Saturday, April 5, 2008

Endangered Species Act: Yellowstone Wolves

There are almost no words that I can say to convey the utter stupidity and audacious carelessness of our current presidential administration's policy to do away with our country's wildlife and eco-systems; it's as though we're rushing head first into ecological genocide. (But, hey, business is great.)

After successfully ridding most of the western part of this country and Yellowstone National Park of all wolves nearly a century ago, the government decided in the 1990's to transplant 66 Canadian wolves in the Park. Over those short years, the number of wolves has grown to about 1,300. They were protected by the Endangered Species Act.

While scientists say that to protect and encourage healthy genetic diversity the wolves should number over 2,000 before being de-listed. The federal government thinks otherwise, and in February took the wolves off the Endangered Species list. As a result, Park employees are allowed to kill wolves they deem a "problem," and any that step out of the park onto state land are allowed to be hunted by sportsmen and ranchers alike. Several wolves have already been killed, two as "trophies."

The following is from a New York Times article titled U.S. Ends Protections For Wolves In 3 States, which I suggest you read:

State management plans allow for wolf hunting, or outright eradication in some places — including most of Wyoming — with a target population of 150 in each of the three states.

There are over 330 million people in this country, and we want to limit the numbers of wolves to 150 in each state? I say let the ranchers lose a cow or bull once a month (the average loss) in exchange for keeping a species alive, thriving, and healthy. I also say let the hunters have less elk to eat and less trophies in exchange for keeping a species alive, thriving, and healthy. For keeping our ecosystem - and human life - intact.

A New York Times editorial says the exact words that I feel about this situation; please read When Protection Vanishes, published in today's paper.

During his 7-year tenure as President, Bush has listed less than 60 animals as Endangered Species. Both Clinton and the former President Bush each listed at least 60 animals annually.

Thanks to our selfishness, we are putting ourselves in a dangerous situation where one day our wildlife will be depleted to the point of (near) extinction - leaving us without natural resources, sport, food, and jobs. Without maintaining our natural ecosystems - and the lives of those with whom we share the earth - we'll be putting an end to our own lives.

Read the Washington Post 2004 story Endangered Species Act's Protections are Trimmed.

Consider the current federal government wildlife polices in The Dog House.

(See detroit dog's March 23 post about Yellowstone Biso

Update 4/12/2008:

Read the New York Times story In the West, a Fierce Battle Over Wolves. It explains the current situation between those that want to hunt and/or kill wolves and those that want wolves re-listed on the Endangered Species list. (10 wolves were killed the first week they were de-listed.) The de-listing of wolves will be contested by animal welfare/rights and environmental groups in a federal court on April 28.

Check the State of Wyoming Game and Fish web site for Wolf Information (links to Weekly Wolf Update and news releases, management plans, etc.)

Let's stop trophy hunting, and re-list the wolves for greater numbers and better genetic diversity.


  1. Great post. It is ridiculous that the population level be kept so low...these animals have barely had a chance to bounce back. The same is being done with the American Bison, to a lesser extent. Hopefully we'll get a more future conscious president in the next election.

  2. Can I suggest that you send this writing to a number of magazines and newspapers? I will post it to Digg and Reddit if you haven't already done so.
    Great post, V.


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