Arizona Attacks Mexican Gray Wolves

A Mexican gray wolf at the Sevilleta Wolf Management Facility in New Mexico in 2011.

Last week’s release of population numbers for Mexican gray wolves was disappointing, but this week there is something really atrocious to yowl about. The Arizona Senate Government and Environment Committee approved three measures that, quite literally, place a target on lobos, and could devastate future recovery efforts. This imperiled population of only 83 wolves now face a triple threat from local legislators including: a proposed bill from Senator Gail Griffin that would allow Arizonans to trap and kill Mexican gray wolves despite federal law; a second bill that appropriates $250,000 in state money to fund state litigation to block federal recovery efforts; and finally, a resolution from Griffin that derails recovery by shifting management control to the state in order to halt reintroduction efforts. This action was aptly described in a recent Arizona Republiceditorial: “Lobos remain perilously close to extinction’s cliff, and Arizona’s Legislature is poised to give them a shove over the edge.

Read more here at Defenders of Wildlife

Hastings’ Endangered Species Act “Reform” is the movie “Groundhog Day” all over again

By Jamie Rappaport Clark, President and CEO of Defenders of Wildlife 

Rep. Doc Hastings recently released a report and a set of proposals that would effectively gut the Endangered Species Act (ESA), severely curtailing the act’s ability to protect the nation’s most imperiled species. He calls it ESA “reform,” but the real goal of Rep. Hastings’ proposals is to drastically weaken or eliminate key protections in the ESA, long a goal of corporate special interests and polluters.

Bald eagle,  ©Joshua Savage

©Joshua Savage

If you think that you have seen this “movie” before, you have. Just like Bill Murray in Groundhog Day, I feel like I have relived this ESA “reform” moment numerous times before. While the lead characters may differ, the script is always the same. About every six years or so, some anti-environmental member of Congress decides that the time has come to “reform” the ESA into oblivion. Lest they be accused of championing the extinction of manatees or whooping cranes, they always first profess their deep love and support for endangered species, never hesitating to list some of the most beloved charismatic ones. Then they roll up their sleeves and lay out their plans for a step-by-step dismantling of the law.

Read the rest of this article at Defenders of Wildlife

Reprieve for Wolves in Idaho

Wolf with pup

On Monday, the Idaho Department of Fish and Game (IDFG) announced an abrupt end to their wolf extermination program in the Frank Church Wilderness Area after Defenders and other conservation groups took the issue to federal court earlier this month. As of January 15, the trapper had killed nine wolves in the Frank Church Wilderness; he will pack out of the area after all traps and snares have been removed. IDFG says they believe the trapper killed all of the wolves in the Golden and Monumental wolf packs, but the truth is that no one – not event IDFG – knows how many wolves remain in these two packs.Though we are saddened about the nine wolves killed needlessly, any remaining wolves that could have been killed are safe, as are any other animals that could have fallen victim had the effort continued. We are hopeful that our litigation will cause IDFG to think twice about future efforts to eradicate wolves in wilderness areas, and cause U.S. Forest Service officials to deny access to IDFG for such activities.
Read the rest of the article here at Defenders of Wildlife Blog

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Delisting the Wolf – Your Help is Needed!

Grey wolf howling

Image: Lynn M. Stone / Nature Picture Library

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is in its comment period on their proposal to remove the wolf from the Endangered Species Act in the lower 48.  Hearings are being held throughout the country.  If you can go, please do.  If that’s not possible, please write or call.  They need to hear from people who want the wolf protected, not only from those who don’t.

Many thanks to my good friend, Carmen Mandel, for providing a DIRECT LINK to add your comments. Please add yours. There are almost 32,000 signatures, as I write this, but this figure falls a long way short of previous opportunities.
This is so important
Please add your comment now
Your Voice in Federal Decision-Making

Please click here for details

Click here for more details:
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Related links:
Defenders of Wildlife
Grey Wolves Left Out in the Cold
Wild Wolf Encounters – Monica Glickman
Gray Wolves May Lose Endangered Status, But Not Without a Fight
How Will Delisting Affect California’s Part-Time Wolf Population?

NOTE: The two proposed rules published in the Federal Register on June 13, 2013.  The public comment periods that were due to close on September 11 have now been extended through 11:59 pm December 17, 2013.