Delisting Wolves and the Impending Wolf Slaughter

JULY 12, 2019

Delisting Wolves and the Impending Wolf Slaughter

by MICHAEL LUKAS FacebookTwitterRedditEmail
On July 15, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service will close comments on its proposed rule to delist wolves from the endangered and threatened species lists. While this rule may seem to be just one of many attempts in a decade-long battle over grey wolf listing to eliminate protections for wolves and turn management over to states in places where wolves have returned, such as the Northern Rockies and Upper Midwest, this rule goes far beyond any previous USFWS delisting proposal by eliminating protections for all wolves in the lower 48 states, essentially declaring 85% of the grey wolf’s historical range insignificant to wolf recovery, ending federal protections and oversight. Given recent state management, it is difficult to see how this delisting will not result in isolated populations of wolves heavily and lethally “managed” through hunting, trapping, culling, and poaching in their current range, and a free-for-all slaughter of wolves that migrate outside those zones, keeping wolves from re-establishing their populations in places like Colorado (which has habitat for an estimated 1000 wolves)[1], where they are already returning.

While I am not a biologist, as are many of the hundred signatories to a recent open letter[2] to the USFWS opposing the proposed wolf delisting rule due to the Service’s lack of attention to “the best available science” (a mandate of the Endangered Species Act), as a researcher who has studied the discourse and human dimensions of wolf management for the last decade and recently completed a doctoral dissertation that focuses on the politics and rhetoric of wolf management, particularly in the U.S., it’s nonetheless incumbent upon me to emphasize the likely implications of wolf delisting in this current moment. This is because, as many of these scientists recognize, the proposed wolf delisting rule is not a decision prompted by science, but is, rather, a socio-political decision grounded in accepting the social intolerance of wolves. This delisting, I argue, will inevitably lead to the needless deaths of wolves, as migrating grey wolves (a native species) are prevented from re-establishing themselves in states that have wolf habitat but where lobbyists for agribusiness, privatization of public lands, and trophy hunting outfitters, are pushing state legislatures to keep wolves out (such as Colorado, Utah, and North Carolina) or further reduce populations (like the Upper Midwest and Northern Rockies) to satisfy and maximize their own private economic interests over those of the public and intent of the Endangered Species Act.

When canis lupus was listed as a species on the ESA in 1978, the entire species “grey wolf” was listed as endangered throughout the coterminous states, aside from Minnesota, where it was listed as threatened. Recovery of the species, as Judge Beryl Howell re-confirmed in a 2014 decision rejecting another delisting attempt by FWS, would thus amount to a return of the grey wolf to a “significant portion of its historical range.” Howell’s decision exposed the FWS rule as an attempt to circumvent the original listing of the entire species by designating the ‘Eastern wolf’ a subspecies that was now extinct, thereby eliminating the entire eastern half of the country outside the Upper Midwest as historical grey wolf range and possible future grey wolf habitat. While that sub-speciation effort to delist and contract historic wolf range failed, FWS has nonetheless proclaimed that the range this purported wolf occupied is now no longer “a significant portion” of the listed species canis lupus’ “historical range.” Indeed, while grey wolf populations have increased in 15% of the historical range, much of that range (including the Central Rockies, the Northeast, Lower Midwest, Central Appalachia and the Pacific Northwest) remains unoccupied by wolves. However, it is almost a certainty that wolves will migrate to, and establish populations in, available habitat in this historical range in the near future. Without adequate protections, these wolves are sure to face lethal control and persecution in states where the agribusiness lobby, big game hunting industry, and privatization advocates hold immense sway, such as presently seen in Utah, Colorado, and Eastern Washington and Oregon.

