It’s been over a year since wolves were delisted in the Northern Rockies, yet it seems like decades. Almost immediately, Montana and Idaho were lining up wolf trophy hunts. Wolf advocates have always been told the states would be reasonable managing wolves, that they “loved wolves”. Well if this is love, it’s TOUGH LOVE. 500 wolves died in the Northern Rockies in 2009 and Wildlife Services is still killing them for agribusiness. It’s been a terrible year.
Wolf supporters watched in horror as wolves were hunted for the first time since their reintroduction. One minute they were a protected species and the next they were target practice.
It was shocking in it’s swiftness but were we all so naive to think the states could “manage” wolves? State game agencies have never been good at managing predators. Predators compete for the game hunters want to kill. Hunters are state game agencies’ life blood. They pay licensing fees which fill state game agency coffers. Why would the welfare of wolves ever trump that relationship? It wouldn’t and it hasn’t.
“We have consistently maintained that wolves in the northern Rockies are not ready to be removed from the Endangered Species list,” said Sierra Club representative Bob Clark. “Removing federal protections for wolves has left them at the mercy of aggressive state plans that treat wolves as pests rather than a valuable wildlife resource.”
On Tuesday, June 15th, wolves went to court to gain their protections back. The lawsuit to relist wolves, brought by fourteen environmental groups, was finally moving forward. Judge Molloy was ready to hear oral agruments from both sides of the wolf issue, at the Russell Smith Federal Courthouse in Missoula, Montana.
Of course there were wolf protesters outside the courthouse waving their anti-wolf signs. And of course they were on the front page of local newspapers. The anti-wolf crowd gets most of the headlines. I guess hateful rhetoric sells. But make no mistake wolves have many, many supporters in Montana, Idaho and Wyoming, Wolves have supporters around this country and the world. We might not be as vocal but we are no less passionate about this incredible amd persecuted animal, the gray wolf.
The courtroom was packed, a brief recess was called when a legal student collapsed while presenting part of the case for The Greater Yellowstone Coalition.
The hearing didn’t last very long, It was all over in a few hours.
I want to personally thank Doug Honnold, the lead Earthjustice attorney, for doing such a terrific job for wolves in their dark hour!!
Judge Molloy stated he’d rule “as quickly as I can”. I hope it comes soon. Montana and Idaho have admitted they are aggressively going after wolves to reduce their numbers in 2010/2011. This is called “wolf love”? It’s how they show their love for wolves by killing them? Who do they think they’re kidding?
Both states want to significantly increase their wolf hunt quotas, Montana proposes a wolf archery season and back country wolf rifle season. Idaho may be adding calling, baiting and trapping to their “toolbox” of tricks. I shudder to think what will happen if wolves aren’t relisted.
And we can’t forget the hardcore wolf haters, that love to stir things up. One wolf hating website discussed hunters killing wolves with Xylitol, a popular sweetner, that’s deadly to canines. I guess they don’t care if pet dogs die along with the wolves they hate so much. Seriously, what is wrong with people? Do you see what wolves are up against in the Northern Rockies? They cannot survive here without ESA protection.
So now we wait.
The future of the Northern Rockies gray wolf hangs in the balance.
|Posted: Tuesday, 15 June 2010 8:46AM
Fate of Rocky Mountain wolves to be decided
Photos: courtesy kewl wallpaper
Posted in: Wolf Delisting Lawsuit, Howling For Justice, Wolf Wars
Tags: Judge Molloy, ESA, Doug Honnold,, gray wolf/canis lupus, wolf persecution