Idaho will slaughter 428 wolves this year unless you help

I want to make a plea for people of conscience to support a federal lawsuit by 12 prominent conservation groups to challenge the federal governments delisting of gray wolves from the Endangered Species Act. These groups need our financial support to succeed at this lawsuit and prevent the slaughter of hundreds of wolves this year alone.  See the end of this diary for links you can follow to make contributions that will help stop this slaughter.

Many of you may know already, but the Bush administration delisted the gray wolf from the endangered species status that had facilitated it's partial recovery from catastrophic population decline.

This decision leaves the fate of the wolves in the northern Rockies in the hands of myopic and irresponsible state agencies in Montana, Idaho, and Wyoming.  These state agencies are all but owned by wealthy incredibly influential hunting and ranching lobbies who could not care less about the fate of wolves, except to see to it that they are persecuted right back into near extinction.  This year alone the Idaho Fish and Game agency has agreed to allow 428 wolves to be killed, most by hunting.

The Bush administration's delisting took effect on March 28th, 2008.  Earth justice reports the following effect this has already had

Hunters in Wyoming, Idaho, and Montana have already killed at least 39 gray wolves since March 28th, when the Bush administration removed the animal from the endangered species list. Our only chance to stop the slaughter of this majestic species is in court.

Now, the real effect of this crap is finally coming into perspective.  The Idaho Fish and Game agency has just set a hunting season policy, with the stated goal of cutting the population of wolves in Idaho in half, from an estimate of about 1000 to 518

From the Fort Mill Times

BOISE, Idaho -- A new wolf hunting season adopted by the Idaho Fish and Game Commission Thursday sets a goal of 518 predators - about half current numbers.

Or, more bluntly from the Idaho Mountain Express

As many as 428 wild gray wolves will be allowed to die in Idaho this year under a plan approved by the Idaho Fish and Game Commission in Jerome on Thursday

And finally from the Idaho State Fish and Game agency:

f&g commission adopts wolf hunting rules

The Idaho Fish and Game Commission Thursday, May 22, adopted the first regulated hunting season on gray wolves in the state's history

The commission, during its May meeting, set a wolf population goal of 518 wolves, and adopted hunting seasons, limits and rules for the 2008 hunting season.

The season would be open from September 15 in the backcountry and from October 1 in all remaining areas and run through December 31. The commission would review results in November to consider extending the season if limits are not being met.

A hunter can kill one wolf with a valid 2008 hunting license and wolf tag.

"I think we made history today," Fish and Game Director Cal Groen said. "We must manage this species; they are well beyond recovered."

The wolf hunt rules are based on the Idaho Wolf Population Management Plan, approved by commissioners in an early March meeting. The gray wolf in the Northern Rocky Mountains was removed from the endangered species list in late March. The plan calls for managing wolves at a population level of between 2005-2007 levels (518-732) wolves for the first five years following delisting.

So.  There it is. Left to their own devices these backwards assed cowboys are going to shoot and kill hundreds of wolves within months of them being taken off the endangered species list. And it will cost one of these sick fucks about $50 bucks for the thrill of shooting a wolf in the head.

There is only one thing that can be done.  There is a federal lawsuit by a number of conservation groups to challenge the delisting and hopefully take the fate of these amazing animals back out of the hands of folks who would rather have every last one of them dead. And they need our support and money to succeed.

Here is a press release Dated April 28th from Defenders of Wildlife, one of the groups that is participating in the lawsuit:

MISSOULA, MT-- Twelve conservation groups are fighting for the survival of wolves in the northern Rocky Mountains. The groups today filed a federal court lawsuit challenging the federal government's decision to remove the northern Rockies gray wolf population from the list of endangered species. Wolves should not have been delisted, the groups argue, because they remain threatened by biased, inadequate state management plans, as well as by the lack of connections between largely isolated state wolf populations.

The Fish and Wildlife Service's premature decision to strip the protections of the Endangered Species Act from the northern Rocky Mountains' wolves promises to undo the hard-earned progress toward wolf recovery of recent years. State laws that guide wolf management in the wake of delisting betray the states' continued hostility toward the presence of wolves in the region. While ensuring that wolves can and will be killed in defense of property or recreation, Wyoming, Idaho, and Montana have refused to make enforceable commitments to maintaining viable wolf populations within their borders. The states have failed to keep track of recent wolf killings and also neglected to secure funding for essential monitoring and conservation efforts.

