Wolves, Mosques, and Other Environmental Problems

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Property and Environment Research Center


Most environmental issues involve resource conflicts. One person wants to use a river to carry away her waste products, while another one wants to swim and fish in the same stream. Often these uses conflict and collide. A modern example of how “enviropreneurs,” or environmental entrepreneurs, come to see these conflicts involves wolf restoration to Yellowstone National Park. Since wolves were exterminated from the park by rangers in 1922, some people have worked like crazy to get them back against all odds. Ranchers of cattle and sheep despise the wolf for what it does to their herds. In the late 1980s and early 1990s, Defenders of the Wildlife created a viable solution to the wolf predation problem, and the wolf now roams that part of the American West again. Defenders, and the hard work of Hank Fisher, created the wolf compensation fund to pay ranchers when there was a demonstrated kill of calves or lambs. In the early 1990s wolves were released back in the park, and they now thrive there. The plan isn’t perfect, but it has worked now for almost 20 years.