Indeed, the very contraction of grey wolf range proposed in the current delisting proposal ultimately is not based upon available habitat, historical range, or the best available science. Instead, it is based on an agricultural model of wildlife management that “ranches” wolves, allowing wolves on the land so long as they are contained (ranched) and lethally controlled (slaughtered) where they exist. Given their often close ties with the agricultural industry and extractive land users, it should perhaps not be surprising that wildlife managers defer to this agricultural model and its perception that social intolerance should be a determinative factor in designating suitable wolf habitat—a designation that is wholly at odds with the scientific definition of habitat[3], which is any place that provides for the needs of a species. Indeed, it could be said that a perceived lack of social tolerance amongst even a minority of the population in places such as Utah, Colorado, and North Carolina is considered determinative of the suitability of that habitat. However, as Justice Howell notes in the 2014 decision:

While the FWS and the defendant-intervenors may have practical policy reasons for

attempting to remove the gray wolf in the western Great Lakes from the List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife, those policy reasons cannot overcome the strictures imposed by the ESA. The ESA offers the broadest possible protections for endangered species by design. This law reflects the commitment by the United States to act as a responsible steward of the Earth’s wildlife, even when such stewardship is inconvenient or difficult for the localities where an endangered or threatened species resides.

As Howell recognizes, protections for endangered species may often be “inconvenient or difficult” where co-existence occurs, but this alone should not be determinative of endangered status or protections more generally. Indeed, basing species protections on a lack of social tolerance would be no different than withholding protections of the Civil Rights Act for vulnerable minorities in localities where people lack social tolerance of such minorities—something we’re seeing the consequences of with voting restrictions in states now exempted from the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

So, while the grey wolf has come back from extirpation in a small portion of its range in the coterminous U.S., the listed entity canis lupus, whose range was originally designated as the near entirety of the lower-48, has not recovered in a way that would allow for delisting of the species throughout the United States. As Carlos Carrol–one of the biologists selected by the FWS to review the proposed delisting rule–emphasizes, FWS’ restrictive definition of wolf “range” to their current range is not only temporally arbitrary, but produces “perverse incentives” to eliminate wolves (or any species whose range is treated as such) to prevent their recovery by killing them before they become established. Indeed, Carrol notes that Utah’s Senate bill 36 explicitly proposes to “manage wolves to prevent the establishment of a viable pack” where they are not already protected[4]. Thus, the likely result of delisting wolves from the entirety of their range is that wolves will be heavily hunted, culled, and trapped where they exist, and unprotected and extirpated everywhere else, should they escape from such “management” in the habitat they currently occupy.

If anything, the American public should be suspicious of any delisting of canis lupus in a climate where lobbying efforts are dominated by minority interests like agribusiness and anti-regulation entrepreneurs—such as Americans for Prosperity, who promote exaggerated fears and effects of wolves[5]. As Carol and other researchers have noted, while it’s become increasingly evident from recent wolf range expansion in the Great Lakes and Europe that wolves “can persist in semi-developed landscapes if anthropogenic mortality is kept relatively low,”[6] doing so will require rejecting social intolerance as a determining factor in wolf recovery. Rather than putting resources into delisting wolves due to such pressure, FWS should instead work with wolf researchers, social scientists, human dimensions researchers, and environmental educators to develop programs to increase social tolerance, both in the range where wolves are and where they are soon to re-inhabit.

You can express your opposition to USFWS’ proposed rule by commenting on the federal website by July 15th:

https://www.regulations.gov/document?D=FWS-HQ-ES-2018-0097-0001

Idaho GOP considers ‘wolf hunter sanctuary state’ proposal

Parents’ rights and decriminalizing marijuana also on the table at meeting that concludes today in Boise

Idaho GOP officials will consider a proposal to designate Idaho a “wolf hunter sanctuary state” during their summer meeting in Boise today.

The two-day convention, which began Friday, gives party members from across the state an opportunity to mingle and meet with elected officials. It’s also a chance to take positions on various topics of interest and tweak party procedures.

The election of a new state party chairman highlights today’s agenda. However, officials will also consider a number of resolutions and proposed rule changes — several of which were submitted by Republicans from north central Idaho.

The list includes a new “platform loyalty and accountability” rule, which allows the state central committee to judge, reprimand and sanction any Republican legislator deemed to have undermined and opposed the core principles of the Republican Party.

The rule, proposed by the Idaho County Central Committee, lays out the procedure for challenging a legislator’s commitment to the party principles.

If the lawmaker is found guilty, a warning will be issued; if he or she is found guilty of a second violation, the committee would have the authority to withdraw the party’s endorsement, and the legislator would no longer be recognized as a Republican.

The Clearwater County Central Committee proposed the resolution designating Idaho a “wolf hunter sanctuary state.”

