So unprecedented is the ongoing slaughter of an endangered species immediately on the heels of their purported recovery that I can’t think of any situation to compare it to. The only hypothetical analogies I can think of is if the U.S. resumed full-scale whaling or sealing the day after those animals recovered or allowed people to shoot recently endangered eagles again, lest they prey on someone’s chickens.

After all, eagles are predators, aren’t they? Well, yes, sometimes, but they’re also the symbol of our country.

Wolves too are symbols. To those who revere wilderness, wolves represent nature unspoiled—a time before the merciless reign of humankind. But to wolf-haters, they are symbolic of something scary—the eventual evolution beyond their avaricious way of life.

Caught in the middle are the wolves themselves; all they want is the freedom to roam and their fair share of what has always been theirs—before human politics turned them into a bone of contention.

It’s high time some gunslinger-with-no-name drifted into town and sent those wolf-killing cowboys packing.

Text and Wildlife Photography ©Jim Robertson, 2013. All Rights Reserved

Text and Wildlife Photography ©Jim Robertson, 2013. All Rights Reserved

5 thoughts on “High Time to Send the Cowboys Packing

    • Yes, but thankfully not everywhere yet. They were removed from the ES list 2 years ago in the Yellowstone area, and the states responded by killing as many as possible. (Last season Idaho didn’t get to kill as many as they’d hoped; by their game departments own admission, because there aren’t that many left to kill). They are off the list in the N. Rockies and Great Lakes areas, but still currently protected elsewhere in the country. That could soon change, if the feds completely remove wolves from the endangered species list and therefore from all ESA protections. This must not happen, or states like Washington, North Dakota, Utah, etc. will be able to kill wolves even before they get re-established there…

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