ACTION ALERT: “House Republicans Unveil Another Anti-wolf, Anti-endangered Species Appropriations Bill”

OR7 pup5

Center For Biological Diversity

For Immediate Release, May 24, 2016

Contact: Jamie Pang, (858) 699-4153, Jpang@biologicaldiversity.org

Release, May 24, 2016

House Republicans Unveil Another Anti-wolf, Anti-endangered Species Appropriations Bill

114th Congress Has Now Launched Nearly 20 Legislative Attacks on Wolves

WASHINGTON— Republican members of the U.S. House of Representatives today introduced a bill to fund the U.S. Department of the Interior that includes a poison-pill rider to end federal protections for wolves in Wyoming and the western Great Lakes and to undermine other endangered species protections. The legislative rider would undo two court decisions affirming that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service wrongly removed Endangered Species Act protections for the wolf.

The bill is the 18th attack by the current Congress on gray wolves nationwide and the 12th attack targeting wolves in the Great Lakes and Wyoming populations.

“This is the most extreme, anti-wolf Congress our country has ever seen,” said Jamie Pang, an endangered species campaigner at the Center for Biological Diversity. “Rather than allowing for wolf recovery to follow a course prescribed by science, a small group of politicians has repeatedly tried to undermine species protections through unrelated policy riders tacked onto must-pass federal spending bills.”

The Fish and Wildlife Service removed protections for gray wolves in the Great Lakes region (Michigan, Wisconsin and Minnesota) in 2011, and in Wyoming in 2012. In both instances federal judges overturned agency decisions for prematurely removing protections, failing to follow the requirements of the Act and failing to follow the best available science. Republican lawmakers have responded by repeatedly attempting to remove protections from wolves and open the animals up to state-regulated hunting and trapping. Since the passage of the 2011 wolf rider that removed protections from wolves in the northern Rocky Mountains, there have been almost 30 legislative attacks on wolves in Congress. Already in 2016 there have been 10 legislative attacks, surpassing the number of anti-wolf bills for all of 2015.

In addition to this rider, the appropriations bill also contains language preventing the greater sage grouse from being protected under the Act, and would weaken protections for salmon and the Delta smelt in California’s Bay-Delta region.

“This shameful meddling is harmful to science, harmful to the rule of law, and harmful to our democratic processes,” said Pang. “Congressional lawmakers know that 90 percent of American voters support the Endangered Species Act, which precisely is why they have to resort to such back-door attempts at weakening the law.”

Despite overwhelming public support for the Endangered Species Act and the species it protects, there has been a greater than 600 percent increase in Republican-led legislative attacks on endangered species since the landmark ruling in Citizens United.

http://www.biologicaldiversity.org/news/press_releases/2016/wolf-05-24-2016.html

The Center for Biological Diversity is a national, nonprofit conservation organization with more than 1 million members and online activists dedicated to the protection of endangered species and wild places.

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Posted in: gray wolf, Wolf Wars

Photo: Courtesy ODFW

Tags: Center for Biological Diversity, Anti wolf, House Republicans war on wolves, poison-pill rider, Congress attack on the ESA, Wyoming wolves, Great Lakes wolves, Endangered Species Act, Take Action

Conservation Groups Petition USFWS To Monitor Northern Rockies Gray Wolves For Five More Years

Gray wolf MFWP

Center For Biological Diversity – For Immediate Release

January 5, 2016

Legal Petition Seeks Extension of Federal Monitoring for Northern Rockies Wolves

New Study: Hunting Likely Spurring Harmful Declines in Northern Rocky Wolves

VICTOR, Idaho— Five conservation groups filed a petition today requesting that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service continue monitoring northern Rocky Mountains gray wolves for another five years. The existing monitoring program, which is required by the Endangered Species Act after protections are removed for a species, is set to expire in May. The monitoring is crucial to ensure that the wolf population doesn’t slip to levels at which Endangered Species Act protections are again needed.

The groups based today’s request in part on a new study in the journal Science that found the Fish and Wildlife Service and states of Montana and Idaho have underestimated the impacts and risks of aggressive hunting policies for gray wolves instituted since protections were lifted. Since federal safeguards were first stripped in 2009, more than 2,300 wolves have been killed by hunters or trappers in the two states.

“This research confirms what many scientists have been saying all along,” said Andrea Santarsiere, staff attorney at the Center for Biological Diversity. “Aggressive hunting of wolves is harming the gray wolf population in the northern Rockies. Left unchecked, the numbers will continue to decline — a sad fact for an animal that we fought so hard to bring back from the brink of extinction. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service clearly needs to continue to keep an eye on this situation.”

In first removing Endangered Species Act protections for gray wolves in 2009, the Fish and Wildlife Service said that the required post-delisting monitoring period would be extended for an additional five years if any one of three criteria are met. One criterion requires an extension if a significant change in state law or management would significantly increase threats to the wolf population. Both Idaho and Montana have repeatedly increased hunting and trapping quotas in an effort to substantially reduce wolf populations, which according to the new study are almost certainly resulting in population declines.

“Antagonism towards wolves is one of the main threats that put them on the endangered species list in the first place. This has hardly changed, and the states have further demonstrated their continued aggression towards wolves by increasing killing efforts and liberalizing hunting and trapping of wolves” said Ken Cole, Idaho director for Western Watersheds Project. “The Fish and Wildlife Service should extend their oversight of wolf management by the states to ensure stable and viable wolf populations”
“As a backcountry elk and deer hunter myself, I find it appalling that in Montana hunters and trappers can legally kill up to five wolves annually, including deep within our Wilderness areas,” said Matthew Koehler, director of the Montana-based WildWest Institute. “Essentially this allows hunters or trappers to legally wipe out an entire wolf pack.”

