“Sticking Up for Wolves in the Northern Rockies”…WildEarth Guardians Speaks Out!

WildEarth Guardians released their response to the deal that was cut between ten environmental groups and the Interior Department.

To read the deal CLICK HERE.

They applaud, as I do, the three environmental groups involved in the lawsuit who oppose this deal and are standing firm. They are: Western Watersheds Project, Alliance for the Wild Rockies and Friends of the Clearwater:\

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Press Release From WildEarth Guardians:

Friday, March 18, 2011

Sticking Up for Wolves in the Northern Rockies

Guardians Defends Judge Molloy’s Wolf Ruling

Washington, DC – March 18. WildEarth Guardians supports Federal Judge Donald Molloy’s August 2010 decision that put wolves in the Northern Rockies back on the endangered species list and also set important legal precedent. But today, the Interior Department and 10 environmental groups announced a settlement that agrees to wolf delisting and specifically seeks to vacate the Judge Molloy’s decision. Guardians applauds Alliance for the Wild Rockies, Western Watersheds Project, and Friends of the Clearwater for continuing to support Molloy’s ruling and not going along with the delisting plan.

“The biological situation for wolves in the Northern Rockies is just as perilous now as when these groups challenged the delisting in June 2009,” stated John Horning of WildEarth Guardians. “Amazingly, the settlement asks for the judge to approve delisting on terms that violate his ruling.”

The very first term of the agreement would be to delist wolves in Idaho and Montana, which is precisely what the groups challenged in 2009. It also provides for subsequent delisting in Wyoming. The settlement relies on the initiative of the Interior Department to secure a future for Northern Rockies wolves outside of the Endangered Species Act. Guardians believes that wolf numbers will drastically plummet after delisting and doubts that, once delisted, wolves in the region would obtain relisting.

The settlement is no doubt motivated by fears regarding wolf delisting bills that have been introduced in the House and Senate, which would greatly undercut wolf protection and would be precedent-setting by legislatively delisting a species. Despite these grave threats, the Endangered Species Act requires delisting decisions to be based on biological, not political concerns. That is the standard to which Guardians holds the government and itself. Guardians will not gamble the lives of Northern Rockies wolves on the chance of preventing Congressional delisting. To our knowledge, no federal legislator who has offered a delisting bill has agreed to withdraw it even if this settlement is approved.

Guardians is also concerned that the wolves are being sacrificed due to antagonism from just a tiny portion of the American public – those ranchers and hunters hostile to wolves, and the politicians that are working at their behest. In contrast, wolves are wildly popular with the American public and one of the principal draws to Yellowstone National Park.

“It doesn’t matter from the wolf’s perspective whether they’re killed because of actions by Congress or this settlement. These animals need more protections, not less,” stated Nicole Rosmarino of WildEarth Guardians. “Biologists have issued peer-reviewed articles documenting that wolves have not yet recovered in the Northern Rockies, and that killing them has profound negative influences on their social stability, ability to carry out their ecological function, and their ability to persist.”

Guardians considered filing litigation to challenge the delisting rule in 2009, but chose not to given the large number of conservation groups already taking the issue up. The group now regrets that decision and appreciates that Alliance for the Wild Rockies, Western Watersheds Project, and Friends of the Clearwater are holding the line for wolves in Yellowstone and the Northern Rockies.

“The American public loves and values wolves and wants them conserved because they are a national treasure. We at WildEarth Guardians strive for wolves’ full protection under federal law. If their management is given over to the States, we will see them exterminated a second time in history. This would be unethical and a biological disaster,” said Horning.

The Humane Society of the United States is one of the plaintiffs on the original delisting case but has not yet taken a public stand on the settlement.

CLICK HERE for link to this press release


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I will be writing more about this as it unfolds.

Howling For Justice unequivocally opposes this deal. You cannot throw Montana and Idaho wolves under the bus and deliver them to brutal state-management/killing systems. It is wrong, no matter what altruistic motives may be assigned to it. In short order we will have full-scale wolf hunts in Montana and Idaho, if this deal is approved. THAT MEANS hundreds and hundreds of innocent wolves will die! Not only will Montana and Idaho wolves have to dodge hunter’s bullets but also the deadly aerial gunning, trapping/killing of hundreds of wolves by Wildlife Services.

