09 May 2014 Wolf Weekly Wrap-Up Posted by: Melanie Gade | 15 comments | Share: Wyoming Proposes to Increase Wolf Hunting Quotas in 2014: Wyoming agency officials have proposed to raise wolf hunting quotas from 26 in 2013 to a total of 43 in 2014. The new proposal is open for public comment through July and Wyoming’s Fish and Game Commission will vote on the proposed rule in during their July meeting in Dubois. If the hunting quotas are raised, they will only be in effect for one calendar year; hunting dates or hunting boundaries will not be affected by this change. Defenders and our conservation partners have already challenged the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for their premature removal of federal protections for wolves in Wyoming – a verdict is still pending. Assessing Available Wolf Habitat in the Northeast: This week an important scientific study was made publically available which provides new information about the amount of available habitat for wolves in the northeastern United States. Scientists used geospatial mapping determine that there are over 29729.9 square miles of suitable habitat for wolves ranging from Maine to upstate New York. This amount of habitat could support over 1,300 wolves in the region. Defenders has long advocated for a careful examination of biological conditions, such as habitat and prey availability, to ensure they meet the requirements for wolf restoration; learn more about wolves in the Northeast. Noble Wolf, © Larry Gambon Wolf Killed in Iowa is First Confirmed Wolf in State in 89 Years: Although the state of Iowa is not often mentioned with regard to wolves, this week news surfaced that a wolf was shot in Iowa’s Buchanan County. This is the first confirmed wolf to appear in the state in 89 years. And while this wolf’s death is unfortunate, it is an encouraging sign that wolves from northern packs are dispersing further south into their historic range. This incident also reminds us of why it is so critically important to maintain federal protection of wolves throughout most of the Lower 48. In these circumstances, federal protection could make all the difference as we all work to ensure recovery of wolves in unoccupied yet suitable habitat. Calling Idaho Residents: Speak Up For Wolves Next Wednesday in Lewiston: Next Wednesday, May 14th, wildlife and wilderness advocates from throughout Idaho will convene in Lewiston to provide testimony to the Idaho Department of Fish and Game (IDFG) Commission in response to their new predation management plan which would enable the agency to kill up to 60 percent of the wolves living in the Middle Fork Zone of Frank Church Wilderness. About 100 wolf supporters attended the rally, excited for the chance to speak up for wolves! Less than six months after suffering the lethal effects of a state-hired trapper, packs in the remote Frank Church Wilderness – many of which have never seen a single human – face this even graver threat. If Idaho won’t let these wolves exist in the most remote wilderness in Idaho, where will they? If you’re an Idaho resident, we need your support! We hope you’ll join us to oppose IDFG’s egregious assault on wolves in the wilderness. The hearing starts at 7:00 p.m. on Wednesday, May 14, at 3316 16th St Lewiston, ID 83501. Wolf supporters will also be invited to a special gathering and tour at the Wolf Education and Research Center in nearby Winchester, Idaho that day of the hearing. We’ll be there to offer training on speaking at the public hearing and discuss wolf issues across the region. Your Last Chance: Double your Donation to Help Save Idaho’s Wolves! We’re putting pressure on Idaho’s elected officials to stop their war on wolves every way we can: in the courts, on the ground, and in the media. If Governor Otter is going to use $400,000 taxpayer dollars this year to kills wolves – via his recently established wolf killing fund — we are going to raise $401,000 to stop him! Today is the last day that your donation to help protect Idaho’s wolves will be matched dollar for dollar by Defenders’ Board of Directors. Your donation will support our three-part strategy to stop the out of control wolf killings in Idaho.First, we have formally asked the U.S. Department of the Interior to reassess the status of wolves in the Northern Rockies under the Endangered Species Act in light of Idaho’s war on wolves. This is the first step towards regaining federal protection for these wolves, and we will continue to press for it. Second, we are reaching out to the people of Idaho to ask them to demand that their state officials stop knuckling under to forces of hatred. We know that Idahoans across the state do not support Governor Otter’s war on wolves. Third, our legal team is actively reviewing our litigation options, while our policy experts and scientists are working hard to fight the rampant misinformation on this issue. Help us raise $401,000 to protect Idaho’s wolves! Melanie Gade, Communications Specialist Melanie handles press coverage for wildlife in the Pacific Norwest and Rockies and Plains, as well as Defenders' national work on the Endangered Species Act.