28 March 2014 Wolf Weekly Wrap-Up Posted by: Melanie Gade | 27 comments | Share: Governor “Butch” Otter Signs “Wolf Control Board” into Law and Green Lights Unsustainable Wolf Killing in Idaho: This week Governor “Butch” Otter signed into law a bill authorizing his newly-created wolf control board to implement widespread wolf killing throughout the state. The wolf control board, proposed by Otter in January, is funded with an initial $400,000 from taxpayers and is charged with killing hundreds of Idaho’s wolves, driving Idaho’s current wolf population of 500-600 down to as low as 150 animals. The board is expected to receive $400,000 from taxpayers annually for up to five years. Defenders remains deeply concerned about Idaho’s management of wolves as state officials continue to implement increasingly aggressive, brutal attacks on wolves and we are doing everything in our power to stop the killing. We’re the only national organization with boots on the ground, organizing and building public support for wolves in Idaho and we will continue to raise awareness in the media about Idaho’s mismanagement of wolves, mobilizing activists to speak out against the exclusive use of lethal control to manage wolves in Idaho and educating Idaho’s state legislators about the cost-effectiveness of nonlethal wolf management. Click here to support our work. 47,500 Defenders Members Send Comments to The Fish and Wildlife Service Opposing Gray wolf Delisting Proposal: Last month, you heard that a panel of independent expert scientists unanimously concluded that The Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) used bad science to justify their gray wolf delisting proposal. In light of peer review findings, the Service reopened the comment period and 47,501 Defenders members submitted comments strongly opposing this misguided rule. (These comments are submitted in addition to the approximately 1 million comments that were submitted by the environmental coalition in December, when the official comment period closed.) As part of this effort, we thought you’d like to see this heartwarming video from some of the nation’s youngest, most impassioned wolf advocates who effectively drive home many of our primary concerns with this delisting proposal. As the kids put it, now that it’s been confirmed that the proposal is not based on good science, we are left wondering why the Service wants to turn its back on wolves. As Interior Secretary Sally Jewell has said, the gray wolf delisting proposal is “… about science and you do what the science says.” Secretary Jewell now has the power to change the deadly direction that wolves are headed and we are hopeful she will listen to the thousands of you who have commented. Saturday Marks the 16th Anniversary of Mexican Gray Wolf Recovery: On March 29, 1998, the Service released 11 captive Mexican gray wolves into Arizona in an effort to reestablish the population of imperiled wolves into the American southwest. Today, there are only about75 wolves in the wild and another 300 in captivity, making Mexican gray wolves the world’s most endangered species of wolves. Unfortunately, 16 years after recovery first began, the Service has suspended recovery planning for Mexican gray wolves. This is unacceptable and Defenders believes that unless the Service takes immediate action, this magnificent animal will cease to exist in the wild. A recent study has emphasized the fact that this species needs more wolves in more populations with more room to roam. You can help us by telling the Service that Mexican gray wolves have no time to waste, and that the Service cannot give up on Mexican wolf recovery before the job is done! On this anniversary, we are holding the Service’s feet to the fire! Animal Footprints on Mt. Hood Confirmed to be Wolf Tracks! A bit of good news… finally, for wolves. Biologists have confirmed that that the tracks found earlier this season on Mt. Hood are indeed wolf tracks, indicating that Oregon’s wolves are dispersing westward to the Cascades. These confirmed tracks make this the first documented wolf to appear in the region since 1947! We hope other wolves will follow — quite literally — in this wolf’s tracks towards the ample wolf habitat in the Cascades region. We’ll be watching! 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.