07 February 2014 Wolf Weekly Wrap-up Posted by: Melanie Gade | 10 comments | Share: **UPDATE: Independent peer reviewers have rejected the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s proposal to delist the gray wolf. Click here to learn more. ** Arizona Attacks Mexican Gray Wolves Last week’s release of population numbers for Mexican gray wolves was disappointing, but this week there is something really atrocious to yowl about. The Arizona Senate Government and Environment Committee approved three measures that, quite literally, place a target on lobos, and could devastate future recovery efforts. This imperiled population of only 83 wolves now face a triple threat from local legislators including: a proposed bill from Senator Gail Griffin that would allow Arizonans to trap and kill Mexican gray wolves despite federal law; a second bill that appropriates $250,000 in state money to fund state litigation to block federal recovery efforts; and finally, a resolution from Griffin that derails recovery by shifting management control to the state in order to halt reintroduction efforts. This action was aptly described in a recent Arizona Republic editorial: “Lobos remain perilously close to extinction’s cliff, and Arizona’s Legislature is poised to give them a shove over the edge.” Defenders’ own Craig Miller attended the committee hearing where the proposals were heard, and explained that these measures undermine the progress made to save this critically endangered population. Miller said that the focus needs to be on amping up wolf-rancher coexistence efforts, not paving the way for a one-shot-in-the-head policy for wolves. If you are an Arizona resident, you can help the lobos by submitting letters to the editor and writing and calling your local representatives. More information here. ©Chagares Photography Gov. Otter’s Lethal Wolf Control Board Moves Closer to Becoming Law in Idaho You’ve likely heard of Gov. Butch Otter’s egregious state Wolf Control Board that he proposes to give $2 million in taxpayer dollars to implement lethal wolf control programs throughout Idaho. Last week, a bill to authorize this board gained traction in Idaho’s state legislature. The bill will be considered in the coming days by the Idaho House Resources and Conservation Committee. When Governor Otter announced his plans for this wolf killing program in his State of the State address, he made it quite clear that he will do anything in his power to kill as many wolves as possible, short of requiring a relisting of the species. He said: “One form of growth we don’t want to encourage is in the wolf population that was imposed on Idaho almost 20 years ago…[w]e’re managing them now, and they’re a trophy hunting species. But the population is still growing, and our resources remain at risk. So I’m calling for establishment of a Wolf Control Fund and a State board to direct and manage it.” The state legislators forwarding the bill say the plan is to kill as many as 450 wolves in Idaho, bringing numbers as low as 150 statewide. In other words, this plan would endorse the killing of 75 percent of the minimum wolf population in Idaho. Right now we are asking our Idaho members to contact their state representatives to request a hearing on the proposed bill. In the future, we will be activating members in Idaho to submit comments, continue to call their representatives, attend hearings, and more. In the meantime, our local wolf experts are already having conversations with state officials. Defenders will continue to petition Gov. Otter to demand that he use taxpayer funds only for non-lethal wolf management. Stay tuned for more; we’ll be watching this issue closely. Click here to support our work. Will Washington State Become the Next Idaho in its Management of Wolves? Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife (WDFW) has announced a new wolf management protocol that will remove important safeguards for recovering wolf packs in the state. The new protocol lowers the bar for killing wolves and would allow state and federal officials to kill an entire pack of wolves for only two conflict incidents with livestock – one of which could be just a minor injury. This week, Defenders of Wildlife sent Governor Inslee a letter and asked Washingtonians to call his office requesting that he work with WDFW to rescind this protocol until experts and the public have an opportunity to provide further input on this matter. Defenders also objects to recent efforts by WDFW prematurely including wolves as a “game species” in a new Game Management Plan for 2015-2021, the document that sets the guidelines for hunting wildlife in the state. In a statement to the press, Defenders President, Jamie Rappaport Clark, said: “Wolves are only just beginning to reestablish themselves in Washington, but already game officials in the state are trying to find ways to reduce protection for them and make it easier to kill them…Unfortunately, recent actions taken by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife suggest that Washington is taking its lead on wolf management from vehement anti-wolf states like Idaho and Wyoming where wolves are treated like vermin instead of being managed like other species of wildlife. The better wolf management model to follow is Oregon which has adopted management policies for wolves that are more balanced, effective and sustainable.” We hope Governor Inslee is successful in reversing of WDFW’s recent action on wolves as the species is still struggling to recover in the state. Defenders will continue to work with local members to advocate for full recovery of wolves in Washington state and against harmful policies that affect recovery. 