Braxton Wheeler, 4, of Island Park, Idaho, locks eyes with a wolf at the West Yellowstone Grizzly & Wolf Discovery Center near Yellowstone National Park on May 18. The center offers opportunities to observe some of the West’s most controversial predators.
Bud Sampson, a hunter and farmer from Colville, voices his concern about wolves in the forests near his home as state Department of Fish and Wildlife game manager Dave Ware, foreground, fields questions during a packed town hall meeting about wolf impacts on March 28 in Colville.
Wolf watcher Linda Hamilton, of Green River, Wyo., uses a spotting scope to scan the plains near the Lamar Valley on May 11. Hamilton and her husband, Larry, said they have come to Yellowstone several times since wolves were reintroduced to the park in 1995. More than 300,000 people see wolves in the park each year.
Wolf toys and other park-related trinkets await tourists in the Yellowstone Association gift shop near the Gardiner, Mont., entrance to the national park.
A taxidermied black wolf is silhouetted against a 1930s photo of antelope on the plains near Meeteetse, Wyo., at the Charles Belden Photography Museum in Meeteetse.
A popular anti-wolf slogan adorns the bumper of a pickup at last summer’s third annual “Summer Sucks” Grass Drags, a snowmobile race in which competitors run their sleds on an open grass field in St. Maries, Idaho.
Jim Halfpenny holds a wolf skull at his Track Education Center and Museum on May 11 in Gardiner, Mont. Halfpenny, a professional tracker who works with wolves, created a chart for Yellowstone visitors to match wolves with their packs. He also provides forensic analysis of tracks when habitats overlap, such as when predators attack livestock.
Rancher Gene Jordan watches from his equipment barn as a Wyoming storm blows by his home on May 15 near Riverton, Wyo. Jordan says he started noticing the appearance of wolves on his ranch about seven years ago.
Gene Jordan fords an icy river to mend a barbwire fence demolished by snow melt near his Wyoming ranch as his wife, Debbie, watches from the opposite bank on May 15 near Riverton, Wyo. Since the earliest settlers arrived on the range, fences have set boundaries and protected assets. But wolves can easily slip through and swim across rivers. Before wolf reintroduction, Jordan says he typically lost a handful of calves every year to pneumonia or black bears. He says he now loses about 25 calves per year. Of the carcasses he is able to find, they’re sometimes too badly decayed to determine the cause of death. Each calf is worth about $800.