Wolves featured, © Montana FWPCalling All Idaho Wolf Supporters! This Monday: Idaho Department of Fish and Game’s (IDFG) Fish and Game Commission is holding a special meeting at 7 pm, this Monday, March 23 in Boise. At this event, IDFG, the agency responsible for overseeing wolf management in Idaho, will take public testimony on a host of wildlife issues. They recently announced that federal Wildlife Services gunmen aerially shot and killed 19 wolves in Lolo District of the Clearwater National Forest in February. This took place on U.S. national forest public land in order to artificially boost elk numbers to benefit sport hunters and outfitters.

This is the second year that the Department has funded a wolf killing program for elk decline that is due in part to habitat changes, according to the department’s own scientific peer reviewers. This is our chance to stand up for our wolves and tell the Department that enough is enough! We also oppose the killing of wolves in the Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness and the Department’s renewed contract with Wildlife Services using Governor Otter’s Wolf Depredation Fund to further the killing of wolves in Idaho. Defenders’ national wolf expert, Suzanne Stone, will be there to testify in defense of Idaho’s wolves and any local residents are encouraged to do the same.

If you’re an Idaho resident, please RSVP to the event. If you are not a local resident, but still want your voice heard, now is the time to sign our petition to Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack that requests that he direct Wildlife Services agency to stop killing wolves on U.S. Forest Service lands just to inflate elk numbers!

yellowstone wolf, © Barrett Hedges/NGSCongress’ Continued Assault on Gray Wolves: News reports this week confirmed that Senator Johnson (R-WI) intends to introduce a bill that would legislatively remove gray wolves in the Great Lakes states and in Wyoming from the list of endangered species. This is the third congressional attempt to delist wolves in the Great Lakes and Wyoming this year. These attempts occurred in late 2014 after federal courts set aside rules delisting wolves in those regions and reinstated protections for wolves under the federal Endangered Species Act (ESA). Senator Johnson and others that have proposed similar bills are trying to override the species listing process – one that should be managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. As many in Congress say these days, they are “not scientists” and Defenders opposes all congressional attempts to interfere with the species listing process. We feel strongly that science, not politics, should guide listing decisions. Click here to help support our efforts.
 Utah’s Lawmakers Give Taxpayers’ Money to Anti-Predator, Anti-Wolf Lobbying: This week, some wonderful in-depth reporting revealed that Utah’s lawmakers appropriated $500,000 to activists engaged in lobbying federal officials to delist gray wolves nationwide. The article states that Big Game Forever – an extreme anti-predator organization – has received over $800,000 from Utah’s taxpayers since 2010, even though the organization has never revealed how they spend this money. Why are Utah lawmakers spending their own constituents’ limited tax dollars on aggressive lobbying efforts to delist wolves? Defenders’ Don Barry, Senior Vice President for Conservation Programs put it best in the article when he told the reporter that this effort is “mired in ‘residual hatred of predators’ that excludes any appreciation of the ecological benefits they provide as a keystone species. Congress is the least appropriate organization to get involved with these biological decisions. Where is their expertise? Whether a species is heading toward extinction is a scientific calculation. It is not a political one.’”

Courtney Sexton

Courtney Sexton, Communications Associate

Courtney focuses on issues tied to federal/public lands, wildlife refuges and renewable energy siting, as well as those related to a myriad species throughout California, Oregon and the Southwest, her favorite being the Mexican gray wolf.