Flickr User Sakarri
Although the news was not earth-shattering, I was a bit heartened the other day when I received an email from Endangered Earth Online about the Gray wolf in Oregon, which brought to mind the expression, “together we can make a difference”.
Following an emergency appeal by the Center for Biological Diversity and its allies, a temporary reprieve, stopping the killing of two of Oregon's remaining wolves, was issued by the Oregon Court State of Appeals late this past Wednesday.
Center lawyers obtained an 11th-hour court order to stop the wolf killing after rushing to the courthouse, even though the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife officials were already actively hunting the alpha male and another wolf from the small Imnaha pack in the mountains. Had that order not been issued, the first successful breeding wolf pack since the extermination of the species decades ago would have been completely wiped out, with only one alpha female and her pup remaining. She and her pup might not be able to last through the winter without her mate and a functioning pack. The pack’s very existence was put in grave danger last May when the state killed two other pack members.
Earlier this year, Congress removed protection of the Gray wolf in Oregon and Washington. It is speculated that the State Department gave in to the pressure of ranchers and livestock groups to get rid of the wolves in the region, even though the species is presently at grave risk of extinction in these areas.
While the Oregon reprieve is a temporary stop-gap measure, it affords the court an opportunity for the Center's full legal case to be heard. Since in the coming weeks a permanent decision will be made, it is crucial the Center can convince the court that not only is the further killing of these wolves illegal, it is also thoughtless and inhumane
Even with the highly impressive numbers of Center supporters (reaching into the thousands) who sent letters, emails and who made phone calls to the Governor of Oregon, we cannot remain complacent. We must continue to reach out to reinforce the necessary pressure on those legislators in which the lives of these wolves are literally in their hands.
The Gray wolf is part of Oregon’s great resources. We must not allow them to go extinct. You can help by letting your voices be heard. Write the Governor and tell him how crucial it is to preserve these magnificent animals, by keeping these packs alive and thriving. And also contact the Oregon State of Appeals.