Quantcast

Wyoming Wolves in Peril with Potential Removal of Federal Protection

Defenders of Wildlife

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) published a proposed rule Oct. 4 that would remove federal protections for endangered gray wolves in Wyoming. USFWS is moving forward with the delisting even though the state wolf management plan has yet to be approved by the Wyoming legislature. As currently written, the plan treats wolves as predators, allowing the animals to be killed at any time by any means across nearly 90 percent of the state, including on the public’s national forests where wildlife management is a core purpose. Wolves in the rest of the state could still be killed with a hunting license, and this licensed hunting area will expand seasonally to allow for dispersing wolves. Inside Yellowstone National Park, wolves will remain fully protected.

The following is a statement from Jamie Rappaport Clark, president of Defenders of Wildlife:

“The Fish and Wildlife Service should not be removing protections for wolves in Wyoming under these circumstances. The proposed delisting rule effectively endorses a state management plan that permits unmanaged wolf killing across the vast majority of the state, and it only perpetuates the notion that wolves are unwanted predators.

“Our country has spent decades restoring these animals because they are vital to maintaining balanced ecosystems and a healthy environment. We can’t achieve full recovery by relegating wolves to one corner of the state. This plan does an extreme disservice to all the hard work that’s been done to bring wolves back from near extinction and could reverse the many benefits they bring to the landscape.

“What’s particularly disconcerting is that this plan will allow wolves to be needlessly killed in our national forests. Wolves are part of our national wildlife heritage and should not be shot on sight on public land that belongs to all Americans. We expect our nation’s wildlife agency to uphold our commitment to good stewardship of our lands and wildlife, not rubber-stamp an irresponsible wolf management plan for the sake of political expediency.”

Gray wolves across the northern Rockies were protected as an endangered species until this spring, when a rider attached to a must-pass budget bill stripped protections for wolves in Idaho and Montana. Wolves in Wyoming remained protected since the state did not have a federally approved state management plan in place. In recent months, the state of Wyoming and the U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI) have agreed on the terms of a state management plan. DOI announced the principles of that agreement in early August, and the Wyoming Game and Fish Commission approved a state management plan based on those principles on Sept. 14. The Wyoming legislature must still approve the plan before it is finalized.

For more information, click here.

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Natural Resources Defense Council

By Emily Deanne

Shower shoes? Check. Extra-long sheets? Yep. Energy efficiency checklist? No worries — we've got you covered there. If you're one of the nation's 12.1 million full-time undergraduate college students, you no doubt have a lot to keep in mind as you head off to school. If you're reading this, climate change is probably one of them, and with one-third of students choosing to live on campus, dorm life can have a big impact on the health of our planet. In fact, the annual energy use of one typical dormitory room can generate as much greenhouse gas pollution as the tailpipe emissions of a car driven more than 156,000 miles.

Read More Show Less
Kokia drynarioides, commonly known as Hawaiian tree cotton, is a critically endangered species of flowering plant that is endemic to the Big Island of Hawaii. David Eickhoff / Wikipedia

By Lorraine Chow

Kokia drynarioides is a small but significant flowering tree endemic to Hawaii's dry forests. Native Hawaiians used its large, scarlet flowers to make lei. Its sap was used as dye for ropes and nets. Its bark was used medicinally to treat thrush.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
Frederick Bass / Getty Images

States that invest heavily in renewable energy will generate billions of dollars in health benefits in the next decade instead of spending billions to take care of people getting sick from air pollution caused by burning fossil fuels, according to a new study from MIT and reported on by The Verge.

Read More Show Less
Aerial view of lava flows from the eruption of volcano Kilauea on Hawaii, May 2018. Frizi / iStock / Getty Images

Hawaii's Kilauea volcano could be gearing up for an eruption after a pond of water was discovered inside its summit crater for the first time in recorded history, according to the AP.

Read More Show Less
A couple works in their organic garden. kupicoo / E+ / Getty Images

By Kristin Ohlson

From where I stand inside the South Dakota cornfield I was visiting with entomologist and former USDA scientist Jonathan Lundgren, all the human-inflicted traumas to Earth seem far away. It isn't just that the corn is as high as an elephant's eye — are people singing that song again? — but that the field burgeons and buzzes and chirps with all sorts of other life, too.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
A competitor in action during the Drambuie World Ice Golf Championships in Uummannaq, Greenland on April 9, 2001. Michael Steele / Allsport / Getty Images

Greenland is open for business, but it's not for sale, Greenland's foreign minister Ane Lone Bagger told Reuters after hearing that President Donald Trump asked his advisers about the feasibility of buying the world's largest island.

Read More Show Less
AFP / Getty Images / S. Platt

Humanity faced its hottest month in at least 140 years in July, the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) said on Thursday. The finding confirms similar analysis provided by its EU counterparts.

Read More Show Less
Newly established oil palm plantation in Central Kalimantan, Indonesia. Rhett A. Butler / Mongabay

By Hans Nicholas Jong

Indonesia's president has made permanent a temporary moratorium on forest-clearing permits for plantations and logging.

It's a policy the government says has proven effective in curtailing deforestation, but whose apparent gains have been criticized by environmental activists as mere "propaganda."

Read More Show Less