13 December 2013 Wolf Weekly Wrap-Up Posted by: Melanie Gade | 24 comments We Just Learned… Idaho Wolf Slaughter Set for Dec. 28 We have just learned that a “hunters’ rights organization” has scheduled a wolf-killing competition for the week after Christmas. What’s the kicker? Dec. 28th is 40th annaversary of the Endagered Species Act…. Prizes will be awarded for such hunting objectives as killing the largest wolf and the most female coyotes. Already, 154 wolves have been killed in Idaho since hunting season began on August 30. This barbaric competitive slaughter promises to raise that number even higher. Organizers of this so-called wolf derby admit that one purpose of the event is to show the world that no one can stop them from killing wolves – not you, not me, and especially not the federal government. It’s a horrific demonstration of what happens when wolves are prematurely stripped of Endangered Species Act protection. Those these killing contest organizers are outright wrong – America’s wolves belong to all of us. Click here to help us fight for wolves! © Didier J. Lindsey OR-7 Takes a Day Trip to California! We have some good news this week too — OR-7, the famous wolf who ventured into California two years ago returned to California for a short visit this week! During his previous escapade, OR-7 stayed in the Golden State for about a year, prompting discussions by scientists and residents about the future of wolves in California, since there is extensive wolf habitat in Northern California and the Sierra Nevada. Over the weekend, OR-7’s GPS tracking collar placed him in northern Siskiyou County on Saturday, but he quickly returned to Oregon’s southern Cascades where he has been residing most recently. Wolf experts say his crossings suggest a normal pattern of following migrating deer and elk. This spring OR-7 will be four years old. California is glad to see you, OR-7 – even if you are just passing through! Update on Representatives Grijalva and Fitzpatrick’s Letter Endorsing Continued Protection of Gray Wolves Last week we told you about a letter that members of Congress plan to send to the Department of the Interior’s Secretary Jewell, urging her to abandon plans to delist the gray wolf. The pro-wolf letter had the support of 86 members of Congress, surpassing a letter circulated in November supporting delisting. This is a powerful statement to USFWS that demonstrates the weight of support demands continued federal protection. Check here to see if your congressional representative signed the letter – and be sure to thank them! Gray Wolf, © Joan Poor Your Last Chance to Comment on USFWS Gray Wolf Delisting Proposal Last week we shared the great news of the huge volume of comments submitted to USFWS on the wolf delisting proposal– over 700,000!! A significant accomplishment, indeed — and the numbers are still rising! This week the total rose to approximately 750,000! (Many groups have been collecting comments and will submit to USFWS on the 17th). This is the largest number of comments ever received on a federal proposal involving an endangered species. The comment period officially closes on December 17th. So, if you have not submitted your comments yet, go here to comment against delisting the gray wolf nationwide, and here to advocate for full, science-based recovery planning for Mexican gray wolves. Keep in mind that USFWS does NOT count boilerplate statements as individual comments; that’s why we do not provide an easy “click” to submit comment forum on our website. By taking just a few moments to write your own perspective, your comment will be counted as unique. Make sure your voice is heard! Washington Citizens Rally Together to Protect Wolves and Keep Washington Wild! Do you live near Seattle? Join Defenders and other NGOs for a public rally in Seattle on December 15 to tell USFWS why it’s crucial to maintain federal protection of the gray wolf in the Pacific Northwest. Even though wolf recovery remains especially fragile in Washington, USFWS did not host a public hearing in the Pacific Northwest, and Washingtonians have not been invited to publicly discuss the negative impacts this proposal would have on wolf recovery in Washington! Anyone is invited to provide testimony – in fact, we’re collecting copies of all testimony and submitting directly to USFWS. We’ll also have several speakers, storytellers, academics and biologists to talk about the current wolf situation in Washington. Visit our RSVP form to register. One of the many signs that supporters brought to the rally. Here are the event details: WHEN: Sunday, December 15 2:00pm – 3:00pm: Indoor Rally 3:00 pm – 5:00pm: Citizens’ Testimony WHERE: Seattle Central Library – Microsoft Auditorium 1000 Fourth Avenue Seattle, WA 98104 Melanie Gade, Communications Specialist Melanie handles press coverage for wildlife in the Pacific Northwest and Rockies and Plains, as well as Defenders' national work on the Endangered Species Act.