Saturday, December 15, 2007
On Friday, Wyoming Condemns Wolves to Slaughter
Since I wrote the blog post last night about Yellowstone 's wolves, I have more news. Bad news. This morning I discovered a December 14, 2007 post about Wyoming's Gray Wolf Management Plan, issued by the Wyoming Game and Fish Department. The plan reassigns gray wolves in Wyoming from endangered species to "trophy animals" in some parts of the state (so hunters can shoot them for recreation) and "predators" in the rest of the state so that ranchers can shoot them. According to this plan by Wyoming's Game and Fish Dept, only 15 breeding pairs of gray wolves in the state is deemed an adequate number to maintain the population - about 100 wolves. (There are currently about 1500 in the state; biologists say the minimum number to maintain a healthy population in the state is 2500 to 3000.)
I blanched when I read the post about Wyoming's new wolf management plan, and ran outside to tell Ken. I somehow missed in my first reading of the article that the USFW service this week approved this plan! When I came back in and read it again, I couldn't believe it!
But still, somehow this does not mean that the wolves have been delisted from the list of federally protected endangered species. It only means that USFW approves of the state of Wyoming reclassifying them within the state. This approval by the USFW service is interpreted as a precursor to the USFW's federal delisting of the wolves, though. I believe the feds are still held up by the various lawsuits against delisting, from environmental groups such as the NRDC.
“It clearly shows that politics not science is running this process,” said the the executive director of the Jackson Hole [Wyoming] Conservation Alliance. “It’s too bad that the only recourse that conservation has may very well be a lawsuit.” [scroll down a couple of inches after you click on this link, to see the comments]
I'll be sending a check to the NRDC today.