Well, y’all have managed to do it again. Make me so furious I’m spitting nails and planning a boycott, a one-person boycott if necessary. Way to go, Montana Fish and Wildlife. Wolf 926F, of the Lamar Canyon Pack, and known affectionately as “Spitfire” has been taken as a “trophy.” Trophy to what? An enlarged sense of entitlement? Trying to prove your masculinity? What?
I’m not going to go into how beneficial the wolves are for the ecosystem in and around Yellowstone, again. Those of us who know it have talked until we’re blue in the face. Facts have been presented. Statistics have been presented. And, yet, Montana, Wyoming, and Idaho continue to have “trophy wolf” hunting areas. How very interesting, those areas all border Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks. Even more interesting, those “trophy” areas are predominantly leased BLM land. Leased for cattle grazing.
So, because the legislatures of Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho are completely deaf to everyone except people who have a vested interest in seeing the wolf eradicated from their states (and preferably the lower 48), here’s my proposal. Financially strangle the communities around Yellowstone National Park. Yellowstone National Park saw 4.25 million people visit in 2016. $524.3 million was spent in gateway communities within a 60-mile radius of YNP. That supported 8,156 jobs in the area and added $680.3 million to the local economy. (https://www.nps.gov/yell/learn/news/17020.htm)
It’s time to start letting the powers that be know how disgusted and angry we are, and how determined we are that this stop. Yes, go visit Yellowstone. Don’t spend a single penny in those gateway communities. You can fill up 100 miles outside of Yellowstone. You can buy gas in YNP. (It is a little pricier, but, hey…) Buy the supplies for your picnic or camping trip outside that 100-mile radius, too. Stock up on ice. Again, financially strangle those gateway communities, which incidentally are also where the majority of those “trophy wolf” hunting areas are.
Save all your receipts and after your trip to Yellowstone, photocopy them and send them to the chambers of commerce in these gateway communities: Jackson, Teton Village, Wilson, Cody, Cooke City, Gardiner, Wapiti. Tell them this was money you chose not to spend in their communities and will not be spending in their communities unless and until ALL trophy wolf hunting areas are closed. Your couple of hundred dollars spent may not seem like much, but if we all do it, multiply that loss by several hundred or several thousand people and suddenly the financial loss will hurt. (Maybe not Jackson, but you get my point.) By not spending in those communities, there is a cascade effect–jobs dependent on the tourism trade will dry up. Without those jobs, less money is infused into the very local economy. More jobs vanish. And, all of a sudden, people aren’t buying steaks any more. They can barely afford hamburger. Two birds. One stone.
Yes, I’m angry. I’ve gone past angry. I’ve reached the stage my kids called the “oh, sh!t” anger. It’s cold. It’s very cold. It’s ruthless. It’s heartless. The only thing most people seem to understand is the bottom line. It’s time to pull the bottom line out and let ’em fall. Maybe then they’ll realize it just wasn’t the ecosystem the wolf made stronger and kept healthy.