The measure cites the impact wolves have on the state’s moose, deer and elk populations, as well as on livestock. It also notes that Democratic jurisdictions have created various sanctuary regions by refusing to cooperate with federal officials on detaining illegal immigrants or other issues.

The resolution calls on the state central committee to work with Idaho lawmakers to pass legislation prohibiting Department of Fish and Game employees, as well as county and city officials, from assisting the federal government in enforcing any laws regarding wolves.

Once such legislation is approved, “hunters will be allowed to shoot and kill an unlimited number of wolves with no interference from any state or local officials,” the resolution declares.

Out-of-state hunters who have the necessary tags and licenses to hunt other game would also be allowed to purchase a special wolf permit for $10.

The Latah County Central Committee submitted a resolution supporting multiyear licensing for boats, motorhomes, ATVs and other recreational vehicles.

The resolution suggests that discounted three- and five-year licenses be created.

The Benewah County Central Committee proposed a resolution “to protect the rights of parents concerning their child’s health, safety and well-being.”

The resolution cites government-mandated vaccines, anti-homeschooling sentiments, the gay rights agenda and driver education requirements as potential threats to the fundamental right of Idaho parents to direct the upbringing, education and care of their children.

The measure encourages the Idaho Republican Party to support a parents’ rights amendment to the Idaho Constitution.

Other resolutions being considered at this year’s meeting include a proposal for at least one employee of every school to be designated a school security officer and be authorized to carry a concealed weapon; a proposal to decriminalize marijuana and all other forms of cannabis; and a measure supporting President Donald Trump’s declaration of a national border emergency.

Oregon wildlife commissioners adopt hotly contested wolf management plan

Commissioners with the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife adopted a new plan to manage the state's gray wolf population on Friday. (Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife via AP)

AP -WR

Commissioners with the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife adopted a new plan to manage the state’s gray wolf population on Friday. (Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife via AP)

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After years or revisions, scores of contentious meetings, an outside mediator and the abandonment of talks by half of the stakeholders, Oregon wildlife commissioners approved the state’s long-overdue Wolf Management Plan on Friday.

In a 6 to 1 vote, the 155-page plan, which governs how wolves are handled in the areas of the state where they don’t enjoy federal protection under the Endangered Species Act, was approved by the seven-member commission of the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife.

“We see a lot of concern on both sides of this plan,” she said. “For someone like me, who has looked forward to seeing wolves living free on our landscape, it’s time to celebrate.”

The state’s first wolf plan was issued in 2005, before any wolves had actually come back to the state after decades of extirpation due to hunting and trapping. Language in the original plan called for updates every five years and, in 2010, just a year after wolves had been confirmed in the northeast corner of Oregon, the second version of the plan was released. At the time, at least 21 of the canids were known to wander the state’s rural areas.

When it came time to update the plan for 2015, though, stakeholders on both sides — hunters and ranchers on one side, environmentalists and wolf advocates on the other — couldn’t come to a consensus on some of the most sensitive issues. Over the following years, facilitated meetings were held all over the state in an effort to find compromise between the two sides.

Much of the tension surrounding the wolf plan boils down to when wolves can be killed, why and by whom. The latest revision has some key changes to the plan’s most controversial provisions.

Under the old plan, a wolf that attacked livestock twice or more over any period of time was deemed a “chronic depredator” and could be killed in the eastern third of the state, where wolves are managed by the state. The new plan will allow the state to kill wolves after two confirmed attacks during a nine month period.

State officials have stressed that when a wolf meets that threshold, it doesn’t necessarily mean it will be killed. Non-lethal deterrents like fencing, alarm devices, hazing and removal of carcasses must be documented before a permit to kill a wolf can be issued. Even then, the state can exercise its own discretion, taking other factors into account before allowing a wolf to be killed.

“Discretion is more valuable than an actual number,” said Derek Broman, the state’s carnivore coordinator and one of the key architects of the plan. “When lethal action is taken, it’s not retribution.”

