2009 Gray Wolf De-Listing By Obama Administration…

Gray_Wolf_Delisting

September 16, 2009

One of the first acts of the Obama administration was to delist wolves in the Northern Rockies.  Incredible harm and sadness has come from this completely shocking and disturbing decision, a Democrat who promised to set a new tone in Washington, turned his back on the ESA and wolves.

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PRESS RELEASE

April 1, 2009

Alliance For the Wild Rockies

Interior Secretary Salazar Finalizes Wolf Delisting

Conservation Groups Will Challenge the Removal of Essential Federal Protections

Washington, D.C. – An advance copy of the Federal Register – released today – contains a final version of the federal government’s decision to eliminate Endangered Species Act protections for wolves in the northern Rocky mountains except for those in Wyoming. The delisting effort revives an effort launched by the Bush administration which was halted in January for review when the Obama administration took office. Today’s delisting decision is the second time in twelve months the federal government has removed federal protections for wolves in the Northern Rockies. Conservation groups, represented by Earthjustice, successfully sued to get the protections reinstated in July 2008.

Delisting wolves means they’ll be subject to state sponsored hunting year unless stopped by legal action. Idaho and Montana plan to allow hundreds of wolves to be shot.

The decision to lift wolf protections comes as Yellowstone Park wolves declined by 27 percent in the last year, one of the largest declines reported since wolves were reintroduced to Yellowstone in 1995. The northern Rockies wolf population also has not achieved a level of connectivity between the greater Yellowstone, central Idaho, and northwest Montana areas that is essential to wolves’ long-term survival.

Michael Garrity, Executive Director of the Alliance for the Wild Rockies said, “Independent scientists say that between 2,000 and 3,000 wolves are needed to have a sustainable, fully recovered population. After delisting, the northern Rockies wolf population may be allowed to drop to only 300 to 450 wolves. This is not managing for recovery. It is managing for the relisting of wolves.”

Wolves will remain under federal control in Wyoming because a federal court previously ruled that Wyoming’s hostile wolf management scheme leaves wolves in ‘serious jeopardy.’ The Fish and Wildlife Service in the recent past held that a state-by-state approach to delisting wolves was not permitted under the Endangered Species Act, including in their earlier decision to not delist wolves without Wyoming’s inclusion. In today’s delisting decision, the federal government flip-flops on its earlier position.

In addition to Wyoming, Idaho and Montana have refused to make enforceable commitments to maintaining viable wolf populations within their borders. On the very day the first delisting took effect in March, 2008, Idaho Governor Butch Otter signed a law allowing Idaho citizens to kill wolves without a permit whenever wolves are annoying, disturbing, or ‘worrying’ livestock or domestic animals. The Idaho Fish and Game Commission established rules that would have allowed 428 wolves to be killed in 2008 alone had the court not returned wolves to the endangered species list. Montana also authorized a fall wolf hunt.

Conservation groups, represented by Earthjustice, will send the Fish and Wildlife Service a notice that the delisting violates the Endangered Species Act tomorrow. If the agency does not reconsider the delisting rule, the conservation groups will again ask a federal court to reinstate federal Endangered Species Act protections for wolves in the northern Rockies until wolf numbers are stronger and the states pledge to responsibly manage wolves.

Earthjustice represents Alliance for the Wild Rockies, Defenders of Wildlife, Natural Resources Defense Council, Sierra Club, Center for Biological Diversity, The Humane Society of the United States, Jackson Hole Conservation Alliance, Friends of the Clearwater, Oregon Wild, Cascadia Wildlands Project, Western Watersheds Project, Wildlands Project, and Hells Canyon Preservation Council.

http://earthjustice.org/news/press/2009/interior-secretary-salazar-finalizes-wolf-delisting

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Gray wolf lawsuits filed in Montana, Wyoming

EVE BYRON – Independent Record – 06/03/09 | Posted: Tuesday, June 2, 2009 11:00 pm


As promised, a coalition of conservation groups filed a lawsuit in federal court in Missoula Tuesday to try to halt the removal of gray wolves from the list of animals covered by the Endangered Species Act in Montana and Idaho.