Idaho has been especially aggressive in trying to reduce the wolf population. In 2014 the Idaho Legislature created the Idaho Wolf Control Board, allocating hundreds of thousands of dollars to killing wolves. Idaho has also contracted with the federal Wildlife Services to hunt, trap and aerially gun down wolves in the Lolo Zone and hired a professional trapper to eliminate two wolf packs in the Frank-Church-River-of-No Return Wilderness last winter. The agency has also turned a blind eye to an annual predator derby contest, in which participants win cash and prizes for killing wolves and coyotes, despite an agency policy condemning predator hunting contests as unethical.
“Idaho has been waging a war against wolves in the Lochsa and North Fork Clearwater basins, one of the wildest areas in the lower 48 states,” said Gary MacFarlane, ecosystem defense director of Friends of the Clearwater. “Further monitoring of this ill-advised program is needed.”

“The primary threat to wolves is active eradication efforts occurring throughout the Rocky Mountain distinct population segment,” said Nick Cady, legal director of Cascadia Wildlands. “Continued monitoring of this still-fragile population is without question necessary and critical to the wolf’s recovery in the United States.”

The Fish and Wildlife Service has argued that the wolf population has stayed relatively constant despite hunting, but according to the new study this conclusion is questionable. Among other problems, Montana has changed its counting methodology after delisting, and Idaho continues to rely on a convoluted mathematical equation that is likely to overestimate the wolf population, making it difficult to accurately determine population trends.

“Idaho and Montana aren’t safe places for wolves right now,” Santarsiere said. “This is no time for the Fish and Wildlife Service to walk away from its duty to ensure this population survives and thrives. We know these wolves have been hammered by hunting and aggressive state policies and still need help.”

The Center for Biological Diversity is a national, nonprofit conservation organization with more than 900,000 members and online activists dedicated to the protection of endangered species and wild places.

Cascadia Wildlands educates, agitates, and inspires a movement to protect and restore Cascadia’s wild ecosystems. We envision vast old-growth forests, rivers full of wild salmon, wolves howling in the backcountry, and vibrant communities sustained by the unique landscapes of the Cascadia bioregion.

Friends of the Clearwater is an Idaho-based nonprofit conservation organization that works to protect the wildness and biodiversity of the public wildlands, wildlife, and waters of Idaho’s Clearwater Basin.

Western Watersheds Project is a nonprofit conservation group founded in 1993 with 1,500 members whose mission is to protect and restore western watersheds and wildlife through education, public policy initiatives and litigation.

The WildWest Institute’s mission is to protect and restore forests, wildlands, watersheds and wildlife in the Northern Rockies.

http://www.biologicaldiversity.org/news/press_releases/2016/wolf-01-05-2016.html

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PETITION TO EXTEND BY FIVE YEARS THE POST DELISTING MONITORING PERIOD OF THE NORTHERN ROCKY MOUNTAINS POPULATION OF THE GRAY WOLF

http://www.biologicaldiversity.org/species/mammals/northern_Rocky_Mountains_gray_wolf/pdfs/NR_Wolf_Petition_01-05-2016.pdf

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Top Photo: Gray wolf/MFWP

Bottom Photo: Nature – Cold Warriors

Posted in: Gray Wolf, Wolf Wars

Tags: Center for Biological Diversity, Friends of the Clearwater, Western Watersheds Project, Cascadia Wildlands,Wildwest Institute, Northern Rockies gray wolves, USFWS, wolf wars, MFWP, IDFG

Nature Cold Warriors_pack traveling through snow

Oregon Delists Wolves – Woefully Inadequate Wolf Management Plan To Blame

OR_Mt_Emily_male_wolf_brown_May_25_14_odfw_

November 11, 2015

There was a chance, back in 2010, to make changes to Oregon’s bad wolf management plan, which requires only 4 breeding pairs for 3 consecutive years, in Eastern Oregon, to get the ball rolling on delisting. I know I’ve repeated this many times but it infuriates me that with barely 80 wolves in the state, a population not even close to “recovery”, whatever that means, Oregon did the unthinkable.  Just five years after the state’s wolf plan was up for review, Oregon wolves were let down. Now the state is on an inexorable march toward wolf hunts. Sound familiar?

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From Center For Biological Diversity

For Immediate Release, November 9, 2015

Oregon Strips State Endangered Species Protections From Gray Wolves 

Decision Counter to Science, State Law

PORTLAND, Ore.— Ignoring state law, as well as experts who say that Oregon’s wolves are not yet recovered, the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission today voted to strip gray wolves of state endangered species act protections. The commission based its decision on a controversial Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife report that leading scientists have characterized as severely flawed. The Center for Biological Diversity and allies vowed to challenge the decision in state court.

“With just 80 or so wolves in the entire state, gray wolves are nowhere near recovery,” said Amaroq Weiss, the Center’s West Coast wolf organizer. “Wolves deserve a real chance at recovery. I’m deeply disappointed the commission decided to blatantly ignore the science, the law and the will of the majority of Oregonians.”

Wolves were once widely distributed throughout Oregon but were eradicated from the state by a government-sponsored effort and a bounty system on behalf of livestock operators. In 1999 a wolf from Idaho made her way into the state, soon followed by several other wolves from Idaho, most of which were illegally shot and killed. The commission adopted a state wolf conservation and management plan in 2005 and in 2008 the state’s first breeding pair was confirmed. Recent estimates by state officials estimate the current population at around just 80 animals; these animals live in only 12 percent of what researchers have identified as suitable wolf habitat in Oregon, with nearly the entire wolf population located in the northeastern portion of the state.

“There’s simply no science to support the conclusion that 80 wolves is a recovered population,” said Weiss. “This is a purely political decision made at the behest of livestock and hunting interests. Oregonians expect more from their state government than kowtowing to narrow special interests.”

The Department’s chief argument for delisting is that leaving wolves listed could result in a decline in social tolerance for the species, but this assumption has been debunked by multiple peer-reviewed papers reporting that removing protections for wolves elsewhere has had the opposite effect.