Actions by the states of Idaho, Wyoming and Montana, and by individuals, since wolves were delisted demonstrate the need to resume federal safeguards for wolves until state plans are in place that ensure a sustainable wolf population in the region. For example, on the very day delisting took effect -- March 28, 2008 -- Idaho Governor Butch Otter signed into law a new Idaho law allowing Idaho citizens to kill wolves without a permit whenever wolves are annoying, disturbing, or "worrying" livestock or domestic animals. Since delisting, Wyoming has implemented its "kill on sight" predator law in nearly 90 percent of the state. Not surprisingly, these hostile state laws have resulted in a wave of new wolf killings.

and from the same press release:

Earthjustice filed the lawsuit on behalf of Defenders of Wildlife, Natural Resources Defense Council, Sierra Club, Center for Biological Diversity, The Humane Society of the United States, Jackson Hole Conservation Alliance, Friends of the Clearwater, Alliance for the Wild Rockies, Oregon Wild, Cascadia Wildlands Project, Western Watersheds Project, and Wildlands Project.

Note the links listed below will take you to many of the groups fund raising pages. There is only one thing that each of us can do right now to effectively stop this senseless killing of these beautiful, majestic, and dangerously threatened animals; Give money to the organizations trying to protect them.  Their fate rests entirely in this federal lawsuit.  Without our help and donations, these states are going to kill these animals with abandon.

Please donate to those leading the lawsuit:


On behalf of:

Defenders of Wildlife
Natural Resources Defense Council

Tags: bush administration, Defenders of Wildlife, Earthjustice, Endangered Species Act, environmentalism, Idaho, killing, Montana, Natural Resources Defense Council, wolf, wolves, Wyoming (all tags)



Re: Idaho will slaughter 428 wolves this year unle

That's awful.. and that's why I donate to the sierra club

by CaptainMorgan 2008-05-22 11:46PM | 0 recs
Re: Idaho will slaughter 428 wolves this year unle


I'm vegetarian for ethical reasons.  I'll definitely support the cause.  Thanks for posting.

by The Distillery 2008-05-22 11:57PM | 0 recs
Re: Idaho will slaughter 428 wolves this year unle

That's awesome.  I'm vegan for ethical reasons myself. Though I won't be eating much of anything this week after writing a check to Earthjustice tonight. I'm broke but the hunting season is fast approaching and something has to be done to stop it.

by mattjfogarty 2008-05-23 12:07AM | 0 recs
Re: Idaho will slaughter 428 wolves this year unle

I firmly believe in environmental preservation, but as a local from this region all I can say is that you are off base on this issue. Your insults towards the people of the region are also pathetic, but what does this backwards-assed cowboy know?

When wolves were reintroduced, it was a given that if their populations swelled they would be held to a certain number by hunting. That is the reality of population control of species in this area, they do it for deer, moose, and elk as well. The reason you don't have wolves and bears in your backyard is because our ancestors killed them all, the only difference between Idaho, Montana and wherever you live is that wolves were reintroduced here, so don't get on some outrageous high horse when they try to hold the populations of a dangerous predator to a low level. God.

by Hammy 2008-05-23 12:43AM | 0 recs
Re: Idaho will slaughter 428 wolves this year unle

I love wolves, even raised two in captivity ( a very difficult thing to do) and released them in....drumroll...Montana when they were ready.

And THAT was a chore in itself, it took me almost three weeks to finally leave them.

Why did I do it?  Because I love wolves and felt it was the right thing to do, though a federal crime.

That said, culling dangerous predators (which wolves most assuredly are) is sometimes a necessity.

I'm torn on this issue, but understand the folks in Idaho.

by switching sides 2008-05-23 12:56AM | 0 recs
Re: Idaho will slaughter 428 wolves this year unle

p.s.  My episode with the wolves was in 1987.

by switching sides 2008-05-23 12:56AM | 0 recs
Now you tell me that

their names were Hillary and Barrack, and I'll recommend the diary.

These issues are difficult but both these organizations are such that I follow their leads.

by Xanthe 2008-05-23 05:46AM | 0 recs
I donated though

I agree with your comments in this respect: The diarist needn't have used those terms.

"dangerous predator" - or part of the whole ecosystem?

Earthjustice and Defenders ae well known organizations.  I am a member of both.  Yes, I live in an urban area.  But I respect these organizations - and the bush administration should not be trusted here.

does anyone know what happened to the program wherein the rancher who lost cattle due to wolves was paid a certain sum?  Is that still in existence?

Thanks for the diary - why don't you write an update re the comment - or not  -- your choice.  

by Xanthe 2008-05-23 05:37AM | 0 recs
Re: Idaho will slaughter 428 wolves this year unle
..and the "sport" of hunting a wolf is what?
arm the hunters with cameras..or at most limit them to bows...
by nogo postal 2008-05-23 03:40AM | 0 recs
How can people be so cruel and stupid ?
True story - - a fellow I used to work with is an arch conservative "christian" republican.  Pre 2004 election, we're talking politics, and I ask, "putting all issues aside, don't you want there to be any manatees or polar bears for your future children and  grandchildren to see?"  And he replied, "I'm not having any grandchildren, because we're in the end times, so it doesn't matter if any species go extinct.  They're doomed anyway."
That's the logic we're working against.
by kosnomore 2008-05-23 04:08AM | 0 recs
Contrarian here

This country and all of civilization has destroyed the environment and some species as a matter of making life better for certain individuals and supporting and growing our economy.  