In an equally expected move Tuesday in Wyoming, the state sued the federal government over its decision to retain protection for wolves in that state.

“This is not about science or biology, it’s about politics,” said Ed Bangs, wolf recovery coordinator for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. “Wyoming says they have too many wolves and the environmental groups say there aren’t enough.

“Both sides are beating each other up, and we’re in the middle of the road. The wolf recovery program made our commitments, we looked at the science and made a decision. So now we’re getting run over by both sides.”

Michael Garrity, executive director of the Alliance for the Wild Rockies, says Bangs’ comment is a “straw man argument.”

“I think he’s being a little hypocritical,” Garrity said. “They said they couldn’t delist wolves before without Wyoming and now they say they can.”

The 13 groups announced their intent to sue 60 days ago, after the Obama administration in April removed gray wolves in Montana and Idaho from the list.

In Wyoming, wolves remain under federal protection because the state’s management plan classified them as predators that could be shot on sight throughout most of the state.

The ability to shoot wolves in Montana and Idaho have more restrictions on when wolves can be shot, but both states’ management plans include hunting seasons.

Critics argue that wolves don’t recognize state boundaries, and they can’t be recovered in one state while endangered in an adjacent state.

In making the delisting announcement in April, Department of Interior Secretary Ken Salazar and others with the federal government disagree, with Salazar saying in March that dropping gray wolves from the list is justified by their strong comeback in the northern Rockies, now home to 1,645 wolves in 98 breeding pairs.

An estimated 1,000 wolf pups probably were born this spring, added Bangs.

Montana has a minimum of 497 wolves with 34 breeding pairs; Idaho has 846 wolves with 39 breeding pairs; and Wyoming has confirmed 302 wolves with 25 breeding pairs.

“These numbers are about five times higher than the minimum population recovery goal and three times higher than the minimum breeding pair recovery goal. The end of 2008 will mark the ninth consecutive year the population has exceeded our numeric and distributional recovery goals,” the federal government noted in its decision to delist the wolves.

A breeding pair is defined as an adult male and female that have reproduced to create packs, and Bangs said anywhere from four to 14 wolves can be in the pack.

Yet Garrity and others argue that to ensure biological diversity of any species, about 500 breeding pairs are needed. That would equate to anywhere from 2,000 to 7,000 wolves in packs.

“That’s not just in Montana, but throughout the northern Rockies and could include Colorado, Utah, Oregon and Washington,” Garrity said. “So Montana could have the same number of wolves; they would just be spread out among the Rockies.”

The conservation groups warn in their lawsuit that delisting wolves will cause a dramatic decline in populations so they’ll never “achieve true recovery as envisioned by Congress.”

“This suit is about ensuring a successful ending to one of the greatest of all conservation stories,” said Louisa Willcox, director of the Natural Resources Defense Council in Livingston. “Sustainable recovery for wolves in the Northern Rockies is tantalizingly close, but we are not there yet.

“We look forward to a time when wolves can be taken off the list; but sadly, state-sponsored hunts are only going to push that finish line further away,” Wilcox added. “Until the wolf population in the Northern Rockies reaches a sustainable level, this fight will continue.”

According to the Associated Press, Wyoming Attorney General Bruce Salzburg said his state maintains the federal government has no scientific reason to reject Wyoming’s management plan, and that the government is trying to force the state to support more than its fair share of the wolf population.

This is the third attempt to take wolves off the list of protected species, and the second time a lawsuit was filed by Earthjustice on behalf of NRDC, Defenders of Wildlife, Sierra Club, Center for Biological Diversity, The Humane Society of the United States, Jackson Hole Conservation Alliance, Friends of the Clearwater, Alliance for the Wild Rockies, Oregon Wild, Cascadia Wildlands Project, Western Watersheds Project, Wildlands Project and Hell’s Canyon Preservation Council.

