14 March 2014 Wolf Weekly Wrap-Up Posted by: Melanie Gade | 16 comments | Share: 65 Representatives Sign Letter to Secretary Jewell Urging Her to Abandon Gray Wolf Delisting Proposal… Has Yours? Representative Peter DeFazio has authored a letter to Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell requesting that she withdraw the current wolf delisting proposal. This letter comes in response to the unanimous conclusion from an independent panel of expert scientists who said the Service did not use the best available science in their delisting proposal. Already, 65representatives have signed the letter, and today is the last day we can ask for additional signers. You can help by calling your representative today! Washington’s Wolf Population Remains Stable: Last week, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) released the official annual count of gray wolves living in Washington state which showed only a tiny increase from the previous year. The year’s count tallied a minimum of 52 wolves in the state, which is only one more wolf than reported in the 2012 count. The count also tallied five successful breeding pairs, but this is the same number reported in the 2012 annual count. The count did report an increase in wolf packs, but not because there was a big increase in the population, but rather because the Smackout pack reportedly dispersed into several smaller packs.In response to these numbers, Suzanne Stone, Defenders Senior Representative for Rockies and Plains said:“The stability of Washington’s wolf population is good news, but the population is still incredibly vulnerable during these early stages of recovery in Washington and wolves have a long way still to go. It’s critical that Washington state wildlife officials focus on sustainable management strategies designed to encourage human and wolf coexistence and resist weakening important safeguards for recovering wolf packs in the state.” Calling All Idaho Residents: March 19th Hearing on New Predation Management Plan: All Idaho residents are welcome to testify at a March 19th public hearing on Idaho Department of Fish and Game’s (IDFG) recently announced predation management plan.This plan calls for an intensive program of wolf killing in the Middle Fork Zone, which includes the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness Area, using paid hunters and trappers over successive years to kill up to 60 percent of the wolves living there. Just before the hearing, Defenders of Wildlife staff will provide tips on how to deliver effective testimony, and students from Timberline High School will stage a protest against Idaho’s war on wolves. Event details below: Pre-Event Rally and Preparation: Wednesday, March 19; 5:30 pm MK Nature Center, 600 S Walnut St, Boise, ID 83712 Public hearing: Wednesday, March 19; 7:00 pm Washington Group Plaza, Main Auditorium (entrance at fountain) 720 East Park Blvd., Boise, ID 83712 New Science Shows Majority of Alberta Canada’s Residents Have Favorable Attitudes Towards Wolves: It’s not all bad for wolves in North America – a recent study showed that the majority of Alberta citizens have a positive view of wolves. Researchers surveyed 555 people living in rural parts of Alberta, Canada to assess their attitudes about wolves and wolf management. 15.6% of people surveyed had negative views of wolves, whereas 33.8% had a neutral attitude. But, the majority of people surveyed – 50.6% – had a positive view of wolves. Melanie Gade, Communications Specialist Melanie handles press coverage for wildlife in the Northern Rockies and Great Plains as well as Defenders' national work on the Endangered Species Act.