Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Open Season in Wyoming Threatens Wolf Recovery

08 October 2012
Kari Birdseye
State delists endangered gray wolf and the hunt begins
Wolves perform a valuable ecological role and stand as a living symbol of wilderness. (NPS)
In Wyoming, wolves that were federally protected on Sept. 30 became legal vermin overnight—subject to being shot on sight in approximately 90 percent of the state as of Oct. 1. In the remaining 10 percent of Wyoming, wolf hunting season opened for the first time since the gray wolf was eradicated from the state in the early 1900s. Fifty-two wolves are expected to be killed in the “trophy zone” hunting season and dozens more in the free-fire “predator zone” over the coming weeks.

All of this wolf-killing threatens to turn back the tide of wolf recovery in the Northern Rockies and leave Yellowstone area wolves isolated from other wolf populations in the region. And it is all happening because the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service turned wolf management in Wyoming over to state officials, despite the fact that Wyoming’s wolf management policies open the door to unlimited wolf killing throughout most of the state and provide inadequate protection for wolves even where killing is regulated.

Earthjustice supporters have sent nearly 60,000 letters to the White House, requesting restoration of federal protection for wolves in Wyoming until the state comes up with a responsible management plan. We receive calls daily with questions and concerns about what private citizens can do to stop open season on this majestic animal that performs a valuable ecological role and stands as a living symbol of wilderness.

More than 100 Earthjustice supporters were able to ask questions of Tim Preso, managing attorney of the Earthjustice Northern Rockies office, who has been working to defend the wolf population in his region for more than a decade. He fielded excellent questions for about an hour this week to provide background, history and perspective to the current wolf hunt and Earthjustice’s decades-long fight to protect the endangered gray wolf.

This recording demonstrates the dedication and concern of supporters across the nation. On your behalf, we will do our utmost to ensure that the Northern Rockies remains a region where the wolf still howls:

Recording may be heard here at source