Wyoming Farm Bureau Federation v. Babbitt: The Children of the Night Return to the Northern Rocky Mountains

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The reintroduction of the gray wolf into the northern Rocky Mountains was very controversial. Environmental groups asserted that the wolves were the missing link in the ecosystem and necessary to ensure ecological balance.' Environmentalists argued that the wolves would have no significant impact on livestock or big game, whereas the state and local governments opposed wolf reintroduction, which was viewed as an intrusion on their traditional management prerogatives, therefore, the government's priorities were the protection of other vital economic interests.2 The livestock industry worried that the wolves would prey on cattle and sheep and no compensation would be forthcoming.3 Hunting groups feared that the wolves would endanger big game herds and harm hunting. Developers were concerned that their activities would be limited in the wolves territory. All of these concerns were subsumed within the larger symbolic battle over public lands management in the west. State and local governments and economic interests were worried that economic development, which characterizes federal natural resource management, were giving way to an ecological and environmental ethic.

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