“The Commission’s decision ignored the most current science and has now placed these exquisite animals at greater risk of being killed,” said Weiss.

http://www.biologicaldiversity.org/news/press_releases/2015/wolf-11-09-2015.html

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Contact the Governor of Oregon and let her know how you feel. 

Governor Kate Brown
State Capitol Building
900 Court Street NE, 160
Salem, OR 97301
Phone: (503) 378-4582

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Help Change Oregon’s Wolf Management Plan, PLEASE COMMENT BY JUNE 30, 2010

Oregon’s first radio-collared wolf just after its release, with ear tags and a radio collar. Photo taken May 3, 2009. More information: http://www.dfw.state.or.us/news/2009/may/050409.asp

Oregon’s first radio-collared wolf just after its release, with ear                    tags and a radio collar. Photo taken May 3, 2009.

June 21, 2010

Guest Post by Katie, Oregon resident and wolf advocate.

June 21, 2010

The Oregon Wolf Management Plan is currently under a 5-year review and the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife is accepting comments from the public until June 30th. However, before I tell you about the plan and its obstacles, here is a brief history of the Oregon wolves.

In Oregon, the last gray wolf was eradicated from the state by the 1940s. It was almost 60 years before another one was seen. The first wolf to migrate to the state in 1999 was recaptured and sent back to Idaho. In 2000, two more gray wolves made the journey, but sadly they were both killed; one by a car and one by bullet. The fact that wolves were returning was undeniable, so the state decided they needed a plan. The ODFW sat down with wolf advocates and livestock owners to decide what should be done. Though the livestock owners may have gotten more say in the plan, wolf advocates seemed glad to simply be getting wolves back in the state. The result was a wolf management plan that everyone agreed on. Oregon became one of the first states to willingly open the doors for gray wolves to return.

In 2008, a female Idaho wolf was located in Oregon using the signals from her radio collar. The gray wolf was identified as “B-300”. To bring more attention to wolf recovery in Oregon, the members of a local environmental group, called Oregon Wild, nicknamed the wolf “Sophie”. Eventually finding a mate, Sophie soon became the alpha female of the largest pack in Oregon with 10 wolves total; the Imnaha Pack. Another pack of four wolves was also discovered in 2008. Together, the two packs made up Oregon’s known gray wolf population of 14 individuals.

The plan seemed perfect. Wolves were returning and things seemed to be going well. However, in 2009, two yearling wolves were convicted of killing 29 domestic animals from five different incidents. When non-lethal techniques failed, Wildlife Services was sent in and killed both wolves. Personally, I don’t blame the wolves, they were just pups. Being too young to hunt elk, it was either that or starve. They had no known pack and just seemed to have traveled into Oregon from Idaho on their own. It is possible that their family was killed by a rival pack, but I believe it is more likely that they were killed for “management” purposes.

Now, in 2010, history seems to be repeating itself as two more wolves are being targeted by WS. With only 14 known wolves in the entire state, killing two individuals would be a huge loss. ODFW has also issued seven kill permits to local ranchers, which could spell disaster for such a fragile population.

CURRENT PLAN

Oregon current Wolf Management Plan included three phases for population recovery:

PHASE ONE

 “Wolves may be considered for statewide delisting once the population reaches four breeding pairs for three consecutive years in eastern Oregon…. The plan calls for managing wolves in western Oregon as if the species remains listed until the western Oregon wolf population reaches four breeding pairs.”

This means when there are four packs in eastern Oregon and four in western Oregon, wolves will be stripped of ESA protection statewide.

The average gray wolf pack size is about 8 wolves. If packs in Oregon follow the norm, then roughly 64 wolves will be present when they are delisted. A recent study suggests Oregon could support up to 2200 wolves and still maintain a healthy ecosystem. I don’t know about you, but 64 wolves doesn’t sound like recovered to me.

PHASE TWO

 “Once the wolf is delisted, more options are available to address wolf-livestock conflict. While there are five to seven breeding pairs, landowners may kill a wolf involved in chronic depredation with a permit. Five to seven breeding pairs is considered the management population objective, or Phase 2.”

Five to seven breeding pairs? Oregon currently has two breeding pairs and seven landowners have been given permits to kill wolves. Again, five to seven breeding pairs is 40-56 wolves if they are the average pack size.

PHASE THREE

“Under Phase 3 a limited controlled hunt could be allowed to decrease chronic depredation or reduce pressure on wild ungulates if confirmed wolf predation leads to declines in localized herds.”

Sound familiar? Idaho and Montana initiated hunts mere months after wolves were delisted. The difference is there were 1500 wolves in Montana and Idaho when the first hunts began. In Oregon the hunt could start with less than 100.

To read the full Oregon Wolf Management Plan, go tohttp://www.dfw.state.or.us/Wolves/docs/wolf_plan.pdf

As you can see, the Oregon Wolf Management Plan is weak and gives livestock owners plenty of tools to deal with wolf depredation. However, the Oregon Cattle Association wants more power. Since the plan is under a 5-year review, OCA is suggesting changes to the plan that will suit the cattle industry, not wolves.

OCA’S TESTIMONY

1. Delisting rules (combine the whole state and begin delisting when there are 4 breeding pairs statewide)”

Four breeding pairs would be approximately 32 wolves. Even if each pack was as big as Sophie’s that would still only be 40 wolves, which is definitely not recovered.

2. “Relocation, location, and translocation eliminated”

The current management plan allows for “problem” wolves to be relocated to the closest wilderness area. The closest wilderness area is usually where the wolf came from before it found the livestock. This part of the plan needs to be strengthened, not weakened.

3. Ownership of lands ,IE; state lands is the only lands the Oregon ESA has authority on”

They are asking to change Oregon’s ESA. Not only would this be bad for wolves, but it would also allow anyone to shoot any endangered animal if it was on their property. Remember, these are changes they want now, not when the gray wolf population is 60+, but when there are only 14 wolves in Oregon.

