Officials have confirmed that Yellowstone wolf 926F of the Lamar Canyon Pack, known to some as “Spitfire”, was killed for trophy less than five miles from the northeast entrance to the park. She was the daughter of legendary she-wolf 06.
The importance of a keystone predator such as the wolf to a balanced and resilient ecosystem is undeniable. Studies also show that since their return over 20 years ago, wolves have delivered an economic boost to Yellowstone’s surrounding communities. University of Montana researchers found that wolves bring an estimated $35M in annual tourist revenue to the region.
Trophy hunting of wolves brings in money too. Montana wolf hunting licenses cost $19 for residents and $50 for nonresidents.
Perhaps Montana should take a closer look at the economics of wolf hunting. Seems that Yellowstone wolves are worth a lot more alive than dead.