Good News….Idaho Halts Wolf Extermination In “The Frank”…

Nature Cold Warriors_pack traveling through snow

From Center For Biological Diversity

For Immediate Release, January 27, 2014

Contact: Tim Preso, Earthjustice, (406) 586-9699
Noah Greenwald, Center for Biological Diversity, (971) 717-6403
Ken Cole, Western Watersheds Project, (208) 890-3666
Suzanne Stone, Defenders of Wildlife, (208) 424-9385

State-sponsored Wolf Killing Ends in Idaho

Faced With Looming Court Challenge, Idaho Halts Unprecedented Program

POCATELLO, Idaho— Faced with a looming deadline to defend its actions before a federal appeals court, the Idaho Department of Fish and Game (IDFG) announced this afternoon that it is halting its wolf extermination program in the Middle Fork region of the Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness as of today.

The announcement represents a stay of execution for the remaining wolves that constitute the Golden Creek and Monumental Creek wolf packs, which inhabit the Middle Fork region. To date, nine wolves from the two packs have been killed by IDFG’s hired hunter-trapper, who entered the wilderness and began his wolf extermination program in mid-December. It is unknown how many wolves remain in the two packs.

“IDFG’s hunter-trapper killed nine wolves and we are happy to report that the rest no longer face the same threat,” said Earthjustice attorney Tim Preso. “We are sorry it took an emergency injunction request to the court of appeals to get Idaho to halt this illegal program, and we hope that the federal government in the future will take more seriously its public trust responsibility to protect the wilderness from state efforts to exterminate native wildlife.”

IDFG’s action comes in the midst of an emergency proceeding before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in which conservationists were seeking an injunction to halt the wolf extermination program. The conservationists, represented by Earthjustice, sued IDFG and the U.S. Forest Service earlier this month, arguing that the state wolf extermination program would degrade the largest forested wilderness in the lower-48 states. After a federal judge in Idaho rejected a request to stop the program on Jan. 17, the conservationists took their fight to the court of appeals, where they filed an emergency request for an injunction on Jan. 23.

IDFG is halting trapping in the Middle Fork starting today and the trapper will take a few days to remove traps and snares from the area. Additional trapping in the area will cease, at least through the end of the state fiscal year, which is June 30.

This is bittersweet news,” said Ken Cole with the Western Watersheds Project. “I am happy that IDFG has relented but it is unfortunate that so many wolves have been taken in this senseless plan to manhandle wildlife in an area that Congress recognized as a wilderness ‘where the earth and its community of life are untrammeled by man.’ “

In mid-December 2013, IDFG hired a hunter-trapper to pack into central Idaho’s 2.4-million-acre Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness to eradicate two wolf packs, the Golden and Monumental packs, in the interest of inflating elk populations for outfitters and recreational hunters. The U.S. Forest Service, which administers the wilderness, approved the extermination program by authorizing use of a Forest Service cabin and airstrip to support wolf extermination activities.

“It’s a tragedy that nine wolves had to die before the state of Idaho finally pulled the plug on its needless effort to eradicate two whole wolf packs from one of America’s largest wilderness areas,” said Noah Greenwald, endangered species director with the Center for Biological Diversity. “The wolves were only playing the role they play in nature and should never have been killed. It should not take court action to stop such cruel, unnecessary and wasteful killing, but I’m glad it has stopped.”

The region of the Frank Church Wilderness where IDFG’s hunter-trapper was killing wolves is a remote area around Big Creek and the Middle Fork of the Salmon River. Even though this region hosts one of the lightest densities of hunters in the state, IDFG prioritized elk production over protection of the area’s wilderness character. The Forest Service failed to object to IDFG’s plans and instead actively assisted them.