To see the full testimony from the Oregon Cattle Association, go to:http://www.oregonwild.org/fish_wildlife/bringing_wolves_back/OCA_Testimony.pdf

To see the testimony from Oregon Wild, a local environmental group, go to:http://www.oregonwild.org/fish_wildlife/bringing_wolves_back/oregon-wild-wolf-plan-review-testimony-3-12.10/

ODFW is currently accepting comments from the public about changes they should make to the plan. ODFW has not said what they are thinking of changing but the first draft is scheduled to be done some time in August. The deadline to comment is June 30th.

Email your comments to ODFW.Comments@state.or.us

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Talking Points:

 1. Make sure to let them know you want the wolf plan STRENGTHENED, not weakened. Tell them eight breeding pairs statewide are NOT enough. Mention the study that states Oregon could support 2200 gray wolves on its landscape.

 2. Wildlife officials need more options to relocate wolves. Suggest national or state parks, or larger wilderness areas.

 3. Ranchers need to do everything possible to protect their livestock before any action against wolves is even considered. Suggest proper fencing, fladery, radio collar activated sounds, guardian animals, lambing and calving sheds, frequent patrols of pastures, placing livestock in barns at night, and tracking packs to avoid placing cattle in areas where wolves are known to be.

4. Tell them wolves are more valuable alive than dead, because they are. Support this idea by stating Yellowstone Park makes $7-10 million annually from just wolves (The GYA brings in $35 million wolf generated dollars). Explain the positive impacts wolves have on the environment, like increasing beaver populations (beavers are Oregon’s state animal). Wolves keep ungulates moving, which prevents them from over-browsing vital beaver and songbird habitat. Wolves keep ungulate herds healthy by culling the weak, sick and old.

5. Tell them to increase the funding of the wolf plan. Currently the wolf plan is very underfunded and only has a few members on its management team.

6. If you don’t live in Oregon, you can choose to boycott the state if they weaken the management plan. Tell them you will not buy anything from Oregon or visit the state unless the plan is strengthened.

7.  Think of the Imnaha wolf pack and how much they need our help. Their exigence as a pack is in danger. How sad it would be to lose the only breeding pair of wolves in Oregon.

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Don’t forget to email your comments to ODFW and voice your opinion about the Oregon Wolf Management Plan.Comments@state.or.us

Sources Cited:

http://www.oregonwild.org

http://www.predatorfriendly.org/index.html

http://www.dfw.state.or.us/Wolves/docs/wolf_plan.pdf

http://www.oregonwild.org/fish_wildlife/bringing_wolves_back/OCA_Testimony.pdf

http://www.yellowstonepark.com/MoreToKnow/ShowNewsDetails.aspx?newsid=132

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Top Wolf Gif: Tumblr

Middle Photo: ODFW

Middle Photo: Courtesy Rick Lamplugh

Bottom Photo: ODFW

Posted in: Oregon wolves, Ranching and Hunting, Wolf Wars

Tags: Oregon, bad wolf management plan, delisting, ODFW, ranchers, poachers, wolf dispersal

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Photos: Courtesy ODFW

Posted in: Oregon wolves, Wolf Wars

Tags  Oregon delists wolves, bad wolf management plan, wolves not safe anywhere,  fish and game agencies, wolf wars, eventual Oregon wolf hunts, Center for Biological Diversity

ACTION ALERT: “Mexican Gray Wolf Supporters to Rally at Capitol”

Mexican gray wolf pups Lobos of the Southwest

From Center For Biological Diversity 

For Immediate Release, May 18, 2015

Activists Will Urge Gov. Martinez to Reverse Game Commission Stance, Grant Reintroduction Permit to Ted Turner’s Ladder Ranch

SANTA FE, N.M.— Wildlife supporters, including local activists from the Center for Biological Diversity, Sierra Club, Defenders of Wildlife, New Mexico Wilderness Alliance,  Animal Protection of New Mexico and WildEarth Guardians, will rally tomorrow, Tuesday, at noon at the state capitol to ask Gov. Susana Martinez to allow Ted Turner’s Ladder Ranch in Sierra County to continue housing Mexican gray wolves as part of the reintroduction of these endangered animals. Earlier this month, the state game commission denied the ranch’s permit request, ending the facility’s 17 years of Mexican wolf conservation work. From Center For Biological Diversity For Immediate Release, May 18, 2015

MAY 19 RALLY FOR THE MEXICAN GRAY WOLVES:

WHAT: Members of the public will rally at the New Mexico State Capitol (a.k.a. the Roundhouse), in Santa Fe to protest the New Mexico Game Commission’s politically-based refusal to renew a permit for the Ladder Ranch to hold wolves as part of the Mexican gray wolf reintroduction program.

When: Noon to 1:30 p.m., Tuesday

Where: East side (front) of the Roundhouse

Visuals: Attendees will have signs and banners. Speakers will include former Santa Fe Mayor David Coss; former federal Mexican wolf recovery coordinator David R. Parsons; Michael Robinson, author and wolf activist with the Center for Biological Diversity in Silver City; and Roxane George of Mexicanwolves.org.

The Center for Biological Diversity is a national, nonprofit conservation organization with more than 825,000 members and online activists dedicated to the protection of endangered species and wild places.

http://www.biologicaldiversity.org/news/press_releases/2015/mexican-gray-wolf-05-18-2015.html

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Photo: Courtesy Lobos of the Southwest

Posted in: Mexican gray wolf, action alert, activism, Howling For Justice

Tags: Center for Biological Diversity, Critically endangered Mexican gray wolf, Ted Turner Ladder Ranch, Governor Martinez, protest to reinstate Ladder Ranch permit, New Mexico, May 19, 2015

Room For Wolves…

Lamar Canyon Pack Flickr_CC BY_ND 2.0

New Report IDs 350,000 Square Miles of Additional Habitat for Wolves in Lower 48

Obama Administration Prematurely Abandoning Recovery, Despite Ample Room for Wolves in Southern Rockies, West Coast, Northeast

By: Center for Biological Diversity

SAN FRANCISCO, Nov. 3, 2014 – A first-of-its-kind analysis by the Center for Biological Diversity identifies 359,000 square miles of additional habitat for gray wolves in 19 of the lower 48 states that could significantly boost the nation’s 40-year wolf recovery efforts. The study indicates the gray wolf population could be doubled to around 10,000 by expanding recovery into areas researchers have identified as excellent habitat in the Northeast, West Coast and southern Rocky Mountains, as well as the Grand Canyon, an area where a radio-collared wolf was photographed in recent weeks.

