Lessons Learned –Defenders’ wolf expert Suzanne Stone gave an evening presentation on Coexistence with Wolves in Washington at the Seattle University Friends Hall on October 28th, and 300 people attended. The lecture hall was packed and the students asked great questions. Many had been tracking the wolf issue closely and some are working now on wolf related research in Washington. We also had several students ask to volunteer for us. It’s encouraging to see such enthusiasm and interest in bright and talented students.
Members make the call – Defenders members picked up the phone this week and called Washington Governor Inslee’s office to let him know they oppose Washington Department Fish and Wildlife’s support for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s proposed delisting of wolves in the western part of the state and other states where wolves may return. They also asked Governor Inslee to contact the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and ask for a hearing in Washington on the delisting proposal given that more than 75% of the state’s citizens support wolf recovery in the Evergreen State.
Crying Wolf in New Mexico – Some residents of rural New Mexico have constructed wood and mesh ‘kid cages’ purportedly to protect their children from predators lurking near the bus stop. But Mexican gray wolves aren’t a threat to children OR adults; there has never been an attack on a human by a Mexican gray wolf in the Southwest. In fact, wolves are generally intimidated by people. About 75 non-captive Mexican gray wolves remain in the United States, and this population is struggling against a second extinction in the wild.
So what is all the recent howling about? Well, it’s not really about wolves. As Daniel MacNulty, a wildlife biologist who studies wolves in Yellowstone, said in a recent article, “[the cages are] a publicity stunt designed to stoke opposition to Mexican wolf recovery in general and to the federal government in particular.”
And therein lies the heart of the issue – anti-wolf propagandists promoting these ‘kid cages’ even admit it; David Spady, California Director of Americans for Prosperity, “readily agreed that wolves are a launching pad to air an array of grievances, from taxes to state’s rights.”
Anti-wolf individuals are going to extreme measures in other places as well showing that things are getting out of hand and anti-wolf factions are not treating wolves like other wildlife, – But some people have had enough. Read the article by Todd Wilkinson in New West this week, prompted by a recent incident in Wyoming. We’re in court fighting against Wyoming’s no-wolf zone where this tragic incident occurred. Our hearing date is set for December 17, 2013 in Washington, DC.
Time to speak up! – For all of those that haven’t heard, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced the rescheduled dates for the remainder of the public hearings. Yes, this means you still have time to submit your comments telling the Fish and Wildlife Service to maintain federal protections for gray wolves until they are fully recovered in places like Colorado, the Northwest, and California, and to implement a real recover plan for Mexican gray wolves. The hearings will take place as listed below:
- November 19 in Denver, Colorado
- November 20 in Albuquerque, New Mexico
- November 22 in Sacramento, California
- December 3 in Pinetop, Arizona
For more information on the hearings and how you can help visit: www.savewolves.org.
John Yeingst is Defenders’ Communications Coordinator