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Archive for the 'Wolves' Category

Bush takes one last shot at killing wolves

Just in time to inflict a parting blow to gray wolves before the Bush administration bites the dust, on Wednesday (Jan. 14) — for the third time — the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced a final rule to remove Endangered Species Act protections from these regal predators in the northern Rocky Mountains and Great Lakes regions.
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Posted on Friday, January 16th, 2009
Under: Endangered species, President Bush, Wolves | 1 Comment »

Feds retreat on Northern Rockies wolf hunting plan

Gary:
Breaking news! The Bush administration today announced it will abandon its defense of an ill-fated decision to remove the gray wolf in the Northern Rockies from the endangered species list, which would allow hundreds of wolves to be killed by hunters and state agencies.
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Posted on Thursday, September 18th, 2008
Under: Animal Politics, Wildlife, Wolves | No Comments »

Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin promotes aerial hunting of wolves & bears

Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, the Republican nominee for vice president, promotes this barbaric practice, exploiting a loophole in the Federal Airborne Hunting Act to allow private wolf killers to shoot down wolves using aircraft.

Please watch this powerful one minute video by Defenders of Wildlife Action Fund.

WARNING: This video is extremely disturbing. It contains graphic images of aerial hunting of wolves.

Sad. /Gary

Posted on Thursday, September 4th, 2008
Under: Alaska, Governor Palin, Hunting, Wolves | 10 Comments »

Sarah Palin, Republican VP choice, a concern for environmentalists

Friends of the Earth Action president Brent Blackwelder just e-mailed me the following statement in response to this morning’s announcement that Alaska Governor Sarah Palin will be the Republicans’ candidate for vice president:
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Posted on Friday, August 29th, 2008
Under: Alaska, Alaska oil drilling, Wolves | No Comments »

Rocky Mountain wolf slaughter stopped!

Dear Gary:
In response to a lawsuit brought by the Center for Biological Diversity, Earthjustice and eleven other conservation groups, a federal judge today (Friday, July 18) reinstated Endangered Species Act protection for wolves in Montana, Idaho and Wyoming.

The decision brings an immediate halt to the slaughter of over 100 wolves since the Bush administration stripped Endangered Species Act protection for Northern Rocky Mountain wolves in February 2008.
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Posted on Wednesday, July 23rd, 2008
Under: Endangered species, Wolves | No Comments »

Alaska aerial wolf kill means $$$ for the state

Aerial hunters have killed 124 wolves this winter in Alaska’s predator control program.

State wildlife officials believe that translates to more than 1,400 moose or almost 3,000 caribou being saved — or some combination thereof. The number of wolves killed, however, is far below the goal of 455 to 670 wolves, but it’s more than the 97 wolves taken last year.

The program, which is still ongoing, is an effort to boost moose and caribou numbers.
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Posted on Wednesday, May 21st, 2008
Under: Alaska, Hunting, Killing wolves, Wolves | No Comments »

And now the Wyoming gray wolf slaughter begins

Three wolves are killed in Wyoming within days of federal protection removal

As I said here on March 25 — After many years of federal protection that cost millions of tax dollars, gray wolves will be fair game for hunters and ranchers in most of Wyoming when the animals are removed from the endangered species list on March 28.

Guess what? I was right.

The information below was on Tuesday’s (April 1) Associated Press wire. It comes from a story in the Casper (Wyoming) Star-tribune. You can read the whole story at http://www.trib.com/articles/2008/04/01/news/wyoming/14df5a030a0d85438725741e00048afb.txt

LANDER, Wyo. — Wyoming hunters and ranchers killed at least three gray wolves within the first three days of the animals’ removal from the federal endangered species list, local and state wildlife officials said.

Wyoming, Montana and Idaho took over management of wolves within their borders on Friday as the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service ended protection of the animals under the Endangered Species Act.

Scott Talbott, the Game and Fish official overseeing Wyoming’s new wolf management program, said one of the wolves was wearing a tracking collar.

All three wolves were killed in Wyoming’s predator zone, where people are now allowed to kill wolves at any time and for any reason as long as they report the time, location and sex of each kill to the state within 10 days.

Wyoming is home to 25 wolf packs living outside of Yellowstone National Park, and seven of those live in the predator area. Wildlife officials have said that most of the 30 to 35 wolves living outside the trophy game zone live in adjoining Sublette County.

Terry Pollard, co-owner of Bald Mountain Outfitters in Pinedale, said he heard reports of many locals going wolf hunting over the weekend, but most didn’t make any kills. “I think they’re finding just what we figured,” Pollard said. “These wolves are an extremely tough animal to hunt. There was a significant amount of hunters out this weekend, and very few of them were taken.”

Mike Leahy, Rocky Mountain regional director of Defenders of Wildlife, said it’s hard to know how many wolves were killed over the weekend because hunters have 10 days to report kills within the predator zone.

“In a shoot-on-sight zone, a large number of the wolves could be killed before Wyoming Game and Fish or the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service even knows about it,” Leahy said. “There could be big impacts to the wolf population that go underreported until it’s too late.”

Defenders of Wildlife is one of several groups that has filed notice of their intent to sue the Fish and Wildlife Service to retain Endangered Species Act protections for the wolves. Leahy said it’s too early to know whether the group will seek an emergency injunction against the federal delisting decision.

GARY’S RESPONSE:
So there you have it. Our tax dollars have been spent all these years so the federal government could keep the gray wolves from becoming extinct … just so Wyoming can sell hunting licenses to kill those very same  gray wolves at a very nice profit for the state.