10 Responses to “Wolf Weekly Wrap-up” Randy Haugen February 7th, 2014 Thank you for doing all that you do,We must fight to stop the insane laws of killing wolves like rats. Reply Barrie Mason February 7th, 2014 It is clear that our continued attention and speaking up to protect wolves is making a difference. The Interior Dept. thought that only ranchers and hunters cared, now they see that the whole country cares and is opposed to what the ranchers and hunters wanted. We need to stay alert, informed, and vocal. Reply Jodi Desharnais February 7th, 2014 I am just really hoping that you don’t give up or give in Defenders Of Wildlife; we need you for our souls as the Wolves do for their very lives, please don’t give up! Reply Helena February 8th, 2014 Great work, thanks alot for save the wildlife from the human predators race. Reply Ben Hallows February 9th, 2014 We must triumph for wolves sake Reply Frank Wolf, PhD February 9th, 2014 I’ve had to deal with the blind hatred and willful ignorance of wolf haters, like Inslee most my adult life… Is there something missing in these people’s genome, or, are they cave-man throw-backs genetically? They don’t want to listen to the science, rather, they want to go shoot something and any excuse is good enough. They don’t want to know that the last remnants of the Western United States’ once magnificent natural forests seriously depend on it’s keystone predator, the wolf, to maintain its overall biological integrity, rather, they want some blood-sport entertainment and will use any and all justification to get their jollies-off….geeeze Just let me find such types hunting on my lands and I’ll show them what it feels like to themselves be hunted. I’m a Defenders member, proud of it, too. Defenders legal council keep doing what you can in the courts, in front of USFWS, and state wildlife agencies to keep these insane-like, rapacious throw-backs to a former time at bay. However, I’m out’n about up in the mountains actively searching for the hunters, hunting the hunters with every tool I can find to thwart them whenever and wherever I can. Long live the wolf, free to roam HIS native territories. Bring-back the grizzly bear as well. Wilderness is and should always remain just that: wilderness! Graze ruminants close by, or intrude them into the wilderness…all for single-minded profit, at your cows, sheep, goats, peril. The replenishment of mankind’s soul only can come from deep reflection while experiencing Nature in her natural strongholds, not walking some sidewalk to some city park. Without the wolf what remains of the Western forest is lacking its own “cop”, effectively leaving the ruminants to overgraze the seedlings, slowly preventing the natural cycle of plant replacement, which leads, invariably, to ecosystem impoverishment. Yellowstone NP has shown the truth of this, yes! Left alone to do his job the wolf can, over time, do the same wherever he reestablishes himself. Nuff said 4now, Sequoiasaver Reply Wolf love February 11th, 2014 Won’t happen. Why waste money trying to stop this when there are better things to worry about like global warming. 650 wolves? There’s probably that many in the Frank Church wilderness alone. I see and hear them all the time when we are rafting the middle fork. Those worthless ATV humpers couldn’t find a wolf to save their lives. Seriously why don’t we try saving something needs our help like the desert tortoise, whooping cranes, or polar bears? Idaho doesn’t stand a chance against wolves! I’d have better luck murdering one with my car. Reply Roseanna Aldrete February 12th, 2014 I am astounded at the determination of Gov.Otter’s bloodlust to kill animals that so closely resemble “Man’s Best Friend”. What he has is a sickness..he is driven by a force similar to what drives a serial killer to hunt humans and kill them.When they can invision an animal with an injured limb caught by a trap and not be bothered by the sight of an innocent animal mutilated and then be able to kill them makes me want to vomit.These individuals responsible need to be emailed each and everyday to remind them how similar they are to serial killers..As these kind of people are running our government it scares me a bit thinking about what they could do to humans as well. Reply Jundy July 12th, 2014 If our game mangaers wait to long to mangae the wolves, as in controll the numbers,our game herds are going to be reduced to the point that hunters won’t be needed in the mangaement picture at all. That seems to me to be one of the tree huggers main goals with bringing back the mutts! Reply Post Your Comment Click here to cancel reply. Name (required) Mail (required) (will not be published) You May also be interested in A Field Day with Gopher Tortoises Our Florida staff members spent a field day at Boyd Hill Nature Preserve to learn more about the reproductive and burrowing habits of gopher tortoises. Wolves are even more socially complex than we thought… In order to survive, wolves form cooperative groups known as packs, and these pack members hunt together, rear pups together, and compete against other wolf packs for food and territory. Loggerhead Sea Turtles Catch a Wave Just in time for the egg-laying season of female loggerhead sea turtles, the federal government has designated critical habitat nesting areas in the Northwest Atlantic.