The report comes as the Obama administration moves to strip Endangered Species Act protection from gray wolves by the end of the year, even though wolves have been recovered in less than 10 percent of their historic habitat and are routinely trekking hundreds of miles to disperse to areas of the American landscape they once called home.

“This wolf’s pioneering journey to Arizona, like the wolf OR-7’s remarkable trek across Oregon to California, highlights the compelling on-the-ground reality made clear in this new report,” said Amaroq Weiss, the Center’s West Coast wolf organizer. “The Obama administration must finally acknowledge that the job of recovering wolves to sustainable populations is far from done.”

Today’s report, Making Room for Wolf Recovery: The Case for Maintaining Endangered Species Act Protections for America’s Wolves, analyzes 27 published research papers identifying suitable wolf habitat. It shows that the current wolf population of 5,400 could be nearly doubled if federal protections were retained and recovery efforts began to restore wolves to some of the places they once called home.

The report documents 56 instances over 30 years where wolves have dispersed from existing core recovery areas to states where they have yet to reestablish, including Colorado, Utah, California, New York, Massachusetts and Maine. These events, which frequently have ended in the dispersing wolves being shot, highlight the need for continued federal protections and recovery planning to increase the odds for dispersing wolves to survive and recolonize former terrain. The most famous dispersing wolf, OR-7, traveled hundreds of miles from northeast Oregon to California and has started a family along the border of the two states.

The report’s findings come as federal wildlife officials are working to verify the genetic identity of the radio-collared wolf photographed near Grand Canyon National Park — a discovery that suggests the wolf is likely a northern Rockies gray wolf who traveled hundreds of miles to historic wolf habitat where wolves were exterminated more than 50 years ago.

“What we’re seeing is that the amazing journeys of OR-7 and the wolf spotted in Arizona are far from oddities — they’re reflections of very natural dispersal patterns in recent years, where wolves have travelled hundreds of miles trying to expand to enough of their historic range to survive ongoing threats,” Weiss said. “But without the protection of the Endangered Species Act, we know that these wolves will too often face the same kind of hostility that nearly drove them extinct a century ago.”

Since endangered species protections were taken away from wolves in 2011 in the northern Rockies and western Great Lakes, the states have enacted aggressive hunting and trapping seasons designed to drastically reduce populations. To date more than 2,800 wolves have been killed, resulting in a 9 percent population decline in the northern Rockies and a 25 percent decline in Minnesota. Idaho passed legislation this year creating a “wolf control board,” with the sole purpose of killing wolves, and appropriated $400,000 for the task. Removal of protection in the rest of the country will ensure that anti-wolf prejudices prevail and wolf recovery is stopped in its tracks.

“State management of wolves has turned an Endangered Species Act success story into a tragedy,” said Weiss. “Rather than sound science, gray wolf management by the states has been dominated by anti-wolf hysteria and special-interest politics. Wolves need federal protection so they can survive, continue to recover, and eventually reprise their historic wilderness role at the top of the food chain.”

The report details the serious problems with state management and the important part wolves play in ecosystems; it can be read and downloaded here.

Background
Large members of the canid family, gray wolves are habitat generalists able to live nearly anywhere other than extreme desert or tropical environments, but which require human tolerance for survival. Living in family packs that typically range from five to 10 animals, wolves are highly social animals, with all pack members involved in rearing of young and in hunting forays for their prey (predominantly large wild ungulates such as elk, deer, moose and caribou). At around the age of two to three years, wolves tend to disperse from their family packs to seek mates and territories of their own.

Gray wolves were once the most widely ranging land mammals on the planet, with an estimated 2 million distributed throughout North America at the time of European colonization. As settlers moved west, they cleared the land for their grain and livestock, wiping out first the wolves’ wild prey and then the wolves themselves. Government-sponsored predator-eradication campaigns conducted on behalf of the livestock industry exterminated wolves everywhere in the lower 48 states, with the exception of a remnant population of fewer than 1,000 wolves in far northeastern Minnesota.

Wolves were first federally protected in 1967, under a precursor to the Endangered Species Act. This allowed Minnesota’s wolf population to expand in number and range into neighboring Wisconsin and parts of Michigan. In the mid-1990s, wolves were reintroduced to Yellowstone National Park and central Idaho; their descendants have slowly dispersed into parts of Washington and Oregon, with one wolf making it to California. In the late 1990s, the most highly endangered subspecies of gray wolf, the Mexican gray wolf, was reintroduced to Arizona.

In 2011 Congress stripped wolves of federal protections in the northern Rockies and adjacent areas, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service did the same for wolves in the Western Great Lakes region. Under state management, in less than three years, wolf populations in these states have demonstrated substantial declines, with nearly 3,000 wolves killed in state-sanctioned hunting and trapping seasons.

