August 31, 2012
Wyoming Wolves Stripped of Protections
Unsound state management plan allows unregulated killing, seriously threatens wolf recovery
Under Wyoming’s plan the wolf population could be reduced to just 100 wolves and 10 breeding pairs outside of the national parks and the Wind River Indian Reservation. The plan, based on arbitrary timelines and invisible boundaries, allows wolves in nearly 90% of the state to be killed anytime, by any means, without a license.
“We are deeply dismayed to see Wyoming wolves removed from the important safeguards provided by the Endangered Species Act, only to be handed over to a state whose plan will clearly result in the dramatic loss of wolves. This is a dangerous departure from the sound, science-based management practices that have for decades successfully brought iconic animals back from the brink of extinction.
Wolf recovery in the Northern Rockies is one of the Endangered Species Act’s greatest success stories. The return of wolves to the Yellowstone region has increased the health of the natural world as well as the economy. Tourists hoping to get a glimpse of these wild creatures bring in $35 million to the region each year.
We’ve seen what happens under state management in Idaho and Montana, where nearly 600 wolves were killed in last year’s hunting season alone. Wyoming’s substandard plan will further jeopardize wolf recovery in the state and across the Northern Rockies.
Wyoming needs a balanced
management plan, based on science, to ensure the long-term survival of
wolves in the region. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has repeatedly
rejected virtually the same plan from Wyoming in the past because it
would seriously threaten the wolf population. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife
Service needs to reverse course to ensure that the howl of the wolf
remains a living symbol of our wild heritage.”
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