More death and suffering for wolves if Secretary Haaland continues to delay

It’s been almost two years since Interior Secretary Deb Haaland expressed her concerns about the gray wolves in Montana. In a heartfelt editorial in USA Today, she wrote, “I am alarmed by recent reports from Montana, where so far this season nearly 20 gray wolves that set foot outside of Yellowstone National Park have been killed.” Unfortunately, the circumstances have not changed. The agency she leads has been unwilling to take action, and the Secretary has issued no further statements.The situation in Idaho and Montana has only worsened while she waits. Our beloved gray wolves are in dire straits and need us more than ever.

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The situation in the Northern Rockies may soon get much worse. Endangered Species Coalition member organizations working in Idaho found that the state recently approved an outrageous plan to pay private contractors to kill unlimited numbers of wolves through some of the most alarming methods. Their plan calls for contracting private killers to slaughter wolves with traps, neck strangulation snares, and even gunning them down from helicopters.

The recovery of gray wolves in Yellowstone and the surrounding areas may be our country’s most significant conservation achievement. It took years of effort to get to where we are today. Secretary Haaland knows this. And yet, the Administration continues to sit on the sidelines while anti-wildlife state agencies and legislatures destroy all that we built.

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More than 60 wolves have already been killed in Montana’s hunting season, which will continue for months. Idaho has few limits and does not report numbers of wolf killings. Wolves from Yellowstone National Park are still killed when they leave the invisible boundaries of protected areas.

As Secretary Haaland noted in her Op-Ed, “The clock is ticking.” While her office delays, wolves are losing their fight to live. And they are suffering horribly.

Wolves caught in leghold traps can be left to endure freezing cold for days with steel jaws clamping down on their limb before being beaten to death by a trapper.

Indiscriminate, strangulation snares are designed to cruelly choke the wolf–or any other animal–unfortunate enough to come across them, cutting off their air supply and slowly killing them.

And now Idaho plans to gun wolves down from helicopters.

It’s too much, and waiting can no longer be an option for the Administration.

Interior Secretary Haaland can–and must–intervene. In cases like this, The Endangered Species Act clearly gives her the authority to step in. She refers to that power in her USA Today Op-Ed. Tribes, scientists, senators, Congress members, former USFWS directors, and millions of activists have spoken out. Wolves can’t afford to wait while Secretary Haaland and President Biden delay. Please make your Giving Tuesday gift today, and we’ll put it to work to save Northern Rockies wolves before the clock runs out.


Susan Holmes
Executive Director
Endangered Species Coalition

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