Before wolves were relisted, Montana increased their wolf killing quota to 186 wolves, with a wolf archery and back-country rifle season to boot. Idaho will implement baiting, calling and trapping of wolves.  All hell will rain down on Montana and Idaho wolves. This deal is a disaster and I call on you Wolf Warriors to write to the groups that struck this deal and tell them how you feel.

For the wolves, For the wild ones,

Nabeki

Posted in Wolf Wars, Montana Wolves, Idaho Wolves

Tags: WildEarth Guardians, 10 environmental groups, wolves lose in Montana and Idaho,bad deal struck, capitulation,  3 groups stood their ground, Western Watersheds Project, Alliance for the Wild Rockies, Friends of the Clearwater

From EARTHJUSTICE:”Congress v. Endangered Species – Wolves Up For A Vote”

“Duma, a wolf at the UK Wolf Conservation Trust, rolls to capture a scent atop a mound. She’s rolling on some aftershave sprinkled on the ground a few minutes earlier.” (2005) Wiki

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The endless battle to save wolves plays out every day. They are under siege, similar to the atmosphere that existed during the first Western extermination.

Recently wolves have been under attack in Congress by two wolf delisting riders attached to the budget bill. Both the House and Senate versions of the budget, that included the “wolf delisting riders” were defeated in the Senate last week. BUT  like a bad penny they keep turning up. Expect more attacks on wolves and the ESA before April 8th, when time runs out on the current budget extension.

From EARTHJUSTICE:

Marty Hayden

Congress v. Endangered Species – Wolves Up For A Vote

17 March 2011, 11:09 AM

At any time, Congress could remove species from endangered list

The fate of gray wolves—and of the Endangered Species Act itself—may be voted on at any time in the climax of an historic struggle in Congress over budgeting and political philosophy.

Congress took its first stab at approving a full fiscal year 2011 budget on Feb. 19, and unfortunately the House GOP majority and some Democrats proposed slashing billions in public funding and eliminated safeguards for our air, water and wildlife, as well as two dozen anti-environmental policy provisions (riders).

The Senate alternative, unveiled March 4, excluded all of the these anti-environmental riders except one: a rider ordering the Interior Secretary to reinstate a court-overturned 2009 rule. The rule delisted wolves within portions of the northern Rockies, including Montana, Idaho and portions of Utah, Oregon and Washington. It insulated that rule from court review. If enacted, this would be the first time in the ESA’s history that Congress has legislatively delisted a species.

However, on March 9 the Senate rejected both proposals to fund the federal government for the remainder of FY2011. For now, the wolf has been granted a temporary reprieve, but the inclusion of even one anti-environmental rider in a bill eventually passed by the Senate would greatly complicate negotiations for both them and the White House when facing the revolutionaries of the House with their basket full of harmful provisions.

For years, Earthjustice has gone to court to ensure that wolves can recover from the brink of extinction in the northern Rocky Mountains.

Wolves in the lower-48 states were essentially wiped out a few decades ago and have made a slow comeback in the northern Rocky Mountains after reintroduction into Yellowstone National Park in the mid-1990s. There are now just over 1,600 gray wolves in this region, but the proposed delisting would allow the Rocky Mountain states to maintain at most 300 to 450 wolves—far short of the 2,000 to 3,000 number needed for a sustainable, fully recovered population.

Earthjustice and other conservation groups are concerned because when Congress enacted the law in 1973, it specifically stated that delisting decisions are to be made by wildlife experts in the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and National Marine Fisheries Service—not by politicians.

The very idea that congressional leaders are targeting the gray wolf sets an alarming precedent and could spell disaster for other “politically unpopular” animals—grizzly bears, salmon and polar bears among them.

Although the short-term spending bills that are keeping the government running for now are devoid of anti-environmental policy riders, the fight to protect our air, water, and treasured wildlife is not over. The current resolution expires April 8, so we can expect another round of attacks in the imminent future.

Click here for link to article:

Photo: Courtesy Wikimedia Commons

Posted in: Wolf Wars

Tags: wolf persecution, Congress playing politics with wolves, attack on the ESA, wolves under siege

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