Once a wolf is deemed a chronic threat to livestock, however, the state can issue a permit for lethal action against the animal and, because staff and resources available to the state are limited, those permits can be issued to members of the public. That kind of action, called “controlled take,” was clarified in an amendment to the plan that said any permits issued to the public would require approval from the commission. Still, wolf advocates remained fiercely opposed to the provision, saying it could open the door to wolf hunts by the general public.

“With just 137 wolves in the state, it is absurd that ODFW would put hunting on the table,” Sristi Kamal, Northwest representative of Defenders of Wildlife, told commissioners. A spokesman for Rep. Peter DeFazio read a letter from the Oregon congressman that called for the provision allowing permitted hunting by the public, even under very specific circumstances, to be stripped from the plan.

Akenson responded that the commission would not issue permits lightly.

“This commission isn’t going to meet and say ‘Yep, let’s do it.’” she said. “It’s going to be a deliberative process.”

Numerous ranchers and hunters expressed concern over some aspects of the plan. Many said the state didn’t do enough to track wolves, particularly in Wallowa County, where the majority of wolves reside and most attacks on livestock take place. When a wolf is suspected of killing livestock, it must be confirmed by an investigation and many ranchers said it could take up to a week for investigators to show up, time when evidence can degrade and a confirmation becomes more difficult. Without a confirmation, ranchers aren’t eligible for compensation from the state.

Others livestock producers said, given the continued growth of the wolf population, the state should establish “management zones,” defined geographic areas that would have a maximum number of wolves. Any wolves in the area beyond the maximum could be killed.

Though both sides found parts of the plan they disagreed with, many in the ranching community urged commissioners to adopt the plan as it was written, while environmental advocates pressed officials to revise the plan or remove the provisions they found most troubling.

After public comment concluded, Commissioner Gregory Wolley, the sole “no” vote, acknowledged the divide in the room.

“We have one side that seems to support the plan despite its imperfections, while the other side is 100 percent against it,” he said. “We say we’re trying to go down the middle, but that doesn’t sound like a compromise.”

Friday’s commission meeting came against the backdrop of a push from federal regulators to strip the wolf of protections under the Endangered Species Act. That plan, like Oregon’s plan but on a larger scale, has been met with condemnation from advocates and scientists, but was welcomed by hunters and ranching industry groups.

Oregon wildlife commissioners adopt wolf management plan

SALEM, Ore. (AP) – Oregon wildlife commissioners have approved the state’s long-overdue Wolf Management Plan after years of revisions, contentious meetings, an outside mediator and half the stakeholders abandoning talks.

The Oregonian/OregonLive reports the plan to govern how wolves are handled in areas of the state where they don’t enjoy federal protection under the Endangered Species Act was approved Friday by the commission of the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife.

The state’s first wolf plan was issued in 2005, before any wolves had come back to the state after decades of extirpation due to hunting and trapping. The second version of the plan came out in 2010, a year after wolves had been confirmed in Oregon.

The plan finally approved Friday came after hunters and ranchers, and environmentalists and wolf advocates squared off over when wolves can be killed, why and by whom.

News release from ODFW:

Commission adopts revised Wolf Plan in 6-1 vote

SALEM, Ore.—The Commission adopted a Wolf Plan today at its meeting in Salem in a 6-1 vote after hearing from 44 people who came to testify and reviewing thousands of public comments.

Allowing controlled take (limited regulated hunting and trapping of wolves) was one of the most controversial topics in the new Wolf Plan. The original Plan adopted in 2005 allowed for controlled take only in Phase 3 (currently eastern Oregon), in instances of recurring depredations or when wolves are a major cause of ungulate populations not meeting established management objectives or herd management goals. While ODFW believed it needed to remain a tool available for wolf management, the department has not proposed any controlled take of wolves and has no plans to at this time.

Commissioners made some changes related to “controlled take” from the proposed Plan.  An addendum was added clearly stating that “Use of controlled take as a management tool requires Commission approval through a separate public rulemaking process” and the definition of controlled take was modified.

Additional minor changes were made to emphasize the importance of non-lethal tools to address wolf-livestock conflict and easy access to this information. Non-lethal measures to prevent wolf-livestock conflict continue to be emphasized in all phases of the Plan, and required before any lethal control is considered.

After some discussion, Commissioners revised the definition of chronic depredation (which can lead to lethal control of wolves if non-lethals are in use and not working) in Phase 2 and 3 from two confirmed depredations with no specific time frame to two confirmed depredations in nine months.

