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Wolf Population under attack

On February 8, 2007 the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (the Service) published their official proposal to remove gray wolves in the Northern Rocky Mountain (NRM) states from the Federal List of Threatened and Endangered Species. The Service wants to delist wolves in all of Montana, Idaho and Wyoming, the eastern one-third of Washington and Oregon, and a small part of north-central Utah.
Wolf
Wolf
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Requesting Public Comments on Proposed Delisting of Northern Rocky Mountain Gray Wolf Population

Urge feds to raise wolf recovery goals above minimum levels and postpone delisting until state management plans comply.

On February 8, 2007 the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (the Service) published their official proposal to remove gray wolves in the Northern Rocky Mountain (NRM) states from the Federal List of Threatened and Endangered Species. The Service wants to delist wolves in all of Montana, Idaho and Wyoming, the eastern one-third of Washington and Oregon, and a small part of north-central Utah.

The Service only requires that a minimum 300 wolves made up of 30 breeding pairs or 30 packs is maintained in the NRM area. Currently, the wolf population in Montana, Idaho and Wyoming is at least 89 breeding pairs (or 89 packs) and 1,243 gray wolves live in the NRM which means that close to 59 breeding pairs and 943 wolves can be killed, (or culled depending on the attitudes of the state legislatures) before wolves become relisted and protected again by the Endangered Species Act (ESA).

The combination of federal protection, reintroduction programs and the dispersal of gray wolves from Canada have allowed wolves to occupy 6% of their historic territory. Wolves once roamed over all of the U.S. before they were hunted, trapped and poisoned to the brink of extinction by ranchers and government agencies.

The ESA has protected gray wolves and allowed them to thrive for decades. Despite this success, the Service is ready to hand over wolf management to state legislatures that have been eager to kill off most of the wolves inhabiting their states. This is the same attitude that fueled the worst extermination plan of a non-human species in North American history.

Idaho's Republican Governor, C.L. "Butch" Otter, said recently, "I'm prepared to bid for that first ticket to shoot a wolf myself." Though poisoning is one of the only illegal methods of killing wolves, a man in Idaho pleaded guilty last month of trying to kill wolves by using poison-laced meatballs to attract them. While his plan to illegally kill wolves failed, a coyote, fox, several birds and three dogs ate the meatballs and suffered instead.

In Wyoming, anti-wolf sentiment is far worse. In fact, even the Service is reluctant to release management of wolves to the state. Current Wyoming State Law designates wolves as "predators" which means, "All wolves, including pups can be killed by any means, without limit, at any time, for any reason, and regardless of any direct or potential threat to livestock." This allows people in Wyoming to be very creative in how they choose to kill wolves. There have been stories of people trapping wolves, wiring their muzzles shut, punching them and then release the wolves back into the wild to starve. Digging pups out of dens and harassing and torturing wolves are all legal under Wyoming State Law. Wyoming is also considering the use of aerial hunting permits to kill wolves in their attempt to keep wolves away from livestock.

Wyoming's Democratic Governor, Dave Freudenthal, has recently said "wolves are causing an unacceptable impact on our elk and moose populations," while other political leaders would like to declare any wolf outside Yellowstone or the Grand Teton national parks "an unprotected predator" which again translates to killing all wolves -- young, pregnant, etc. -- by "any means, without limit, at any time, for any reason, and regardless of any direct or potential threat to livestock." Wolf packs from Yellowstone National Park now roam outside of the protective boundaries into the rest of Wyoming so this is especially alarming.

In addition, Wyoming has filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service to delist wolves. This is based on their allegations that delisting wolves is "urgent and a priority because of impacts to big game populations, economic impacts, introducing wolves into unnatural and fragmented habitats, and livestock depredation." At present, the Service wants to delist wolves in all of Wyoming, but will not until the state adopts a management plan similar to Idaho and Montana which protects some wolves to keep the species alive (i.e., ten breeding pairs or packs of wolves and 100 wolves in each state). Wyoming still has a chance to submit a management plan for wolves that the Service will approve, but hopefully they will not. If they do not, only portions of the wolves' habitat in Wyoming will become delisted.

