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

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Never Forget….

October 3, 2011

As the weekend closes 46 wolves have been slaughtered in the Montana and Idaho hunts and that number is going to skyrocket once the cold weather hits and wolves lose their cover.  Idaho wolf  trapping season begins November 15, the tortures wolves will suffer is beyond measure.  Wolf  families torn apart, their pups killed.

There are vengeful people out hunting wolves.  All you have to do is look at some of the disgusting anti-wolf sites to see the terrible things that are being said. One wanna be “wolf hunter” quoted Wyatt Earp’s famous line from Tombstone:  “You tell ’em I’M coming… and hell’s coming with me, you hear?…”.  Does that even sound rational to you?

There’s a video on YouTube filming a young kid talking about going to Idaho to kill wolves….meanwhile he’s target practicing with a 50 cal.  What??

  Wolf advocates knew this would happen, that’s why we fight so hard to protect them.  It’s a culture war out there and it has little to do with wolves.

Lets not forget who made this all possible. In April of this year 81 US Senators voted to delist wolves via budget rider, stripping wolves in Idaho and Montana of their much-needed ESA protections. It was a bitter betrayal by Senate Democrats.

Interestingly, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, allowed separate votes on two other riders in the budget bill.  One sought to defund Planned Parenthood and the other Obamacare. Both were defeated.

Wolves weren’t so lucky. The wolf rider didn’t get a separate vote,  it was the only rider left in the budget bill.  ALL Democrat Senators, save three. voted yea. I watched it on C-Span. Lots of camaraderie and smiles.  It was disgusting.  No mention of gutting the ESA or delisting wolves.

Believe it or not,  just one week before they voted to delist wolves via budget rider “Senators Patty Murray, Dianne Feinstein, Maria Cantwell, Barbara Mikulski, Debbie Stabenow, Kirsten Gillibrand, Amy Klobuchar, Kay Hagan and Barbara Boxer held a press conference” blasting Republicans, for their “tactics” during the budget negotiations.  Apparently they were upset about the budget riders to defund Planned Parenthood and Obamacare but no mention of gray wolves or the ESA.

My message to the Senators, don’t grandstand about something then turn around and do the same thing.  Pot meet kettle.

From the Democrat Daily:

“If the Democratic women in the Senate defeated the use of procedurally unethical tactics to achieve a “radical agenda against women” outside the public debate, they did not succeed in preventing Democratic Senator John Tester’s “divisive policy rider” from stripping endangered species protection from gray wolves in the Northern Rocky Mountains. 

In response to this failure, the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) lamented: “It is a shameful day for this nation when both parties unite behind the slaughter of an endangered species—without public hearing or debate.”  The NRDC also noted that “Congress has never before removed an animal from the endangered species list.  By replacing scientific judgment with political calculation, the House and Senate have struck at the very heart of wildlife protection in America.”

Thus, under threat of a government shutdown, unprincipled politicians pursued an “extreme social agenda” not just against women, but also against the environment, the Endangered Species Act, the endangered grey wolf, and all Americans who hope for a future in which the integrity of our ecosystems is still preserved.”


I guess the Senators thought they’d pulled a fast one on the American people. After all, the wolf rider was not mentioned on C-Span before the vote, at least I didn’t hear it. If you were watching you’d never know gray wolves in Montana and Idaho were about to lose their ESA safeguards. It seemed Senators were simply voting on an appropriations bill.  The sad truth?  Democrats, with help from Republicans,  were about to gut the ESA and deliver wolves to brutal state management, all under cover of  a hush-hush budget rider.

And we can’t forget Obama, he signed the bill into law. But then what can we expect from a President who appointed a rancher to head the Interior? A President who delisted gray wolves in the Northern Rockies just a few months into his first term.  In fact he has delisted wolves twice in less than four years, not even George Bush can make that claim.

Make no mistake, if the Democrats had not betrayed wolves, they wouldn’t be facing hunts in Idaho and Montana. Even though hunting and ranching lobbies were pushing hard for hunts, without the help of Congress, they wouldn’t be taking place, at least not this year.  And personally I believe they would have continued to lose in court and they knew it too.  So they partnered up with Western politicians, eager to gain mileage from “wolf wars”. The worst sort of politics.

The Senate could easily have stripped the rider out of the budget bill or allowed an up or down vote on it, as  they did for the other two riders.

 In my opinion, Senators didn’t want to “go on the record” and vote for the wolf delisting rider outright, so they tucked it away in the budget bill.  The ESA was used and abused for political gain. For the first time, a species like the wolf, who has a long history of persecution and ultimately extermination in the West, was removed from the Endangered Species List for political reasons, science be damned.

The wolf delisting rider was inserted by Jon Tester to enhance his “anti-wolf” credentials for the 2012 re-election battle with opponent Denny Rehberg. The two are trying to “out-wolf” each other and are now arguing who should get credit for delisting wolves.

