We’re back to our weekly updates after a great series last week for Wolf Awareness Week. Here are the top wolf-related items for this week:
Wolf supporters inundate Congress
Defenders put an alert out to our members early this week asking them to send a message to Congress, telling them not to undermine wolf recovery by legislating away protections for wolves. In less than a week, our supporters generated more than 50,000 responses to show our elected representatives that there is still strong support for continued wolf recovery and sustainable management. Thank you to all our citizen wildlife defenders for taking action!
Haven’t had a chance to sign the petition yet? Visit the Defenders Wildlife Action Center to add your voice to the tens of thousands of our supporters who are speaking up to save America’s wolves!
Don’t blame wolves for tougher hunting
Public News Service in Idaho and Montana ran a story last week featuring retired wolf recovery coordinator Carter Niemeyer, who reminded hunters that wolves are an important part of the outdoor experience. Niemeyer says wolves have been unfairly blamed by hunters for making elk harder to find.
Editorial skewers Gov. Otter’s decision to abandon wolf management
Idaho Mountain Express took Governor “Butch” Otter to task for playing politics with wolves in Idaho:
“Otter’s ink-on-paper tantrum was conveniently timed with less than two weeks to go before an election in a state where voters begin to froth at the mouth when the words “federal” and “wolf” are uttered. The response is always strange given that Idahoans have no problem being big beneficiaries of federal largesse and that the vast majority of us will never see a wolf.”
Genetics study supports robust wolf population
A story this week in the Billings Gazette mischaracterized an important study about the genetic health of wolves in the Northern Rockies. The researchers found that there is good genetic exchange between subpopulations, but that healthy exchange required much greater wolf numbers than the minimum number required in federal recovery objectives. As Defenders’ Rocky Mountain Director Mike Leahy points out, the study affirms that those minimum recovery objectives are too low to ensure a healthy, sustainable wolf population over the long run. Defenders continues to call for wolf management based on the best available science.
Amazing wolf artists write about Wolf Awareness Week
Thanks again to our friends at Etsy for Animals (EFA), a collective of independent artists who help raise money for other nonprofit groups. Team EFA chose Defenders as their charity-of-the-month for September and followed up by promoting Wolf Awareness Week last week. They featured some excellent blog posts and really cool wolf art. It’s not too late to order a painting, jewelry, clothing and other wolf gear from these talented artists. See their full collection of wolf objects here.
Attacks from both sides
In September, writer Bill Schneider gave us a back-handed compliment by recognizing that Defenders has worked hard to build in-roads toward sustainable wolf management. And now he’s calling out anti-wolf hunting groups for making compromise more difficult. As Schneider points out, both sides need to give a little if we’re ever going to resolve this issue.