The Wolf Plan will be filed with the Secretary of State and posted on the ODFW Wolves webpage (www.odfw.com/wolves) within the next few business days.

·Allocated big game auction and raffle tags for 2020.

·Heard a briefing on the crab fishery and reducing the risk of whale entanglements.

·Adopted harvest limits for Pacific sardine in state waters for July 2019-June 2020 based on federal regulations.

·Approved funding for Access and Habitat projects that provide hunting access or improve wildlife habitat on private land.

·Heard a briefing on proposed changes to 2020 big game hunting regulations as part of efforts to improve and simplify the Big Game Hunting Regulations

The Fish and Wildlife Commission is the policy-making body for fish and wildlife issues in Oregon. Its next meeting is Aug. 2 in Salem.

Newhouse heads bipartisan contingent in seeking to delist gray wolf as endangered

Newhouse heads bipartisan contingent in seeking to delist gray wolf as endangered

U.S. Rep. Dan Newhouse (R-WA) this week headed a bipartisan contingent in supporting the U.S. Fish and Wildlife’s proposed rule to delist the gray wolf from the Endangered Species Act (ESA) in the contiguous United States.

“The gray wolf should be considered a success story of the Endangered Species Act,” Rep. Newhouse said on Tuesday.

Because gray wolves now are found across the United States and globally, their populations should be managed in America at the local level by individual states, wrote Rep. Newhouse and 33 other bipartisan members of Congress in a May 28 letter sent to U.S. Department of the Interior Secretary David Bernhardt and Margaret Everson, principal deputy director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS).

“State and local governments, tribes, and other stakeholders are best suited to develop effective, local management plans for gray wolf populations,” the members wrote. “We should be empowering them to do so — not hindering them with unscientific, burdensome federal regulations.”

Among the 33 members joining Rep. Newhouse in signing the letter were U.S. Reps. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA), Tom Emmer (R-MN), Greg Walden (R-OR), Ken Calvert (R-CA), Sean Duffy (R-WI), Mark Amodei (R-NV), Bill Flores (R-TX) and Collin Peterson (D-MN).

Rep. Newhouse and his colleagues wrote that a USFWS 2013 review determined gray wolf recovery goals had been achieved, but the agency’s proposed rule to remove them from the ESA was stalled by objecting environmental groups.

Now, according to their letter, “We cannot let scientific findings fall victim to politically motivated attacks. As the proposed rule demonstrates, the gray wolf is a success story of the ESA.”

The lawmakers want the USFWS proposed rule finalized swiftly, they wrote.

“Federally delisting the gray wolf will allow Washington state to implement the comprehensive wolf management plan that will give relief to farmers, ranchers and communities that are affected by growing wolf populations,” Rep. Newhouse said.

Game and Fish proposes reduced wolf hunt quota

https://www.gillettenewsrecord.com/news/wyoming/article_1ff5ed2d-cc11-5844-a41a-aedd86998f2d.html

PINEDALE – One of the anticipated changes to this year’s hunting season regulations will be the trophy-game gray wolf quota set by Wyoming Game and Fish each year.

This year, with most trophy wolf hunt areas opening on Sept. 1, Game and Fish is proposing a lower harvest of 34, compared to the quota of 58 set in 2018. The proposed wolf hunts as well as changes in furbearing, falconry, firearm cartridges, archery and mountain lions regulations will be discussed and are open for comment through June 17.

The proposed 2019 wolf quota appears conservative, with some quotas almost halved from 2018, but large carnivore biologist Ken Mills of Pinedale said the end-of-year objective remains at about 160 wolves. Higher human-caused mortality rates are expected – and much larger litters are expected, he added.

“The main data from which the mortality limits are derived include the number of wolves in the Wolf Trophy Game Management Area and the estimated mortality rate required to move the population toward the end-of-year objective,” he said.

Last year ended with an estimated 152 wolves within the trophy-game management area, eight below the wildlife agency’s objective. Balancing all of the factors includes gaining eight more wolves to be right at 160.

