It was reported to me Jan 12 that a dispersing male wolf from the
Crystal Bench Pack in Yellowstone had entered the Paradise Valley north
of the Park's North Entrance and killed several sheep.
There is speculation that the 20-month old black male, no. B3, was
attracted to the area by a large compound containing about 100 captive
wolves (not wolf hybrids) owned by one, Jack Lynch. The sheep were
killed in the vicinity of the compound on property owned by a member
of the Church Universal and Triumphant (often referred to as "CUT")
which has a religious community just north of Gardiner, Montana.
This is the first confirmed livestock depredation from any of the wolves
introduced to Yellowstone or to central Idaho. Defenders of Wildlife
has promised to pay market compensation for all livestock confirmed to
have been killed by wolves.
The wolf reintroduction rules have a "two strikes" policy. B3 will be
captured and returned to the Park. If B3 kills more livestock, he will
likely be dispatched.
This incident is not to be confused with the excursions of the Soda
Butte Pack north of the Park along the Beartooth Front. This is about
40 linear miles east of the Paradise Valley.
The Paradise Valley is one of the most beautiful valleys in the West.
The Yellowstone River runs through it amidst farms and ranches between
the snow-capped Gallatin Range on the west and Absaroka Range on the
Unfortunately, the valley is also being sub-divided. Had it been made
part of Yellowstone Park when the Park was created, it would likely
be the greatest wildlife valley in the continental United States today,
far eclipsing anything inside of actual Yellowstone Park.
© Ralph Maughan
Not to be reprinted, archived, redistributed, etc., without permission.
© Ralph Maughan