Last week, the new director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, and Wyoming’s governor held a press conference to announce that they’d agreed in principle to a deal to remove federal protections for wolves in the state.
While the plan has yet to be formally approved, the tentative endorsement by Secretary Salazar is ominous news for Wyoming’s estimated 343 wolves. If approved, it would treat wolves as a nuisance species–allowing them to be shot on sight across most of the state. No license would be necessary and there would be no protections for pregnant or nursing wolves or their cubs.
|CC photo courtesy Brian Scott|
Inexplicably, the plan is by all accounts identical to those previously proposed by Wyoming which were–until now–found to be insufficient by the USFWS.
In apparent recognition of the likely tenuous legal foundation of the plan, Wyoming Governor Matt Mead is urging the U.S. Congress to do an end-run around the democratic process and prevent judicial review of this plan.
This is no way to create policy and it’s no way to manage wolves.
Please take action for Wyoming’s wolves today. Urge Secretary Salazar to uphold the spirit of the Endangered Species Act, the will of the courts and his own FWS by forcing Wyoming to come up with a responsible, science-based management plan.