In June 2013 the Obama administration proposed stripping federal protections from wolves across most of the lower 48 states. Despite receipt of more than 1.5 million public comments opposed to delisting wolves and critical comments from scientists and a peer review panel, the administration is expected to issue an official rule removing protection from wolves before the end of the year.

http://yubanet.com/enviro/New-Report-IDs-350-000-Square-Miles-of-Additional-Habitat-for-Wolves-in-Lower-48.php#.VFm8dvnF-So

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Making Room for Wolf Recovery:
The Case for Maintaining Endangered Species Act Protections for America’s Wolves

gray wolf in snow wallpaper

http://www.biologicaldiversity.org/campaigns/gray_wolves/pdfs/Making_Room_for_Recovery_print.pdf

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Top Photo: lamar-canyon-pack-flickr_cc-by_nd-2-0

Bottom Photo: gray wolf in snow wallpaper

Posted in: gray wolf, biodiversity, Wolf Wars

Tags: gray wolf recovery, wolf habitat, Obama admin, war on wolves, Center For Biological Diversity, national wolf delisting, wolf persecution repeat, ESA

CBD Press Release: Victory For Wolves In Wyoming!

Gray wolf_National Park Service Photo

September 24, 2014

I could post this news everyday for the next month and it wouldn’t get old. Here’s the Center For Biological Diversity’s press release on the relisting of wolves in Wyoming. Good bye Wyoming predator zone, you can no longer treat wolves like vermin! The Wyoming wolf  trophy hunt, due to start in October, has been cancelled. Music to my ears! Thank you again Earth Justice and all who were involved in this fight!

 A great victory for Wyoming wolves!  Judge Amy Berman Jackson of the U.S. District Court  “invalidated the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s 2012 statewide Endangered Species Act delisting of the species.” What welcome news, it’s been a long time coming!

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For Immediate Release: September 23, 2014

Victory for Wolves in Wyoming

Federal Judge Reinstates Federal Protections Statewide

WASHINGTON— Federal protections for gray wolves in Wyoming were reinstated today after a judge invalidated the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s 2012 statewide Endangered Species Act delisting of the species. The ruling from the U.S. District Court halts the management of wolves by Wyoming, a state with a history of hostile and extreme anti-wolf policies.

“The court has ruled and Wyoming’s kill-on-sight approach to wolf management throughout much of the state must stop,” said Earthjustice attorney Tim Preso. “Today’s ruling restores much-needed federal protection to wolves throughout Wyoming, which allowed killing along the borders of Yellowstone National Park and throughout national forest lands south of Jackson Hole where wolves were treated as vermin under state management. If Wyoming wants to resume management of wolves, it must develop a legitimate conservation plan that ensures a vibrant wolf population in the northern Rockies.”

Earthjustice represented Defenders of Wildlife, Natural Resources Defense Council, the Sierra Club and the Center for Biological Diversity in challenging the Fish and Wildlife Service’s September 2012 decision to strip Endangered Species Act protections from gray wolves in Wyoming. The conservation groups challenged the 2012 decision on grounds that Wyoming law authorized unlimited wolf killing in a “predator” zone that extended throughout most of the state, and provided inadequate protection for wolves even where killing was regulated.

“Today the court affirmed that delisting gray wolves in Wyoming by the Obama administration was premature and a violation of federal law,” said Defenders of Wildlife president and CEO Jamie Rappaport Clark. “Any state that has a wolf-management plan that allows for unlimited wolf killing throughout most of the state should not be allowed to manage wolves. Wolves need to remain protected under the Endangered Species Act until the species is fully recovered. State laws and policies that treat wolves like vermin are as outdated and discredited today as they were a century ago.”

“The decision makes clear that ‘shoot-on-sight’ is not an acceptable management plan for wolves across the majority of the state,” said Dr. Sylvia Fallon, senior scientist and wildlife conservation director at the Natural Resources Defense Council. “It’s time for Wyoming to step back and develop a more science-based approach to managing wolves.”

“The court has rightly recognized the deep flaws in Wyoming’s wolf management plan. History has shown that sound, science-based management practices are at the heart of successful efforts to bring animals back from the brink of extinction. Sound management will ensure that we can continue to reap the benefits wolves bring to the region,” said Bonnie Rice of the Sierra Club’s Greater Yellowstone Our Wild America Campaign. 

“We’re thrilled that protections for Wyoming’s fragile population of wolves have been restored,” said Noah Greenwald, endangered species director with the Center for Biological Diversity. “With Wyoming allowing wolves to be shot on sight across more than 80 percent of the state, there is no way protections for wolves should have ever been removed.”

The 2012 delisting of wolves in Wyoming turned wolf management over to the state, which opened up over 80 percent of its land to unlimited wolf killing and provided weak protections for wolves in the remainder. Since the delisting 219 wolves have been killed under Wyoming’s management. Prior to the 2012 reversal of its position, the Fish and Wildlife Service denied Wyoming the authority to manage wolves in the state due to its extremely hostile anti-wolf laws and policies.

Background
There were once up to 2 million gray wolves living in North America, but the animals were driven to near-extinction in the lower 48 states by the early 1900s. After passage of the federal Endangered Species Act in 1973 and protection of the wolf as endangered, federal recovery programs resulted in the rebound of wolf populations in limited parts of the country. Roughly 5,500 wolves currently live in the continental United States — a fraction of the species’ historic numbers.

The Fish and Wildlife Service is currently proposing to remove Endangered Species Act protection for most gray wolves across the United States, a proposal that the groups strongly oppose; a final decision could be made later this year.

LEGAL DOCUMENTS: http://earthjustice.org/sites/default/files/files/14-09-23%20Doc%20%2068%20OPINION.pdf

http://earthjustice.org/sites/default/files/files/14-09-23%20Doc%20%2067%20ORDER%20%282%29.pdf

http://www.biologicaldiversity.org/news/press_releases/2014/wolf-09-23-2014.html

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Photo: Courtesy NPS

Posted in: Wolf Wars, Wyoming Wolves,

Tags: Victory for Wyoming Wolves, Center For Biological Diversity, predator zone, wolves are not vermin

USFWS Says Wolf Recovery Is A Success Because Wolves Live…WTF???

