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Monday, August 31, 2009

Wolves Are Set to Become Fair Game in the West





Written by
William Yardley


"A wolf hunt is set to begin in Idaho on Tuesday if a federal judge does not stop it. It would be the first time in decades that hunters have been allowed to pursue the gray wolf, an animal that has come to symbolize tensions over how people interact with wilderness in the West."


"Wolf season is set to open for hunters in Idaho and Montana. Gray wolves had long been on the endangered list.
On Monday, the judge, Donald W. Molloy of Federal District Court, will hold a hearing to determine whether to issue an injunction sought by wildlife advocates against the hunt and reopen the question of returning the wolf to the endangered list."

"Gray wolves were taken off the list five months ago, after being protected under federal law for more than 30 years. More than 6,000 hunters in Idaho have bought licenses for the chance to participate in the hunt, in which wildlife officials will allow 220 wolves to be killed. In 2008, the population stood at about 850. Montana will allow 75 animals to be killed, starting Sept. 15."

"The states’ hunts will be over when the limit is reached or when the season ends, which is Dec. 31 in most areas."

To read the remainder of this article please click on this link::http://www.nytimes.com/2009/08/31/science/earth/31wolves.html?ref=us
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"After they were nearly wiped out in the lower 48 states, wolves in Idaho were declared endangered in 1974 under the Endangered Species Act. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's 1987 recovery plan for wolves in the Northern Rocky Mountains included reintroducing them in central Idaho in 1995 and 1996."

"Since then, Idaho has been involved in wolf management as directed by the Legislature, which in 2002, adopted the Idaho Wolf Conservation and Management Plan. Under the plan Idaho Fish and Game would be responsible for wolf management following delisting."

"In February 2005, the Fish and Wildlife Service revised the rules that govern the experimental non-essential population of reintroduced wolves in Idaho south of Interstate 90. The change eased wolf management rules and gave Idaho a greater role in wolf management."

"In January 2006, an agreement between Idaho and the U.S. Department of Interior designated the state as an agent for day-to-day wolf management for the Fish and Wildlife Service."

"Wolves were removed from the endangered species list on May 4, 2009. Idaho Fish and Game has taken over management under 2008 state law, the 2002 wolf management plan and the 2008 Wolf Population Management Plan. Wolves will be managed as big game animals, similar to black bears and mountain lions. Hunting seasons will be set by the Idaho Fish and Game Commission." As of today, there are 846 wolves in Idaho, these wolves are found in 88 packs of which 39 are considered breeding packs. About 1,500 are found in Idaho, Montana and Wyoming.

sources:
http://fishandgame.idaho.gov/cms/wildlife/wolves/

http://fishandgame.idaho.gov/cms/wildlife/wolves/living/glance.cfm


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According to the website:http://www.environmentalgraffiti.com/

"an organization called Earthjustice, believes that the wolves will not be secure in their environment until the population rests between 2 and 3,000. The organization is planning legal action against the state of Idaho.This organization,

"is filing the lawsuit to restore federal Endangered Species Act protections to wolves in the northern Rocky Mountains until wolf numbers are stronger, the states develop an adequate legal safety net, and connectivity between recovery areas is assured."

"Under the challenged U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service wolf delisting rule, Idaho and Montana are free to reduce the wolf population down to 150 per state -- a potential loss of roughly two-thirds of the region's wolves."

"The scheduled wolf hunts would cripple the regional wolf population by isolating wolves into disconnected subgroups incapable of genetic or ecological sustainability. The wolf hunts would also allow the killing of the breeding "alpha" male and female wolves, thereby disrupting the social group, leaving pups more vulnerable.
No other endangered species has ever been delisted at such a low population level and then immediately hunted to even lower unsustainable levels."

"The decision to hunt wolves comes as Yellowstone National Park wolves declined by 27 percent last year -- one of the largest declines reported since wolves were reintroduced to Yellowstone in 1995. The northern Rockies wolf population also has not achieved a level of connectivity between the greater Yellowstone, central Idaho, and northwest Montana areas that is essential to wolves' long-term survival.
Wolves are still under federal protection in Wyoming because a federal court previously ruled that Wyoming's hostile wolf management scheme leaves wolves in "serious jeopardy." The Fish and Wildlife Service in the recent past held that a state-by-state approach to delisting wolves was not permitted under the Endangered Species Act, but the federal government flip-flopped on its earlier position and this year took wolves in Idaho and Montana off the endangered species list while leaving those in Wyoming on the list."

"In addition to Wyoming, the states of Idaho and Montana have refused to make enforceable commitments to maintain viable wolf populations within their borders."