This could become the worst wolf massacre in the lower 48 states in decades. And it could be executed using egregious killing methods that no civilized person would consider appropriate for "wolf management" efforts. None of the states' wolf management plans adequately address the underlying issues that once brought these magnificent animals to the brink of extinction before they were pulled back by aggressive conservation. In so doing, they ignore not only the wolves' welfare, but also the crucial role the species plays in maintaining balanced ecosystems.

Wolves are also important to the millions of nature lovers who visit our national parks every year. According to a recent study, over 150,000 people go to Yellowstone National Park each year just to see wolves, adding $35 million to the economies of Montana, Idaho and Wyoming. In addition, almost 4% of the Park's nearly three million annual visitors said they would not have visited Yellowstone if there were no wolves.

Wolves live together, forming close bonds with members of their packs. They raise their young much like mother dogs raise puppies. It is a sad tragedy that these magnificent and sentient animals will be hunted down again and exterminated.

What You Can Do

Submit comments (Deadline: April 9, 2007) in the following ways:

Please be sure your comments are personalized, polite and as concise as possible.

1) Action Alert: Please Take Action to urge the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service not to delist the gray wolf in the Northern Rocky Mountain states.

2) Fax: (406) 449-5339
Include in Subject line: RIN number 1018-AU53

3) Mail: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Western Gray Wolf Recovery Coordinator
RIN number 1018-AU53
585 Shepard Way
Helena, MT 59601

4) Hand Deliver/Courier: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Western Gray Wolf Recovery Coordinator
RIN number 1018-AU53
585 Shepard Way
Helena, MT 59601

Attend a meeting and public hearing

We are looking for people to videotape the meetings at each location. Please write to wildlife [at] idausa.org ASAP if you are able to help.

In each location, the public meetings will be from 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. and the public hearings will be from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. A brief presentation on the FWS proposal will be given during the public meetings at 3:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m., followed by a question-and-answer period. During the public hearing, formal oral testimony will be accepted. Written comments also will be accepted at the public meeting and the hearing.

Meeting Locations

February 27, 2007
at Holiday Inn Cheyenne
204 West Fox Farm Road
Cheyenne, WY
map

February 28, 2007
at Plaza Hotel
122 West South Temple
Salt Lake City, UT
map

March 1, 2007
at Jorgenson's Inn & Suites
1714 11th Avenue
Helena, MT
map

March 6, 2007
at Boise Convention Center on the Grove
850 W. Front Street
Boise, ID
map

March 7, 2007
at Pendleton Red Lion Inn
304 S.E. Nye Street
Pendleton, OR
map

March 8, 2007
at Oxford Inns and Suites
15015 East Indiana Avenue
Spokane Valley, WA
map

For more information, please send an email to wildlife [at] idausa.org.


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Rocky Mountain Gray Wolves Could Lose Endangered Species Protection

WASHINGTON, DC, February 6, 2006 (ENS) - The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service intends to remove gray wolves in the northern Rocky Mountains from the federal list of threatened and endangered species. The Service says these wolves have exceeded biological recovery goals and no longer require protection under the Endangered Species Act.

An advanced notice of proposed rulemaking issued Thursday gives the public time to review and comment on the Service's proposed future rulemaking that would establish a gray wolf Distinct Population Segment (DPS), encompassing the geographic boundary of all of Montana, Idaho and Wyoming, the eastern third of Washington and Oregon, and a small part of northcentral Utah.
 http://www.ens-newswire.com/ens/feb2006/2006-02-06-05.asp

homepage: homepage: http://www.idausa.org/campaigns/wildlife/wolf_070214.html


learn more about wolves 02.Mar.2007 09:38

lil pup

if you want to know more about the lives and habits of wolves i would suggest reading Farley Mowat's book "Never Cry Wolf", it is an excellent book about wolves and an excellent read.. excellent dude!