Next … the wolf-killing fields of Idaho and Montana. Aren’t we clever? /Gary

Picture of gray wolf by Flickr user dobak under Creative Commons license

Posted on Wednesday, April 2nd, 2008
Under: Endangered species, Hunting, Killing wolves, wild predators, Wolves | 10 Comments »

Wolves lose federal protection. Now fair game for hunters, ranchers

After many years of federal protection that cost millions of tax dollars, gray wolves will be fair game for hunters and ranchers in most of Wyoming when the animals are removed from the endangered species list on Friday (Mar. 28).

Wyoming, Montana and Idaho will take over full “management” of the wolves, while the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is ending its wolf recovery effort.

In northwestern Wyoming, the state will continue a federal policy allowing ranchers to kill on sight wolves caught in the act of attacking their livestock or domestic animals.

They are allowed to kill the wolves, even though Defenders of Wildlife has provided a compensation program to ranchers for livestock killed by wolves. Can you believe it? The latest figures I could find show Defenders had spent $200,000 on this program by the end of 2003.

In the rest of Wyoming, the rules will allow people to kill wolves at any time and for any reason. (Can you spell H-U-N-T-I-N-G?)

Amazing, isn’t it, how our government has been able to bring the wolves back from the brink of extinction … so that Wyoming, Montana and Idaho can issue licenses to hunt and kill these animals as a very profitable source of revenue for the states?

Just remember … YOU helped pay for this. Kinda makes you feel warm all over just thinking about it, doesn’t it? /Gary

Posted on Tuesday, March 25th, 2008
Under: Endangered species, Hunting, Wolves | 1 Comment »

Department of Interior sued to keep gray wolves on endangered list

A coalition of environmental and animal rights groups are challenging the federal government’s removal of gray wolves in the Northern Rockies from the endangered species list.

They say the estimated 1,500 wolves in Idaho, Montana and Wyoming are too few to ensure the species survival — particularly given that the three states intend to sponsor wolf hunts beginning this fall.

State officials have pledged to keep wolves on the landscape. But they want to let hunters kill possibly hundreds of wolves, in part to reduce conflicts with livestock and big game. Oh, yes, and also because they want to sell hunting licenses and bring more revenue into the states.

Eleven groups, including the Sierra Club and the Humane Society of the United States, notified the Department of Interior Wednesday (Feb. 27) that they plan to sue the agency in federal court after 60 days. That’s a required first step under the Endangered Species Act.

As Yogi Berra once said, “It ain’t over till it’s over.”

Hang in there, wolves. Have a good howl on us. /Gary

Posted on Thursday, February 28th, 2008
Under: Endangered species, Wolves | No Comments »

Wolves removed from endangered list and will now be hunted

This information has been compiled from Associated Press stories. Sarcastic asides are mine.

Gray wolves in the Northern Rockies will be removed from the endangered species list, following a 13-year restoration effort that helped the animal’s population soar, federal officials said Thursday. An estimated 1,500 wolves now roam Idaho, Montana and Wyoming.

The feds giveth … and the feds taketh away.

“Gray wolves in the Northern Rocky Mountains are thriving and no longer require the protection of the Endangered Species Act,” said Interior Deputy Secretary Lynn Scarlett. “The wolf’s recovery in the Northern Rocky Mountains is a conservation success story.”

The restoration effort, however, has been unpopular with ranchers and many others in the three states since it began in the mid-1990s, and today some state leaders want the population thinned significantly. The states could allow hunters to target the animals as soon as this fall. That angers environmental groups, which plan to sue over the delisting and say it’s too soon to remove federal protection.

“The enduring hostility to wolves still exists,” said Earthjustice attorney Doug Honnold, who is preparing the lawsuit. “We’re going to have hundreds of wolves killed under state management. It’s a sad day for our wolves.”

Management … a.k.a. hunting.

Wildlife agencies in Idaho, Montana and Wyoming have already begun crafting rules for wolf hunts. Officials say the hunts will be similar to those for other big game species such as mountain lions and black bears.

Oh, boy … new hunting revenue for the states. That’s why they helped the wolf population to recover, right?

Here are some reactions to the decision to remove wolves from the endangered species list, also compiled from the Associated Press:

** “This announcement is great news. It signals that the state’s work has paid off and we’re ready to assume the full responsibilities of managing wolves.” (Wyoming Gov. Dave Freudenthal)

** “Far more wolves are needed before the species can be considered truly recovered.” (Louisa Wilcox, senior wildlife advocate for Natural Resources Defense Council)

** “We reached the delisting goals in the recovery plan years ago, and Idaho is ready to manage wolves. Unfortunately, if history is a guide, radical preservationists will sue the federal government over this decision.” ( U.S. Sen. Larry Craig, R-Idaho)

** “Unfortunately, the current state plans seem designed to lead only to the dramatic decline and need for quick relisting of the wolf. That’s not in anyone’s best interest.” (Rodger Schlickeisen, president of Defenders of Wildlife)

So how do you feel about wolves being taken off the endangered species list so they can be managed (hunted)? Please add your comments below. /Gary

You’ll find more details on the wolf delisting at http://www.defenders.org/newsroom/press_releases_folder/2008/02_21_2008_wolves_lose_protection_under_endangered_species_act.php

Posted on Friday, February 22nd, 2008
Under: Animal Activists, Animal Politics, Endangered species, Hunting, Wolves | No Comments »