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Why Boycotting the Northern Rockies is a Bad Idea for Conservationists, and for Wolves.

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 I returned recently from Yellowstone National Park, and  the Greater Yellowstone region.  As part of our trip there we met with several people concerning the ongoing and controversial wolf hunting season based on politics and not sound science.

I had the opportunity to sit down with biologists Nathan Varley and Linda Thurston in Gardiner, MT, right outside the  famous north entrance to Yellowstone Park. 

Wolf Watching in Yellowstone with the Wild Side.

We talked about the wolf population in and around the Park, and we also focused on the blanket boycott advocated by some of the grassroots organizations and groups.

We, at National Wolfwatcher Coalition, along with many  other conservation organizations, do not support the boycott for several reasons.  We feel that it it so very important for conservationists and others to visit the region now more so than ever. We need to support the many wildlife organizations that call the Northern Rockies home, and we also need people to come and experience wolves and wolf education at the many local educational facilities.  This can only help wolves,  and the advocates, biologists, and educators on the ground that are focused on helping them.  Staying away would only defeat that purpose.

So we say come to Yellowstone and the surrounding areas now more than ever.  Conservationists and their voices are needed here. As Linda Thurston says, when you come and rent a car, book a hotel, and visit a restaurant, let those businesses know that you are here to watch and learn about wolves.  That will have a much bigger impact if you do not come here at all.

The bottom line is we need to support our groups and organizations on the ground.  We need to be heard here in the Northern Rockies.  Staying away will not only hurt our conservation groups, but also the many good people that live in these states.  Many do not know what the issues are all about. 

06 of the Lamar Canyon Pack.Photo by Dan Hartman (

All they are hearing is that conservation groups are boycotting their state(s).  They see that as harmful and taking food off the table for their children.  So of course their  reaction will be resentment to our groups, and ultimately toward wolves.  That is exactly what we don’t want to happen.  These are the people on the state level that carry the loudest voice and we need them to understand and know the real facts, and hopefully help us turn this around.

Education is, and always will be a vital key to what we hope to accomplish for wolves.

It is so very important to support those people in the Northern Rockies that are fighting with us, for us, and for wolves.  Boycotting is not the way to go. We can certainly appreciate the good intention of many of you that were led to believe this would help, but actually it will only hurt our cause and our efforts for wolves. 

Listen to local biologists Nathan Varley and Linda Thurston.  They have been a great influence on my life and where I am today advocating for them on a full time basis. Nathan grew up right here in Yellowstone National Park.  Thanks to everyone that works so hard to help wolves and your support certainly does not go unnoticed .  Please visit and also the facebook page “wolfwatcher” where we blog on all the issues .  Like the page and join with us  advocating for wolves all over the country that need our help.


Watch the video and listen to the message from Nathan and Linda. You can learn more about them and what they do at



Thanks to everyone for your tireless efforts, and what you do day in and day out for wolves!

National Wolfwatcher Coalition

Understand, Love, Protect

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