NatureColdWarriors_3wolves

April 16, 2014

This takes the cake. In a ridiculous statement (and a foreshadowing of the way their decision on delisting wolves nationally is going to go) the USFWS said:

Gray wolf’s success means it lives

Posted: 04/12/2014 06:32:01 AM EDT

The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service’s update on the status of gray wolves in the West, which it released last week, amounted to an implicit plug for its proposal to lift federal protections for the creature across the lower 48 states.

Wolf restoration has been an “amazing success,” the service said, and “by every biological measure the (Northern Rocky Mountains) wolf is recovered and remains secure under state management.”

The evidence: The number of breeding pairs and individual wolves remains comfortably above the agency’s minimum targets.

In fact, the service does have reason to crow, given what appears to be a reasonably stable wolf population in Montana, Idaho and Wyoming (with a smattering in eastern Washington and Oregon as well.)

Critics of delisting maintain that a sustainable wolf population should be larger than the current 1,691, and don’t trust the states to uphold their part of the recovery bargain.

We have more faith in state wildlife officials — and meanwhile trust Fish & Wildlife to intervene, as it promises, “if relisting is  ever warranted.”

Read more: http://www.sentinelandenterprise.com/editorial/ci_25553138/gray-wolfs-success-means-it-lives#ixzz2z7APn7kv

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Have they even glanced at the 1,521,113 comments submitted concerning their disgusting National Wolf Delisting proposal? Have they heard of Idaho’s plan to kill most of their wolves? Do they care one whit about the thousands of wolves who’ve been killed since their delisting in 2009?  Is this the “amazing success” they’re talking about? That “by every biological measure the (Northern Rocky Mountains) wolf is recovered and remains secured under state management“? Are they saying this with a straight face? Are they joking?

hunted-the-war-against-wolves-eij

The material point is they’ve already made up their minds wolves will be delisted nationally, no matter what the public thinks because it’s not about what the American people want. It’s about what their customers want, you know the ranchers, hunters and politicians they serve.

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The Unsavory Truth Behind the Move to Take Wolves Off the Endangered List

The feds have dismissed three scientists from a wolf panel for, guess what, raising concerns about wolf delisting.

April 16, 2014 / By Tracy Ross

Just weeks after calling for the removal of gray wolves from the Endangered Species List, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is now under fire for allegations that it intentionally excluded three prominent scientists—whose views diverged from the Service’s on delisting—from an upcoming peer review process.

In June, Fish and Wildlife called to delist gray wolves across the Lower 48 states, leaving an exception for the struggling Mexican wolf in the Southwest. Agency director Dan Ashe told the media that the gray wolf had recovered to the point that it could thrive and even enlarge its territory without federal oversight. Several wolf advocates and some members of Congress disagreed. Once wolves are delisted, their management will fall to individual states.

But in order for the delisting process to continue, federal law requires that a team of scientists evaluate the basis for the motion. As such, Fish and Wildlife hired a private contractor to select and oversee the peer review panel. According to Fish and Wildlife spokesman Gavin Shire, the agency isn’t supposed to know who the panelists are. But the Associated Press revealed that the contractor chosen to assemble the panel had provided a list of candidates that redacted their names but included their professional resumes. Armed with this information, the Service found three esteemed wolf biologists, who—and this is the key part—had expressed concern with the gray wolf delisting plan. They also, along with 16 other prominent scientists, had signed a letter expressing this concern. Shortly thereafter, Fish and Wildlife effectively “delisted” the three scientists from the panel.

The three are identified as Dr. John Vucetich, Dr. Robert Wayne, and Dr. Roland Kays. All have published extensively on the wolf and are considered preeminent experts. Yet the Center for Biological Diversity’s Bret Hartl reports that the Service rescinded their invitations because, in the agency’s words, they have an “unacceptable affiliation with an advocacy position.”

READ MORE: http://www.takepart.com/article/2013/08/16/wolves-endangered-species-list-delist-panel-scientists?fb_comment_id=fbc_386534721476207_1937752_388683194594693#f5dbc27245f234

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Top Photo: Courtesy Nature: Cold Warriors

Bottom Photo: Courtesy Earth Island Journal

Posted in: Wolf Wars

Tags: USFWS, national wolf delisting, absurd comments, irresponsible management, wolves are NOT recovered, stand up for wolves, Dr. John Vucetich, Dr. Robert Wayne, Dr. Roland Kays, Center For Biological Diversity

From Center for Biological Diversity – Tell Congress To Protect Wolves in the Lower 48! DEADLINE MARCH 1st

06 Female Earth Island Journal

March 1, 2013

Please sign the deadline is today!!

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Urge U.S. Fish and Wildlife to Keep Existing Protections for Gray Wolves

 http://www.biologicaldiversity.org/campaigns/gray_wolves/pdfs/Dear_Colleague_Gray_Wolf_Letter.pdf

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Wolf recovery across the United States is in jeopardy

In the past two years, federal protections for wolves have been removed in the northern Rocky Mountains and western Great Lakes, leaving management decisions to individual states. States in these regions have approved aggressive hunting and trapping seasons designed to drastically reduce recently recovered populations. In 2012 alone, more than 1,200 wolves were killed in these two regions under the state plans. State management programs are as gruesome as they are ineffectual.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife now wants to remove protections for wolves in remaining lower 48 states — including the Pacific Northwest, California, the southern Rocky Mountains and Northeast – even though wolves are just beginning to recover in these areas.

Right now members of Congress are willing to take action to defend wolves in the greater United States. U.S. Representatives Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.) and Ed Markey (D-Mass.) are circulating a letter to the Service opposing the hasty removal of wolf protections. U.S. Rep. Raúl Grijalva (D-Ariz.) has already signed on as a lead co-signatory.

Please call your member of Congress today at (202) 224-3121. Tell him or her to oppose the removal of Endangered Species Act protections for wolves in the lower 48 states and to sign onto Reps. DeFazio, Markey and Grijalva’s letter to the Fish and Wildlife Service. Then use the form below to send a letter to your Representative today.

Click HERE to visit Center For Biological Diversity and sign letter!