“We had at least 152 wolves in the WTGMA, which is 28 percent less than what we had at the start of 2018,” Mills explained. “However, we estimate a much higher human-caused mortality rate will be required to offset population growth (49.5 percent this year vs. 25.8 percent last year) because the population is lower and should reproduce at a higher rate.”

Mills added, “Note we are proposing the same end-of-year population objective as we did last year, 160 wolves, which means a slight increase in the population (eight wolves) to be sure we continue to remain above minimum recovery criteria, mostly the 10 breeding pairs.”

Mills said Game and Fish will keep the “same approach to depredation response as usual, not more or less aggressive.”

In 2018, predator conflicts declined but about the same number of wolves were removed as in 2017.

“We usually have had around 23-percent human-caused mortality, which includes lethal control in addition to hunting since 2009, so (it is) pretty constant.”

By one vote, Minnesota House moves to ban wolf hunting

PUBLISHED:  | UPDATED: 

By a one-vote margin, the Minnesota House on Tuesday voted to ban hunting on wolves — a victory for wolf protectionists hoping to gird against the Trump administration’s plan to remove protections for the iconic animal.


UPDATE: On Wednesday, Gov. Tim Walz said he supports a ban as well


A ban on wolf hunting would be a reversal for Minnesota — the only state in the Lower 48 where the animals were never eradicated and the first to adopt a hunting season when it became legal again several years ago.

Today, wolf hunting isn’t allowed — but only because the animal is on the federal endangered species list. Under current state law, if wolves were removed from the protections of the Endangered Species Act — as the Trump administration has announced it plans to seek — they could be hunted as soon as fall 2020, although some think a hunt this fall could be possible.

From 2012 to 2014, hunting and trapping seasons were held on wolves, until a federal judge ruled that the plans of Upper Midwestern states — Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan — were inadequate.

Biologists with the Department of Natural Resources have said the wolf population, which is most concentrated in the northeast portion of the state, is stable and able to withstand limited hunting and trapping. In September, the agency estimated the population around 2,655 wolves in 465 wolf packs.

WOLF-HUNTING POLITICS

But the question of whether to hunt them has remained divisive and the politics of wolf protections have often crossed party lines.

In broad strokes, metro lawmakers have often opposed hunting, while those in greater Minnesota have tended to be in favor of allowing it. That often has meant Democrats have opposed it, while Republicans have supported a hunt — but that’s an overly simplistic view.

Gov. Mark Dayton, for example, a Minneapolis Democrat, allowed the resumption of hunting in 2014, and U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar, also a Minneapolis Democrat and presidential candidate, has been a vocal supporter, often suggesting a “Governor’s Wolf Hunting Opener” when speaking to hunting groups. Each year for years, some lawmaker has proposed banning wolf hunting, but it’s never gained enough traction.

That phenomenon of crossing party lines was on display Tuesday, when state Rep. Rick Hansen, a hunter and one of the leaders of the House Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party Caucus on hunting-related issues, announced he would vote in favor of the wolf-hunting ban, but he recommended to his fellow lawmakers, “Vote your districts.” In other words, Hansen said, this issue is beyond mere party unity.

The ban was proposed by Rep. Peter Fischer, DFL-Maplewood, as an amendment to a larger environment and natural resources bill.

The amendment passed 66-65.

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Dave Orrick

@DaveOrrick

By ONE VOTE, MN House votes to ban wolf hunting. Here’s how they voted. (Green = a vote in favor of ban.)

16 people are talking about this

The larger environment bill passed 73-60.

CHANCES OF BECOMING LAW?

The likelihood of the ban becoming law was unclear Tuesday.

The ban is not included in the companion bill that passed the Senate last week, and past attempts to pass a ban in the Senate have failed. Nonetheless, it will now be the subject of negotiations between the two chambers and could be the subject of compromises and horse-trading. The bills vary on numerous issues, ranging from how to regulate deer farms, protection of pollinators, rules regarding pollution, and even how many fishing rods anglers can use.

