Sec. Salazar agrees to weak Wyoming wolf plan
DOI OKs shoot-on-sight wolf management policy across most of state
BOISE, Idaho (July 7, 2011) – U.S. Department of the Interior Secretary Ken Salazar tentatively agreed today to a wolf management plan for Wyoming that will allow wolves to be shot on sight across most of the state. In a joint press conference with Wyoming Gov. Matt Mead and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Director Dan Ashe, Sec. Salazar said the Interior Department “agrees in principle” to allowing wolves to be killed without a permit for most of the year across most of state.
The following is statement from Suzanne Stone, Northern Rockies representative for Defenders of Wildlife:
“This action, if approved, would undo the successful recovery of wolves in the region, which was supported by millions of Americans. The principles that Gov. Mead and Sec. Salazar have agreed to seem no different than what had previously been proposed by Wyoming and rejected by both the US Fish and Wildlife Service and the courts.
“The Governor has publicly stated that he plans an end-run around the Endangered Species Act to get Congress to ratify this plan and prevent any legal challenge. What a sad day it is for America’s wildlife and a stunning betrayal coming from our nation’s chief wildlife steward.”
According to the latest annual wolf report from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Wyoming has an estimated population of 343 wolves, including 97 wolves inside Yellowstone National Park. So far this year, there have been 11 confirmed wolf deaths, including five that were killed in response to livestock losses. As of June 16, only six cattle (out of 1.3 million statewide) and one sheep (out of 365,000 statewide) were confirmed as losses to wolves.