HOWL Colorado

Project:WOLF billboard causes stir in Cody, WY.

Described as “disturbing” and erected by a “shadowy” group, Cody, WY. residents are having strong reactions to the new billboard from Project:WOLF

HOWLColorado had nothing to do with the billboards which are being put up by Project:WOLF in Idaho, Montana and Wyoming. We do, however, support them.

Project:WOLF describes itself as a movement, rather than a group, and the billboards were the work of groups and/or individuals unknown operating under the banner of Project:WOLF.

The controversy arose around the fact that the billboard focuses on a graphic image of four dead wolves, and a bold blood motif flows from the top of the photo. The words “This is what’s happening to your Yellowstone wolves… Do you care? Visit projectwolf.org.” push through a message intended to inform generally wolf-friendly tourists on their way to Yellowstone about the risks posed to the park’s now iconic predators.

The comments on local paper, Cody Enterprise’s web site, show a pretty distinct split between anti-wolf sentiment, anti-billboard sentiment (many believe billboards are just ugly and when someone offered to put up a billboard in our name, we received many such complaints), and pro-wolf/pro-free speech. Whatever else you may think about the billboard, it certainly generated debate.

You can visit codyenterprise.com to view the coverage, and if you care to, participate in the discussion.

It is interesting to note that in the absence of information, assumptions and assertions are made by to fill in the gaps in a way that supports a commenter’s position.

The web site projectwolf.org hosts more disturbing images and some pretty chilling numbers about how many  wolves that have died since their delisting just a few short years ago.

Visitors are encouraged to reach out to Sally Jewell, secretary of the interior.

The rest of the page takes aim at trapping (a particular focus of HOWLColorado as we see trapping as a pretty low hanging fruit for debate about wildlife management) and uses relatively commonly known factoids about public support for banning traps, which states allow traps and such. I recommend a visit,

The site also asks for donations which they state will be used to pay to keep these billboards up and even expand in to other forms of advertising media.

It’s an interesting strategy and one that more advocates may elect to take. HOWLColorado is generally speaking opposed to the use of graphic imagery, preferring to provide hard, cold facts. However, it is hard to deny that while it’s easy to overlook facts presented in a relatively calm way, the images used by Project:WOLF have shaken things up and brought the wolf issue to the top of mind in one Wyoming city.

Full disclosure, HOWLColorado was asked, and was proud, to be listed as an educational resource for the site.

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