In the first lawsuit, U.S. District Court Judge Donald Molloy stated that the federal government acted arbitrarily in delisting a wolf population that lacked evidence of genetic exchange between the sub-populations and shouldn’t have approved Wyoming’s wolf management plan because it failed to commit to manage for at least 15 breeding pairs.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service then pulled its plan, but reissued it without delisting wolves in Wyoming shortly before the Bush administration left office. The Obama administration put a hold on the delisting, but upon review decided to move forward.

Tens of thousands of gray wolves once roamed North America but were trapped, poisoned and shot until near extinction in the United States. They were listed under the Endangered Species Act in 1973, and reintroduction efforts began in 1994.

To view the delisting rule and a copy of the environmental groups’ lawsuit, follow the links in this story at helenair.com.

The Wyoming lawsuit hadn’t been posted as of press time.

Click here to read the federal delisting rule.

Click hereto read the conservation groups’ lawsuit.

Reporter Eve Byron: eve.byron@helenair.com

http://www.helenair.com/news/state-and-regional/article_bc386a4d-dc1f-5761-8e60-d798931a3dd2.html

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File Photo

Posted in:  Wolf 2009 delisting, Howling for Justice

Tags: gray wolf/canis lupus, Idaho wolves, Montana wolves,  Obama administration delists wolves,

Wolf Hunt Motive Revealed: It’s All About The $$$$$!

September 16, 2009

Wolves were reintroduced to Yellowstone National Park  and Idaho in 1995 only for the states to now profit  from their deaths fourteen years later.  How disgusting.  The feds should be proud of themselves.

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Wolf hunt a $167K boon to FWP coffers

By ROB CHANEY of the Missoulian | Posted: Wednesday, September 16, 2009 6:15 am

Tuesday’s expanded wolf hunting season passed without a hunter filling a tag in Montana or Idaho, but wildlife managers in both states made a killing.

At $19 apiece, Montana wolf hunters have added more than $167,000 to the state Fish, Wildlife and Parks general license account since wolf tags went on sale Sept. 1. Only about 40 of 8,796 licenses sold went to out-of-state hunters, who paid $350 for the opportunity.

Idaho has sold about 14,500 tags. At $11.50 for in-state hunters, that’s an over-the-counter windfall of nearly $167,000.

Montana has a quota of 75 wolves to be shot by hunters in the 2009 big-game season. Wolf hunting opened Tuesday in four remote, backcountry hunting districts, with the rest of the state closed until the regular season opens Oct. 25.

Idaho has a limit of 220 wolves. It opened two remote districts to hunting Sept. 1 and two more Tuesday. The rest of the state opens Oct. 1.

License proceeds in both states go into their respective big-game license accounts and are not earmarked or otherwise separated for specific purposes.

“We must get authority from the next Legislature for how to spend that money,” said FWP spokesman Ron Aasheim. “The FWP commissioners would also have to approve the plan. We have no proposals yet for what to do with the money.”

One proposal that could be coming is a need to replace federal wolf management funds. While gray wolves were protected by the federal Endangered Species Act, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service either did much of the wolf research and monitoring itself, or provided grants to state wildlife managers to do the same.

In fiscal 2008, Montana received $641,000 to manage wolves under contract with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. In fiscal 2009, that figure is expected to fall to $396,000, and continue dropping.

“Right now it’s all federal tax dollars, and we’ve been paying the states to do the work,” said FWS wolf program coordinator Ed Bangs. “But we can’t use Endangered Species Act money for animals that are delisted.”

In the three-state Northern Rocky Mountains region, the federal government spent about $3.4 million to manage about 1,645 wolves last year. That’s much more expensive than the efforts of Midwestern wolf states like Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan, Bangs said. Those states have about 4,000 wolves and a total budget of about $500,000.

“Over there, they’ve got big forests, so many deer, and a generally low-level of conflict,” he said. (as if the Northern Rockies doesn’t have a large prey base and forests, nice try Ed.)