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According to the website:http://www.savebiogems.org/wolves/

"Over this past year, the wolf population of Yellowstone National Park declined 27 percent -- and more than 70% of wolf pups in the park died of disease."

"Breeding pairs of wolves would need to be sustained around the thousand mark rather than around 400 where they are now to make sure genetic defects didn’t show up in wolf populations further down the road."

This controversy over wolves has a long history. The question is do we humans have right to dictate what size of population predators such as wolves can have in our provinces and states? Some advocates of the wolves have gone as far as recommending that people who are on the side of the wolf, should boycott Idaho Potatoes:

"Even though wolves were only taken off the Endangered Species List in Idaho in May, 2009, Idaho Gov. Butch Otter is not only endorsing the proposed trophy hunt this fall, he’s vowed to participate in it. He told a group of hunters, “I’m prepared to bid for the first ticket to shoot a wolf myself.” The wolf hunt is an apparent effort to boost elk populations for hunters to slaughter, and will begin on September 1, 2009. The permit to kill a wolf costs $11.50—with 220 wolves set to be killed statewide.

Equally dismaying is the fact that Gov. Otter claims to “respect” wolves—making the nonsensical claim, in an interview with The Idaho Statesman, “You can still hate them and respect their cunning and their place in nature.”

Friends of Animals’ president, Priscilla Feral says, “Gov. Otter’s enthusiasm for wolf killing not only demonstrates a complete lack of conscience and understanding of the word ‘respect,’ it shows a lack of respect for nature and the ecosystem; wolves don’t need Gov. Otter—or anyone else—to manage them.”

Friends of Animals is calling for a boycott of potatoes grown in Idaho—the largest producer in the United States. One-third of all potatoes are grown in Idaho. Feral adds: “As long as Idaho is in the business of killing wolves, the nature-respecting public should stop buying potatoes there.” Look for potatoes grown in Maine, Colorado, North Dakota, Oregon, Washington and other states."

source:http://www.friendsofanimals.org/

Let us hope that all the parties involved in this issue concerning wolves can come together and agree on some guidelines which will allow wolves to remain living in the west, without having their species threatened with extinction. What is really needed is a wolf management program, to ensure that wolves do not overpopulate regions (especially those where cattleman are trying to make a living), and at the same time, wolf populations are allowed to be sustained at a rate which will allow the species to exist in perpetuity.


source of image of wolves:http://www.crocker.k12.mo.us/student/baby_wolves.jpg

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Thoughts worth thinking about

"Our subconscious minds have no sense of humor, play no jokes and cannot tell the difference between reality and an imagined thought or image. What we continually think about eventually will manifest in our lives."-Sidney Madwed



Laws alone can not secure freedom of expression; in order that every woman and man present their views without penalty, there must be spirit of tolerance in the entire population.- Albert Einstein Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. - Leo Buscaglia



A person's true wealth is the good he or she does in the world. - Mohammed



Our task must be to free ourselves... by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature and its beauty. -Albert Einstein



The best way to find yourself, is to lose yourself in the service of others. - Ghandi



The unselfish effort to bring cheer to others will be the beginning of a happier life for ourselves. - Helen Keller



Aim for success, not perfection. Never give up your right to be wrong, because then you will lose the ability to learn new things and move forward with your life. Remember that fear always lurks behind perfectionism. Confronting your fears and allowing yourself the right to be human can, paradoxically, make yourself a happier and more productive person. - Dr. David M. Burns



Life is as dear to a mute creature as it is to man. Just as one wants happiness and fears pain, just as one wants to live and not die, so do other creatures. -His Holiness The Dalai Lama



Mankind's true moral test, its fundamental test (which lies deeply buried from view), consists of its attitude towards those who are at its mercy: animals. And in this respect mankind has suffered a fundamental debacle, a debacle so fundamental that all others stem from it. -



Milan Kundera, The Unbearable Lightness of Being



The worst sin towards our fellow creatures is not to hate them, but to be indifferent to them. That's the essence of inhumanity. -George Bernard Shaw

Ego's trick is to make us lose sight of our interdependence. That kind of ego-thought gives us a perfect justification to look out only for ourselves. But that is far from the truth. In reality we all depend on each other and we have to help each other. The husband has to help his wife, the wife has to help the husband, the mother has to help her children, and the children are supposed to help the parents too, whether they want to or not.-Gehlek Rinpoche Source: "The Best Buddhist Writing 2005 pg. 165

The hostile attitude of conquering nature ignores the basic interdependence of all things and events---that the world beyond the skin is actually an extension of our own bodies---and will end in destroying the very environment from which we emerge and upon which our whole life depends.