As a 40-plus-year resident biologist and Yellowstone author, I became alarmed at the rapid spread of chronic wasting disease prions into the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. The wildlife equivalent of mad cow disease. Last year, I submitted a letter to the editor relating wolf hunting quotas with the spread of CWD. The more wolves we have on the landscape, the less CWD we find.
We need a lot more wolves, and a lot less wildlife immigration of CWD feedlot prions from Ground Zero States. The wolf is our best hope of preventing CWD in Yellowstone Park.
One year later, "not the only ecological catastrophe in my generation, but mismanagement by government officials can make it happen!"
Old school politics: Government mismanagement mentioned above is showing itself in the form of the Montana State Departments of Livestock (feedlots) and wildlife management.
Old West mindset such as the Cowboy State of Wyoming's reckless wildlife policy: anti-wolf, anti-bison, feedlots; disregarding years of Native American wisdom/folklore and modern science based rhetoric about the balance of nature.
For 10 years, officials have watched CWD approaching Montana from both sides. It travels at the speed of a wounded deer migrating across the landscape. While other states (Ground Zero) regret the loss of recreational hunting due to the human-caused epidemic, without a biological control agent, state governments seem helpless in thwarting the spread of feedlot prions into the natural ecosystem.