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Photo: kewlwallpapersdotcom

Posted in: Wolf Wars, Endangered Species Act

Tags: Tell Congress Protect wolves, Center For Biological Diversity, Rep. Grijalva, Rep. Peter DeFazio, Rep. Ed Markey, take action for wolves, wolf recovery jeopardized

ACTION ALERT: From Center for Biological Diversity – Tell Congress To Protect Wolves in the Lower 48!

winnter wolves kewl

Wolf recovery across the United States is in jeopardy

In the past two years, federal protections for wolves have been removed in the northern Rocky Mountains and western Great Lakes, leaving management decisions to individual states. States in these regions have approved aggressive hunting and trapping seasons designed to drastically reduce recently recovered populations. In 2012 alone, more than 1,200 wolves were killed in these two regions under the state plans. State management programs are as gruesome as they are ineffectual.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife now wants to remove protections for wolves in remaining lower 48 states — including the Pacific Northwest, California, the southern Rocky Mountains and Northeast – even though wolves are just beginning to recover in these areas.

Right now members of Congress are willing to take action to defend wolves in the greater United States. U.S. Representatives Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.) and Ed Markey (D-Mass.) are circulating a letter to the Service opposing the hasty removal of wolf protections. U.S. Rep. Raúl Grijalva (D-Ariz.) has already signed on as a lead co-signatory.

Please call your member of Congress today at (202) 224-3121. Tell him or her to oppose the removal of Endangered Species Act protections for wolves in the lower 48 states and to sign onto Reps. DeFazio, Markey and Grijalva’s letter to the Fish and Wildlife Service. Then use the form below to send a letter to your Representative today.

Click HERE to visit Center For Biological Diversity and sign letter!

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Urge U.S. Fish and Wildlife to Keep Existing Protections for Gray Wolves

 http://www.biologicaldiversity.org/campaigns/gray_wolves/pdfs/Dear_Colleague_Gray_Wolf_Letter.pdf

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Photo: kewlwallpapersdotcom

Posted in: Wolf Wars, Endangered Species Act

Tags: Tell Congress Protect wolves, Center For Biological Diversity, Rep. Grijalva, Rep. Peter DeFazio, Rep. Ed Markey, take action for wolves, wolf recovery jeopardized

From Center For Biological Diversity: Modoc County Sheriff Goes Rogue, Vows to Defy Federal Laws During Coyote Hunt

howlingwolfkewlwallpaersdotcom-1

For Immediate Release, February 8, 2013

Hunt Continues Despite Public Opposition, Concerns Over California’s Lone Wolf

SAN FRANCISCO— The Animal Welfare Institute, Project Coyote and Center for Biological Diversity are seeking an immediate investigation of Modoc County Sheriff Mike Poindexter for his decision to defy federal laws and advocate the violation of those laws during this weekend’s Coyote Drive 13, a coyote-killing contest in and near Modoc County.

A letter to the editor of the Modoc County Recorder on Feb. 7 by Sheriff Poindexter said he won’t “tolerate any restriction of legal hunting on our public lands” despite federal laws prohibiting or regulating coyote hunting on federal lands in and near Modoc County.  He also recommended that any hunt participant who is questioned or detained by federal enforcement officials for illegally hunting on federal lands to “cooperate but stand their ground and call the Sheriff’s Office” and that sheriff deputies “absolutely will not tolerate any infringement upon your liberties pertaining to accessing or legally hunting on your public lands.”

“Despite claiming to uphold the U.S. Constitution, Sheriff Poindexter has decided he will not enforce and is encouraging others to flout those federal laws which he opposes,” said D.J. Schubert, wildlife biologist with the Animal Welfare Institute. “This is a blatant breach of his duty as a law enforcement officer and a violation of the Law Enforcement Code of ethics.”

The groups have contacted the district attorney for Modoc County, the California Attorney General’s office, the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of California and a number of state and federal agencies advising them of Sheriff Poindexter’s comments and asking for urgent intervention.

“These laws are on the books to protect our public lands and the wildlife that live there. Not only does this coyote hunt put OR-7 and other wolves at risk, but now it’s also shaping up to be some kind of Wild West misadventure where the sheriff is thumbing his nose at federal laws,” said Amaroq Weiss, West Coast wolf organizer at the Center for Biological Diversity.

Poindexter’s statement comes in the wake of public outcry that generated more than 20,000 letters, emails, and petition signatures into the California Department of Fish and Wildlife and the California Fish and Game Commission calling for an end to Coyote Drive 2013 and a top-to-bottom evaluation of the state’s approach to managing predators in California.

“Given the serious potential for violations of state and federal laws barring predator hunting on public lands, the threat this hunt poses to OR-7 and any un-collared wolves in the area, and the public’s clear opposition to this killing contest, the state should take immediate action to call off Coyote Drive 2013 now,” said Camilla Fox, Project Coyote executive director and a wildlife consultant to the Animal Welfare Institute.

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Project Coyote promotes educated coexistence between people and coyotes by championing progressive management policies that reduce human-coyote conflict, supporting innovative scientific research, and by fostering respect for and understanding of America’s native wild “song dog.” http://www.projectcoyote.org/

The Animal Welfare Institute is dedicated to reducing animal suffering caused by people. AWI engages policymakers, scientists, industry and the public to achieve better treatment of animals everywhere — in the laboratory, on the farm, in commerce, at home, and in the wild. http://awionline.org

The Center for Biological Diversity is a national, nonprofit conservation organization with more than 450,000 members and online activists dedicated to the protection of endangered species and wild places. 

http://www.biologicaldiversity.org/

You can find the Stop the Coyote Contest Hunt Petition at Change.org:
http://www.change.org/petitions/ca-dept-of-fish-wildlife-f-g-commission-stop-coyote-killing-contest

http://www.biologicaldiversity.org/news/press_releases/2013/coyote-contest-02-08-2013.html

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