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Senate Democrats Who Voted Yes On Budget Bill/Wolf Delisting Rider

Akaka (D-HI)

Baucus (D-MT)

Begich (D-AK)

Bennet (D-CO)

Bingaman (D-NM)

Blumenthal (D-CT)

Boxer (D-CA)

Brown (D-OH)

Cantwell (D-WA)

Cardin (D-MD)

Carper (D-DE)

Casey (D-PA)

Conrad (D-ND)

Coons (D-DE)

Durbin (D-IL)

Feinstein (D-CA)

Franken (D-MN)

Gillibrand (D-NY)

Hagan (D-NC)

Harkin (D-IA)

Inouye (D-HI)

Johnson (D-SD)

Kerry (D-MA)

Klobuchar (D-MN)

Kohl (D-WI)

Landrieu (D-LA)

Lautenberg (D-NJ)

Lieberman (ID-CT)

Manchin (D-WV)

McCaskill (D-MO)

Menendez (D-NJ)

Merkley (D-OR)

Mikulski (D-MD)

Murray (D-WA)

Nelson (D-FL)

Nelson (D-NE)

Pryor (D-AR)

Reed (D-RI)

Reid (D-NV)

Roberts (R-KS)

Rockefeller (D-WV)

Schumer (D-NY)

Shaheen (D-NH)

Stabenow (D-MI)

*Tester (D-MT)

Udall (D-CO)

Udall (D-NM)

Warner (D-VA)

Webb (D-VA)

Whitehouse (D-RI)

Remember these Democrat Senators at the polling booth in 2012, they need to be booted out of office. As a matter of fact every Senator who voted yes should not be invited to serve another term. We need politicians who will resist political pandering. Governing by budget rider is wrong and intolerable. Politically delisting wolves and tearing apart the ESA to please special interests is despicable. Now wolves are paying the price of that betrayal.

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Senate Democrats Who Voted No on the Budget Bill/Wolf Rider

Leahy (D-VT)

Levin (D-MI)

Wyden (D-OR)

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Senate Republicans Who Voted Yes on the Budget Bill/ Wolf Delisting Rider

Alexander (R-TN)
Ayotte (R-NH)
Barrasso (R-WY)
Blunt (R-MO)
Boozman (R-AR)
Brown (R-MA)
Burr (R-NC)
Chambliss (R-GA)
Coats (R-IN)
Cochran (R-MS)
Collins (R-ME)
Corker (R-TN)
Cornyn (R-TX)
Enzi (R-WY)
Grassley (R-IA)
Hoeven (R-ND)
Hutchison (R-TX)
Isakson (R-GA)
Johanns (R-NE)
Kirk (R-IL)
Kyl (R-AZ)
Lugar (R-IN)
McCain (R-AZ)
McConnell (R-KY)
Moran (R-KS)
Murkowski (R-AK)
Portman (R-OH)
Roberts (R-KS)
Sessions (R-AL)
Snowe (R-ME)
Thune (R-SD)
Wicker (R-MS)
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Senate Republicans Who Voted No on the Budget/Wolf Delisting Rider

Coburn (R-OK
Crapo (R-ID)
DeMint (R-SC)
Ensign (R-NV)
Graham (R-SC)
Hatch (R-UT)
Inhofe (R-OK)
Johnson (R-WI)
Lee (R-UT)
Paul (R-KY)
Risch (R-ID)
Rubio (R-FL)
Shelby (R-AL)
Toomey (R-PA)
Vitter (R-LA)
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*To be fair, I believe many of these Republicans knew the Democrats had the votes to pass the budget bill/wolf rider.  So, they were free to vote no, not because they were wolf lovers  but to make a statement about their dislike of the budget bill.  Some of the names in the no vote column are not known to be wolf advocates.  My 2 cents.
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Senate Independents Who Voted No on the Budget/Wolf Delisting Rider

Bernie Sanders (I-VT)

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This should never have happened. After eight years of George Bush the country was looking for positive change. I think the promise was “hope and change” but instead we got “more of the same.”

It’s ironic, Bill Clinton oversaw the reintroduction of wolves into the Northern Rockies and Obama is overseeing their destruction.

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Endangered Wolves Sacrificed in Budget Deal

Glenn Hurowitz

Senior Fellow, Center for International Policy

Posted: 04/11/11 04:09 PM ET

Although Majority Leader Harry Reid and President Barack Obama stood firm against Republican attempts to repeal clean air and clean water protections, wolves in the Northern Rockies weren’t so lucky.

Under pressure from ranching interests in Montana and Idaho, as well as anti-wolf zealots in those states, Reid and Obama agreed to accept an amendment from Montana Democrat Jon Tester mandating the removal of grey wolves in Idaho and Montana from the endangered species list. For Obama, at least, the move isn’t surprising: his administration backed the Bush administration’s delisting of wolves even though it would allow the two massive states to cut wolf populations to as few as 450 individuals between them.

Read more: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/glenn-hurowitz/endangered-wolves-sacrifi_b_847673.html

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Tester’s howling error

Congressionally delisting wolves could gut the ESA

by George Ochenski

http://missoulanews.bigskypress.com/missoula/testers-howling-error/Content?oid=1428261

Photo: Courtesy National Park Service

Posted In: Wolf Wars, Howling For Justice, Endangered Species Act

Tags: wolf delisting rider, Senate Democrats , President Obama, Northern Rockies gray wolves, Idaho hunt, Montana hunt, Jon Tester, endangered species act

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