Gov. Tim Walz, a hunter, doesn’t appear to have publicly stated a position. As of last month, he hadn’t made up his mind, saying only that he wanted a decision to be “thoughtful,” the Minnesota News Network reported. Lt. Gov. Peggy Flanagan’s position wasn’t easily discernible Tuesday, although many suspect that she would support a ban on a wolf hunt, based on her past record as a state lawmaker. She’s also a member of the White Earth Nation of Ojibwe, and American Indian groups have generally been united in opposition to wolf hunting and trapping.A request for clarification on Walz’s and Flanagan’s position from their office wasn’t immediately returned Tuesday.

$12 to Kill a Wolf in Montana

Center for Biological Diversity

APR 27, 2019 — 

$19 is apparently too high a sticker price for the privilege of killing a wolf in Montana. A new state proposal would cut the cost of a wolf-hunting license to just $12.

This sick disdain for wolves, literally cheapening their lives, once pushed them to the brink of extinction. The same forces who see wolves as target practice want to spread this mentality nationwide.

They must be stopped, and you can help.

The administration’s plan to take away Endangered Species Act protection from most wolves in the lower 48 would expose the animals to more hunting, more trapping, more shattered packs.

In some places it would cost more to go to the movies than to slaughter a wolf.

Idaho is even paying trappers to kill them.

These states are showing how little they care for wildlife and how easy they want to make it for wolves to be shot.

This is the war on wolves the Trump administration is encouraging states to wage.

The job of wolf recovery is far from over, which is why we’re pushing hard for a national recovery plan.

 

Yellowstone’s Beloved Wolf, Spitfire, Was Killed by a Trophy Hunter

  • by: Care2 Team
  • recipient: U.S. National Park Service
238,957 SUPPORTERS
240,000 GOAL
Spitfire was beloved by many. The young wolf was often spotted at Yellowstone National Park, much to the delight of wolf enthusiasts, biologists, and tourists. 

Sadly, future park-goers will never catch a glimpse of Spitfire. The Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks just confirmed that she was cruelly killedby a trophy hunter. What’s even worse is that her murder was completely legal. Spitfire had wandered just outside of the park, where she was no longer protected.

Please sign this petition calling for a no-hunting buffer zone around Yellowstone National Park to protect more animals from being senselessly killed for sport.

Spitfire’s mom met a similar fate six years ago, leaving Spitfire as the new leader of the Lamar Canyon Pack. According to wolf lovers, she “led her pack through a number of very difficult circumstances” and “showed incredible strength, courage and resilience in everything she did.” Now she’s gone, and the Lamar Canyon Pack is yet again without a leader.

It’s not uncommon for animals to roam just beyond national park boundaries — which is why their protection should be extended. Sign now to demand buffer zones around Yellowstone National Park.

Photo credit: Facebook

https://www.thepetitionsite.com/503/335/245/?src=ca_facebook_ads&campaign=sign_503335245-23843335022030015&fbclid=IwAR3M27CiwKI2_Je36dTO7sJ56NnXJqZDAJTMB5XzAGOlgble24oDWUXTRBI

 

The Latest: Wolves resilient, but proposal tests expansion

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — The Latest on the proposed removal of federal protections for wolves (all times local):

3:15 p.m.

A proposal to strip gray wolves of federal protections could curtail their rapid expansion across vast swaths of the U.S., yet the predators already are proving to be resilient in states where hunting and trapping occur.

The Interior Department on Thursday declared gray wolves recovered across the Lower 48 states. If finalized, the proposal would allow hunting in more areas.

The species has seen a remarkable turnaround — from near-extermination to more than 6,000 gray wolves spread across nine states.

Critics say hunts could kill thousands of the animals and prevent their further spread.

But in the Northern Rockies, where legal wolf harvests began a decade ago, the animal’s numbers have held relatively steady and packs have expanded west into Oregon, Washington and California.

__

6:45 a.m.

U.S. wildlife officials want to strip gray wolves of their remaining federal protections and declare the species recovered following a decades-long restoration effort.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service proposal released Thursday would put wolves under state authority and allow hunting in more areas. The Associated Press reported last week that the proposal was coming.

Critics argue the move is premature, with wolves still absent across most of their historic range.

Government officials say their goal was to protect against extinction, not restore wolves everywhere.

Trapping, poisoning and hunting exterminated wolves across most of the Lower 48 early last century. They bounced back under federal protection, and more than 6,000 now live in portions of nine states.

A final decision on lifting protections will follow a public comment period.