Earthjustice represented long-time Idaho conservationist and wilderness advocate Ralph Maughan along with four conservation groups — Defenders of Wildlife, Western Watersheds Project, Wilderness Watch, and the Center for Biological Diversity — in the lawsuit challenging the wolf extermination program.

http://www.biologicaldiversity.org/news/press_releases/2014/wolf-01-27-2014.html

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Photo: Courtesy Nature (Cold Warriors)

Posted in: Wolf Wars, Idaho Wolves, Activism, Biodiversity

Tags:  Frank Church/River of No Return Wilderness, Ralph Maughin, WWP, CBD, Wilderness Watch, DOW, Golden wolf pack, Monumental wolf pack, a victory for the wolves

Speak For Wolves: Yellowstone 2014

Speak for wolves Yellowstone 2014

Roosevelt Arch – North Entrance Yellowstone National Park (Gardiner, Mt)

Speak for Wolves: Yellowstone 2014 is essentially about hope. It’s an opportunity for the American people to unite and demand wildlife management reform and restore our national heritage. On June 28-29, 2014, thousands of Americans will meet in Arch Park in Gardiner, Montana to hear why we need to reform wildlife management, at both the state and federal level, and how we can do it.

There are five main principles behind reforming wildlife management:

1. No killing of predators–period. The best available science suggest that predators, including wolves, are a self-regulating species. In other words, predators don’t overpopulate; instead their populations naturally fluctuate, as do prey or ungulate populations. “Managing” predators is code word for killing them, and it is not necessary, and no longer to be tolerated. Non-lethal measures can be effective in rare instances where there are actual human/predator conflicts.

2. Removal of all livestock from federal public lands. It is well documented the damage that cows/cattle/livestock cause across our wildlands. They are non-native and invasive and are responsible for soil compaction, a decrease in water retention and aquifer recharge, erosion, destruction of wetlands and riparian areas, flooding, and a net-loss of biodiversity. They enable invasive plant species to proliferate, which effects the West’s historic fire regime.

3. Banning trapping/snaring on all federal public lands. We must evolve as a society and move away from this barbaric, unethical, cruel and tortuous method(s) of killing native wildlife. Leg-hold traps, conibear traps and other devices are indiscriminate killers. In other words, anything and everything can walk into them, including humans and dogs. Trappers are currently required to check their traps once every 72-hours.

4. Abolishing Wildlife Services. Hidden within the US Department of Agriculture, is a rogue agency that is essentially the wildlife killing-arm of the federal government. For over 100-years this federal tax-payer supported agency has largely worked on behalf of the livestock industry and is responsible for the death of tens-of millions of native wildlife. Methods of killing include trapping, poisoning, and aerial gunning of native wildlife.

5. Restructuring the way state Fish & Game agencies operate. Politics: western governors currently appoint agency commissioners, which essentially, tell the state departments what to do. This is cronyism at its worst. Economics: state agencies are mostly funded by the sale of hunting/fishing tags or permits. They are binded into serving the interest of “sportsmen” because it’s the hand that feeds them. Science and democracy are sorely lacking in these departments.

Speak for Wolves: Yellowstone 2014 is about taking an important step towards stopping the wolf slaughter that is currently taking place across the United States. We must look the real problem in the eye, however, and take bold measures. The status quo is broken, in both, how wildlife is being “managed” at the state and federal level, and how the public is dealing with it: public meetings, appeals, litigation, etc. We can continue to attempt to stop the bleeding or instead, address the real causes of the problem, which are the 5 principles.

Come to Arch Park in Gardiner, Montana June 28-29, 2014. The event is family friendly and will feature prominent speakers, live music, video production crews, education and outreach booths, food and drink vendors and the screening of wildlife documentaries. This is going to be the event of the year in the northern Rockies. Together we can make history and restore our wild national heritage!

Brett Haverstick
Organizer
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Posted in: Wolf Warriors, Gray Wolf, Activism, Biodiversity
Photo: Courtesy Brett Haverstick
Tags: Speak for Wolves: Yellowstone 2014, stand up for wolves, effect change, paradigm shift, grass roots movement, Arch Park, Gardiner Mt., North entrance Yellowstone National Park

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