I am a teacher in Chicago, Illinois. I ride the bus to go to work almost every day and recently I noticed the posters displayed inside the bus promoting tourism in Montana. The pictures were so beautiful that they looked fake. Most of them displayed three sights all in one shot. The foreground was a sea of green grass sprinkled with flowers and behind this prairie I saw heart-stirring forests, like those described in fairy tales. Then, behind everything, were majestic mountains reaching toward the sky.
Those images made me want to visit this scenic paradise. I was so drawn and excited to visit Montana that I told my husband and my family that we had to go there for our next vacation. That was until my research brought to my attention Montana´s Department of Fish, Wildlife and Park’s decision to allow trapping and increase the number of wolves allowed to be killed during hunting season.
I checked the facts associated with trapping and I came across the concerns of ranchers and those in wildlife management about wolves. Research shows that wolves’ eating habits revolve around elk (old and sick specimens that are easier to hunt). Research also shows that as predators, wolves are essential to maintain balanced ecosystems.
As unnecessary and environmentally troublesome as I have found wolf hunting to be, what really shocked and angered me was trapping as a means of hunting. I am against cruelty and torture. Breaking an animal´s leg and leaving it to starve, slowly bleed to death, or die of thirst, is vicious beyond words.
Instead of tormenting animals, people in Montana could boost Montana´s economy by providing ecofriendly tourism. I pledge to visit Montana the day trapping becomes illegal in this breathtaking state.
Julia I. Fernandez-Clegg