Monday, December 30, 2013

Plan to delist gray wolf endangers other threatened species, researchers find

The federal government's proposal to discontinue protection for the gray wolf across the United States could have the unintended consequence of endangering other species, researchers say.
As written, scientists assert, the proposed rule would set a precedent allowing the U.S. Fish and Wildlife .
Service (FWS) to declare habitat unsuitable for an endangered animal because a threat exists on the land – the exact opposite of the service's mandate to impose regulations that reduce threats against imperiled 
The FWS has "conflated threats with habitat suitability" by stating that U.S. land currently unoccupied by wolves – most of the country that historically served as wolf habitat – is now unsuitable because humans living in those regions won't tolerate the animals, the lead scientist said. This claim runs counter to existing research, which the service did not cite in its explanation of the rule.
"The Fish and Wildlife Service is supposed to detail what the threats are and if they're substantial enough, they're supposed to list a species and put in place policies to mitigate the threats," said Jeremy Bruskotter, associate professor in The Ohio State University's School of Environment and Natural Resources and lead author of the paper.

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Why Reforming State Game Commissions is so Important

There is perhaps no issue we view as more important than reforming Game and Fish Departments across our country. We have said many times nothing will have more impact on our lands, water and wildlife than this reform. Over the past few months we have looked nationally at what is occurring andsee clear evidence that many Game and Fish Departments are in need of serious reform.
From Bear Baying in South Carolina, to coyote penning in North Carolina, to the complete slaughter of wolves in Montana, Game and Fish departments are not becoming more progressive, but relics of a bygone era.
But it does not end there, the battle over trapping continues and many states appear dug in to the idea that trapping is part of the custom and culture of their state. We know that trapping must be eliminated, and such rational makes no sense in a modern and educated society.
The more we research and investigate, the more disturbing the story becomes on a national level!
Game and Fish departments are run by commissions; they are generally chosen by the Governor as political payback and depending on the state are tied to specific interests. In the West, that translates to ranching and oil and gas interests.
The agencies themselves use these commissions to cover their lack of Peer reviewed science, and the killing of predator species. In many states they also continue to allow trapping, because sportsmen continue to say if trapping is removed, then it’s only a matter of time before hunting is outlawed.
It’s time than Game and Fish Departments move into the 21st century. But as long as departments gain most of their revenue from hunting and trapping tags, and the tax on firearms and ammunition, we are left with little or no voice.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Idaho’s Wolf Management Receives Scrutiny

by KEN COLE on DECEMBER 28, 2013

Today, as we celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Endangered Species Act, the nation is taking notice of how Idaho is managing wolves just two years after they were
stripped of the protection of the Endangered Species Act by the U.S. Congress. This weekend anti-wolf forces are having a highly controversial 2-day wolf and coyote killing contest where two person teams will receive prizes for the biggest wolf and most coyotes they kill. At the same time, Idaho Department of Fish and Game has hired a private trapper to kill the entire Monumental Creek and Golden Creek packs of wolves deep inside one of the nation’s largest wilderness areas – the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness Area – far away from any livestock simply because an outfitter whined to an Idaho Department of Fish and Game commissioner.

The nation is taking notice. This morning the New York Times published a scathing editorial titled "Wolf Haters", the Idaho Statesman published a Guest Opinion by Rick Johnson of the Idaho Conservation League, and even the BBC reported on the derby.

Read more . . . 

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Should wild horses, wolves, be sacrificed for public lands ranchers

The dilemma has come down to this: Should ranchers be allowed to graze their livestock on public lands, then expect both Government help and public support for killing any native wildlife there that conflicts with their non-native livestock?
Point 1: When ranchers plunk herds of domestic livestock in the forest or wild wolf territory, there will be conflict with predators.
How can there not be? These are not 'problem wolves', coyotes or mountain lions; they are simply native wildlife trying to survive, in their own territories, in their wild lands, just as they always have throughout the ages. By dumping helpless, non-native, introduced cattle, sheep and other livestock onto designated wild lands, ranchers are deliberately and knowingly offering up their livestock to the wolves.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Proposal reignites passions over Mexican wolves

An area set aside in southwestern New Mexico and southeastern Arizona for the recovery of Mexican gray wolves is not big enough, according to a regional official with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
"We can't, over time, maintain genetic viability in the little area that they have," said Southwest Regional Director Benjamin Tuggle.
The agency has proposed expanding the range of the wolves and as a result has reignited passions about whether and where humans should coexist with the predators.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Death of Yellowstone's Most Famous Wolf Is a Troubling Sign of Things to Come

The alpha female of Yellowstone's Lamar Canyon pack may have been the most famous wolf in the world. Endlessly photographed and admired by thousands of visitors to the national park, this matriarch of Yellowstone -- often known by her number, 832F -- made the cover of American Scientist and was discussed at length in the pages of theNew York Times.
With a gorgeous gray coat and fearless spirit, she was a true rock star from the wolf world. Sadly, a year ago this Friday, 832F crossed the invisible boundary of the national park, entering Wyoming, and was gunned down by a hunter.

Monday, December 2, 2013

“I hold that the more helpless a creature, the more entitled it is to protection by man from the cruelty of man...” - Mahatma Gandhi