Wolves in the schools
The superintendent of Wyoming's Fremont County School
District recently canceled wolf presentations at three elementary
schools in Lander. Wild Sentry, a Montana-based wolf education
program, has successfully taught thousands of kids in Montana,
Wyoming and Idaho about the controversy and stereotypes surrounding
the animal. But when area ranchers learned the program was coming
to town, some complained to school board members, saying it leaned
toward the fluffy side of wolves. Superintendent Wayne King figured
it would be better to drop the wolf show than risk ruffling
feathers. "We've got a bond issue coming up and we don't want to
rile people up over this," King told the Wyoming State Journal.
Sponsors of the program howled in disbelief. June Rain, of the
Wyoming Wildlife Federation, said, "It is outrageous that a special
interest group can push around our educational system like this.
But it is typical of the intimidation tactics ... that the
livestock industry exerts on all public-lands issues." King,
prompted by numerous parental outcries, finally decided to offer
families an evening presentation on wolves, which 430 people
attended. And Wild Sentry's wolf program went off without a hitch
at nearby schools on the Wind River Indian Reservation.