Mexican gray wolf and pup, © Joel Sartore/ National Geographic Photo Ark

Wolf Weekly Wrap-Up

DeFazio Leads 73 Members on Bipartisan Letter Urging Interior Secretary Jewell to Maintain Critical Gray Wolf Protections: On Wednesday, Ranking Member of the House Natural Resources Committee Peter DeFazio (D-OR) and 73 bi-partisan members of Congress sent a letter to Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell requesting that she withdraw the current delisting proposal for gray wolves across most of the lower 48. A list of the Representatives who signed the letter is available here.Wenaha wolf, © ODFW This letter comes in response to the unanimous conclusion from an independent panel of expert scientists that the Fish and Wildlife Service did not use the best available science in their delisting proposal. In a statement on Wednesday, Congressman DeFazio said: “I’ve long said that ESA [Endangered Species Act] decisions should be based on science, not politics, and the experts who have reviewed the so-called science behind the proposed rule have spoken…Continued protection under the Endangered Species Act is the only way that gray wolves will ever return to a significant portion of their range, and reclaim their place as a keystone species of American landscapes. I hope Secretary Jewell agrees.” The comment period for this proposal is coming to a close on March 27 – click here to submit your official comments today.

Wolf rally in DC, © Defenders of WildlifeWolf Advocates Bring Strong Opposition to Wednesday’s Idaho Fish and Game Hearing: On Wednesday, wildlife advocates from around the region took the Idaho Department of Fish and Game (IDFG) Commission to task over their new predation management plan which would allow the agency to kill up to 60 percent of the wolves living in the Middle Fork Zone, the core of the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness Area. Before the 7:00pm hearing in Boise, students from Timberline High School’s TREE Club staged a rally outside of Idaho Fish and Game Headquarters opposing the predation management plan. IDFG Commissioners then heard from citizen activists, conservation non-profits, student activists, and even hunters and farmers who oppose IDFG’s plan to kill more wolves in the wilderness area. Suzanne Stone, Idaho resident and Defenders of Wildlife Senior Representative for Rockies and Plains said: “Idaho Fish and Game’s plan to kill most of the wolves in the Frank Church Wilderness is a grossly irresponsible wildlife management decision. The Frank Church Wilderness is an area set aside by Congress ‘where the earth and its community of life are untrammeled by man.’ This is meant to be a place where wolves can thrive in healthy numbers.”

Wolf Control Board Moves Through Senate: Last Friday, legislation to authorize Gov. Otter’s “Wolf Control Board,”  was voted on by the Idaho Senate Resources and Environment Committee who moved to send the bill to the Senate Floor where it ultimately passed 26-8.  Governor Otter originally proposed funding for the wolf control board with an initial infusion of $2 million in taxpayer dollars.

Wolf, © ODFW

OR-14, a wolf from the Umatilla River pack. (c) ODFW

But now the Joint Finance Appropriations Committee will only fund the wolf control board with $400,000 the first year, with proposed funding of $400,000 every year four years thereafter subject to appropriation, making the total amount $2 million in taxpayer funds. The slightly amended bill must now go back to the House for final consideration as amended, and then the bill will be sent to Governor Otter for final signing. Under the bill’s current provisions, all taxpayer funding will be used exclusively for lethal wolf management — strategies like the aerial gunning of wolves which Idaho Department of Fish and Game (IDFG) and Idaho Wildlife Services announced they used in February to kill 23 gray wolves in northern Idaho’s Lolo elk zone near the Idaho/Montana border. Defenders staff continue to petition state legislators to modify the bill by including nonlethal control methods as options for wolf management.

10 Responses to “Wolf Weekly Wrap-Up”

  1. R Matthew Simmons

    Paul Watson teaches that conservation is all a matter of economics, given that most political climates are poised against those wishing to reverse, or even stem, all the damage humans have/are doing. Given his countless years of trial and error and now expanding on many successful campaigns, I think it’s fair to say his wisdom carries a lot of merit. I reside in Utah and my fiance’ and her family/friends all live in Idaho. I know that state as a whole is not sitting terribly well financially – it’s not a beacon for industry and relies heavily upon agriculture, which Gov. Otter has his dirty hands in deep financially. Seeing as all the waves that state’s legislature is creating with the ‘Add The Words’, Ag-Gag and all the recent state sponsored wolf killing, mounting a boycott Idaho campaign would have plenty of timber to keep the flames burning strong for quite a while. If the NFL can pressure the Gov. of AZ (one of the most racist states in the nation) to veto a hate bill, I’m certain we could all put a dent in Idaho’s tax base by cutting into their much needed tourism dollars. It’s a sad day for this planet and a sad day for our country.

  2. Cynthia

    Stop killing are wolves. Think of a coexsistent solution. Killing is not the answer. That is the lazy way out. Get smart and protect the wolves they can help society such as police dogs or whatever?

  3. Sara

    I say stop killing the wolves. When you start to destroy a species you destroy part of the ecosystem. Every species is a vital part of the life cycle. Why not sterilize some of the males to cut down on over breeding. Start using those college educations to brainstorm instead of kill.

  4. d wickham

    I cannot grasp the rationale behind this new menace more ignorance and another inept way of doing things. Shame on you Idaho..

  5. Nina Marks

    To Secretary Jewel and the Department of Fish and Wildlife,

    So go the predators, so go the prey. So go the prey, so goes the wilderness. So goes the wilderness, so goes Man. So goes man, so goes the child.

    You are charged to protect the biodiversity of the United States of America. You are entrusted with the future of this nation, and you, who have accepted the position and responsibility of the welfare of the nation’s wilderness must live up to that promise. You are not to negotiate with lobbyists whose interests are divergent with your sacred trust: that of preserving and restoring the environmental heritage of this nation.

    The Gray Wolves are the health of our rivers, the health of our ruminates, the legacy of this nation. You are the intermediary between them and humans, not the instrument of ranchers and hunters. You know that science corroborates protections for the wolves as a keystone species, and as a litmus for desert, mountain and grassland ecosystems. You also know that science corroborates protecting native species in particular, and from a global, sustainable perspective. You must, in conscience and profession, act accordingly.

    I call on your intelligence and integrity now to ensure that the Gray Wolf, its habitat and its present and future security are protected.

  6. Peggy Bond

    Nina Marks stated the facts more eloquently than I could. The point that cannot be denied, killing the wolves changes the ecosystem, puts it out of balance, destroys many other species, both fauna and flora. Look to the history of Yellowstone, where it was clearly demonstrated how greatly enhanced the entire area and wildlife became when the wolves, once annihilated and eliminated from that environment, were reintroduced. Man has continuously interfered with nature and we (all wildlife) have suffered the consequences. This is the wrong way to approach the issues you face. Spend that money to learn to co-exist with wolves. Realize that you need to let nature evolve so that the balance is reached. Learn to separate your livestock and use deterrents to deal with the wolves. It is true, use your intelligence, not your money and power. This is not only wrong for the wolves, this is wrong for everyone and everything!!

  7. Susanne Marten

    We need to exam our approach for lobbying on behalf of Wolves. Ranchers and hunters have had a historic hold on how our wilderness is used. We need to point out the costs associated with running sheep and cattle on wilderness lands. Specifically, free-range grazing is endangering the supply of clean water and contributes to erosion and the risk of forest fires.

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