Wolf-Watching, New Tourist Niche for Wyoming
People in the Rockies and from around the country are willing to pay just for the chance to see a wolf in its natural habitat. That’s what a guide has discovered, and the tours he and his wife offer in Yellowstone National Park are always booked.
Nathan Varley, says the waiting list of clients demonstrates there is economic potential - something he says Wyoming should support, even as a plan is being finalized to shoot wolves without limits in most of the state. Varley says wolf watchers are fascinated by the animals' stories.
"They live a very dangerous life, and that lends itself to the drama quite a bit. And they have a real complex social system, too. So, it’s easy to kind of see them as a family."
Varley says it’s important to understand that wolves have positive economic value that reaches beyond hunting…and Wyoming should tap into it - just like Yellowstone National Park does.
"It’s like whale watching, or bird watching, or any of the 'watching' pastimes that have become more prevalent and commonplace."
He says wolf-watching tourism provides much-needed off-season revenue for his business. He calls winter the prime wolf-viewing time.
Wyoming News Service