Those who have everything in their own little oases and who apparently have nothing else to do, as all of their personal needs are satisfied, now want to protect species that have absolutely no impact on their lives as a matter of protecting that which is a dynamic environment anyway.  

Where I live, people are belly aching about killing the deer.  I really don't care about the deer, except when a hunter friend drops off some venison;  then I LOVE them, especially the way they taste.

Unless the lack of wolves is somehow drastically destroying the ecosystem to the potential detriment of people, I say let them kill them and let the people live in safety and/or with economic security (f the wolves are jeopardizing their livestock).  I'm sure the population rebounds quickly.

by MikeyB 2008-05-23 05:54AM | 0 recs
Well, I don't know

about having all of my needs met - and I have lots to do (which is why I am blogging - I'm putting it off) - but the wolf evolved for a reason in its ecosystem and if they are killed off, there may be unintended consequences.

Plus I don't see the world as you do.  We have an obligation to the earth and its inhabitants, humans and animals and plants - there are ways to grow the economy besides killing off other species.  That this country has taken little interest in pursuing themes other than economic growth at any cost - full speed ahead - is disastrous.

I am a vegetarian and it has served my health well (to this point) -  also a consideration here.

but sure - let's have more humans trample and destroy as much as we can for economic security - as though there were such a thing - thank God I will be gone by that time.    


by Xanthe 2008-05-23 06:16AM | 0 recs
Re: Well, I don't know

What does being a vegetarian have to do with shooting wolves? As far as I know folks don't eat wolves.

I've seen this multiple times in the thread. Why?

It generally amazes me when too different issues are somehow tied and co-opted but don't really support each other.

by v2r1 2008-05-23 08:20AM | 0 recs
Many vegetarians do it for

compassion as well as or outside of health.  As such, there is a mindset about animals and our care of the earth and its inhabitants.

Now you may not agree but it's not as though it's a what the hell are you talking about point.

But okay - be amazed.  

by Xanthe 2008-05-23 12:19PM | 0 recs
Ah the elite vegetarians ..

Wow so by being a vegetarian you have a first digs on "compassion and the care of its earth and its inhabitants"

As a lifelong vegetarian (not a convert) and having lived half my life in the largest vegetarian country in the world I think your mindset of vegetarians being "more concerned about animals and its inhabitants" is both narrow and shallow.

I guess it just annoys me when issues are conflated.

But okay - be righteous.

by v2r1 2008-05-23 01:01PM | 0 recs
Excuse me -

Wow - "first digs" - where did you read that -  


by Xanthe 2008-05-24 04:31AM | 0 recs
Re: Excuse me -

Wow tangential irrelevancy - were did you learn to debate ?


by v2r1 2008-05-24 11:10AM | 0 recs
Re: Arrogant and Uninformed

This is an emotional and unscientific response to an issue of ethical wildlife management.  One of the evolutionary principles it ignores is the concept of excess fecundity.  How do you address the problem when the population outstrips its carrying capacity?    In a neolithic world, wolf population would continue to expand until it reached the limits of its physical range - then there would be die offs.  In the current version of the world, you have human and domestic animal populations.  Once wolf population exceeds its carrying capacity in the high country, additional wolves are forced into human habitats.

The diary also ignores the history of wolf reintroduction.  One precondition for reintroduction was the recognition that once carrying capacity was reached, then control methods would be implemented.  If you know anything at all about wolf biology, you would know about packs, territory, and the driving off of young - thus the need for new ranges. At some point, the availability of new ranges ceases.  Although I disagree with the size of the hunt, I acknowledge that some control is necessary - if not now, then very soon since populations are rising dramatically.

And then there is the tone.  For someone who has, I suspect, never calved in a snowstorm, never put out hay, never worked with the local extension service to maintain wildlife habitat and forage for elk, deer, and antelope - for someone who has no direct experience in the dailiness of wildlife to make such hateful generalizations about people who work with wildlife on a daily basis is beneath contempt.

by johnnygunn 2008-05-23 06:32AM | 0 recs
Re: Arrogant and Uninformed

I haven't calved in a snowstorm or put out the hay so I'm approaching this from a position of ignorance.

When you have a limited area and human, cattle and wild animals cohabit, some wildlife management is essential. However I think the  issue here is that many folks don't trust USFWS. They also don't trust the government to ensure that wolves are not culled indiscriminately. When economics and wildlife intersect, economics always wins.

Not being from Idaho or Montana(wolves don't have any impact on my everyday life) I don't think it's my place to come down strongly on one side or the other. I hope a well balanced decision is made.

by v2r1 2008-05-23 08:38AM | 0 recs


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