Northern Rockies wolfs in peril. Why? “There are no answers.”
The anti-wolf crowd in Wyoming has this irrational fear of wolves, and no amount of evidence can calm them. These are the folks who want to turn back the clock whereas no wolfs exist in the wild.
Last year, Congress gave anti-wolf interests the right to hunt and kill wolves in Montana and Idaho, and we’ve seen the grim results: Inhumane trapping and snaring…the brutal loss of more than 600 wolves…a constant push for more aggressive wolf-killing policies…and more.
The Associated Press reports that the federal government will abandon its protections for Wyoming wolves by August 31—if not sooner—leaving the wolf’s fate in the hands of the “Cowboy State.”
This has wolf supporters worried.
The state plans to immediately allow wolves to be killed at any time by most any means
in about 85 percent of the state, no license required … and they can kill as many wolves as they want. The other 15 percent of the state won’t be much friendlier. There, hunters will need a license to kill wolves, unless they plan to kill wolves on the pretense of protecting property. Again, such killing is unlimited.
These conditions are almost identical to those under which the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service refused to transfer wolf management to the state five years ago. Wolf supporters are asking, what has changed? There are no good answers.
Earthjustice attorney Jenny Harbine was quoted in the same AP story, saying handing authority over the wolves to the state of Wyoming will draw a legal challenge. That’s because the Endangered Species Act, which currently protects the wolves, only allows a “delisting” if the certain conditions are met, including a biologically recovered population of animals and the existence of adequate state protections to assure those animals don’t fall back down the population curve that endangered them in the first place. In Wyoming, these conditions won’t be met.
Under Wyoming law, wolves could once again spiral towards extinction. After shooting, poisoning or trapping wolves to eliminate them from 85 percent of the state, Wyoming law would allow the remaining wolves to be killed if they found “harassing” livestock or pets. Some in Wyoming have openly discussed staking pet dogs outside to lure wolves in so they can be killed.