EarthJustice – 2012-08-20 10:42:34
Wyoming Wolves In Peril
The federal government — at any time — will abandon its protection of Wyoming wolves and allow them to be hunted relentlessly, according to published reports. Earthjustice is asking the Obama administration to prevent the slaughter, and will consider legal action if protections are removed.
(August 19, 2012) — Under intense political pressure from Wyoming state officials, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service cut a deal that could remove Endangered Species Act protections for wolves and open most of the state to unlimited killing, trapping and even gassing of wolves and their pups. Wolves could be in the crosshairs as early as this month, unless we stop it!
Last year, Congress gave anti-wolf interests the right to hunt and kill wolves in Montana and Idaho, and weâ€™ve seen the grim results. If we donâ€™t act now, Wyoming will soon take the killing even further!
As the Managing Attorney for Earthjusticeâ€™s Northern Rockies Office, I know first-hand the power of our law and courts to stop these deadly proposals once they are released. Weâ€™ve successfully shut down wolf hunts in the Northern Rockies twice. But I also know that the easiest way to stop the hunt is for it to never start.
Will you help us keep this brutal proposal from ever seeing the light of day? Stand up for wolves today by opposing this deadly proposal. Tell President Obama to keep Wyoming wolves protected.
The federal government has spent 17 years and millions of dollars to restore wolves to the West. But Wyomingâ€™s proposal now threatens the recovery that is under wayâ€”even including a dangerous loophole that would make it legal to kill wolves no matter how few remain.
Wyomingâ€™s wolves should remain protected under the Endangered Species Act until they have fully recovered and there are laws in place to ensure their survival.
Tell the White House to stand up for wolf protections and oppose any plan that allows politics to decide the fate of an imperiled species.
Feds About To Toss Wolves To The Hunters
John McManus / EarthJustice
(August 17, 2012) — The Associated Press reports that the federal government will abandon its protections for Wyoming wolves by August 31â€”if not soonerâ€”leaving the wolfâ€™s fate in the hands of the â€œCowboy State.â€ This has wolf supporters worried.
The state plans to immediately allow wolves to be killed at any time by most any means in about 85 percent of the state, no license required â€¦ and they can kill as many wolves as they want. The other 15 percent of the state wonâ€™t be much friendlier. There, hunters will need a license to kill wolves, unless they plan to kill wolves on the pretense of protecting property. Again, such killing is unlimited.
These conditions are almost identical to those under which the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service refused to transfer wolf management to the state five years ago. Wolf supporters are asking, what has changed? There are no good answers.
Earthjustice attorney Jenny Harbine was quoted in the same AP story, saying handing authority over the wolves to the state of Wyoming will draw a legal challenge. Thatâ€™s because the Endangered Species Act, which currently protects the wolves, only allows a â€œdelistingâ€ if the certain conditions are met, including a biologically recovered population of animals and the existence of adequate state protections to assure those animals donâ€™t fall back down the population curve that endangered them in the first place. In Wyoming, these conditions wonâ€™t be met.
Under Wyoming law, wolves could once again spiral towards extinction. After shooting, poisoning or trapping wolves to eliminate them from 85 percent of the state, Wyoming law would allow the remaining wolves to be killed if they found â€œharassingâ€ livestock or pets. Some in Wyoming have openly discussed staking pet dogs outside to lure wolves in so they can be killed.
Many of those responsible for the anti-wolf policies in Wyoming today basically wish for the return of the days when virtually no wolves occupied the northern Rockies landscape, having been exterminated by the Westâ€™s earliest settlers.
Regardless, federal law is clear that wildlife like wolves, once protected under the Endangered Species Act, cannot be sent back to oblivion at the whim of a state. The law requires federal wildlife managers to assure that adequate state measures are in place to protect species before eliminating their ESA safety net. Earthjustice expects to be part of the effort to make sure this law is upheld.
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