“They don’t have our open range and public lands issues. Out here, we started a fairly intensive management program, with radio-collaring and tracking and flying. People here want pretty intensive management. All that costs money. In time, the wolf will be just another animal, and the price will go way down.” (Translation: The Great Lakes Region is more tolerant and big ranching doesn’t run the show “out there”)

http://www.missoulian.com/news/local/article_bffd2588-a276-11de-a7f8-001cc4c002e0.html

*Blue italics mine

Posted in: Montana Wolves, Howling for Justice

Tags: gray wolf/canis lupus, greed motivates wolf hunt, $$$$$$

Let Them Be

wolf-howling

LIVE AND LET LIVE

The Salt Lake City Tribune Editorial

Updated: 09/14/2009 09:11:00 AM MDT

END THE WAR ON WOLVES

The gray wolf is a top predator, an essential part of the ecosystem, a symbol of the West. And it’s a symbol best displayed, not as pelts on a wall, but by packs in the wild.

Exterminated like vermin, a bounty on their heads, the gray wolf was hunted to extinction in the West. Reintroduced in central Idaho and Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming in 1995, the endangered species staged a remarkable, yet still incomplete, recovery. Now, due to the shortsighted decision by the Bush and Obama administrations to remove the wolf from the endangered species list in Idaho and Montana, that recovery is threatened.

The future of the wolf is now in the hands of the courts, and it’s not going well. This past week, U.S. District Judge Donald Molloy shot down a request for an injunction to force a cease-fire in Idaho and Montana’s war on wolves.

Molloy ruled that the hunts will not result in irreparable harm to the species. Montana will cull 75 of its 550 wolves beginning Sept. 15. In Idaho, where the hunt could blunt the wolves’ ability to reclaim their range in northern Utah, officials hope to kill 220 of about 800 animals. Already, 10 percent of the West’s 1,650 wolves die each year in accidents and poaching incidents, or are killed for molesting livestock.

But all is not lost. The judge indicated that the environmental and animal welfare groups that sought the injunction may well prevail in their larger suit, which claims that the wolves were improperly removed from the endangered list.

To read more click HERE

There’s no need for wolf slaughters disguised as “management plans.” Wolves will manage quite well if just left alone. Hopefully, the judge will come to that conclusion.

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September 16, 2009

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Posted in: Wolf Wars, Howling for Justice

Tags: Montana wolves, wolf hatred, wolf myths, wolf recovery

Published in: on September 16, 2009 at 3:56 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Gray Wolves in the Crosshairs

gray wolf

September 16, 2009

The Gray Wolf stands at a crossroads in the lower 48.  Stripped of their Endangered Species status by the Obama administration,  they are left unprotected from the guns in Montana and Idaho. The first federally sanctioned wolf hunts in the Continental US are taking place as I write this.  Thanks Ken Salazar for allowing the de-listing of wolves to stand.  I thought a Democratic administration would be different, apparently it’s business as usual in wolf country.

Idaho’s hunt started on September 1st, with a quota of 220 wolves from a population of 875.  That’s one-fourth of Idaho’s wolves.  Montana’s hunt began Sept 15, 75 wolves are slated for execution. How did it come to this?

The purpose of this blog is to explore that question and try to understand why this magnificent apex predator is so misunderstood and hated, merely because they exist. I welcome your comments and opinions wolf lovers.

Meanwhile a federal judge in Missoula, Montana holds the fate of gray wolves in his hands. Thirteen environmental groups filed a lawsuit opposing the de-listing and asked Judge Molloy to grant an injunction to stop the wolf hunts, while the lawsuit was pending.

The judge issued a partial ruling on September 8th denying the injunction to stop the hunts but stated the plaintiffs opposing the de-listing were likely to prevail on the merits of the case. Small comfort for the wolf as it’s being hunted. Male, female wolves and pups of the year can be taken. Yes, apparently it’s OK to hunt PUPPIES!!

The war against wolves continues unabated.

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Photo: wolf wallpaper

Posted in: Wolf Wars, Howling for Justice

Tags: gray wolf/canis lupus, Montana wolves, Idaho wolves, wolf intolerance, wolf myths

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