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Posts Tagged ‘Endangered Species Act’

Hunting Wolves In Montana: Where’s the Data?

Posted by Matthew Koehler on September 6, 2011

A new paper (pdf) has been released by Jay S. Mallonee, an independent wolf biologist from Montana who runs Wolf & Wildlife Studies. Mallonee’s review paper was published on September 3, 2011, in Nature and Science, a peer reviewed scientific journal. Below is a snip from the abstract. With wolf-hunting season currently underway in Montana and Idaho, Mallonee’s research and findings are more important than ever.

Abstract: Management agencies have claimed that the recovery and public hunting of wolves is based in science. A review of their statistics demonstrated that data collection methods did not follow a scientific protocol which resulted in flawed and often blatantly incorrect data. Consequently, agencies do not know the total number of wolves in Montana, a major reference point used by wolf managers. Therefore, the quotas proposed for public wolf hunts are completely arbitrary, and management decisions in general have not been based on facts. This has produced a wolf management system that lacks scientific perspective and does not utilize what is known about the wolves’ role in sustaining healthy ecosystems. Instead, the data demonstrates that management decisions are often based on opinion and politics.

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U.S. House rejects “Extinction Rider”

Posted by Matthew Koehler on July 28, 2011

Yesterday, on a vote of 224-202 the U.S House of Representatives rejected the “extinction rider,” which would have prohibited species listings and habitat conservation under the Endangered Species Act (ESA).

Specifically, this bill would have defunded the US Fish & Wildlife Service’s ESA program, preventing the agency from listing species as threatened or endangered or designating critical habitat under the ESA. Defeating the “extinction rider” is great news for America’s most vulnerable species and their habitat.

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Sen Tester attaches wolf rider to Senate’s $1 trillion Continuing Resolution

Posted by Matthew Koehler on March 5, 2011

According to the Missoulian:

“U.S. Sen. Jon Tester, D-Mont., has inserted language into the Senate’s Continuing Resolution – the bill that funds the entire national budget – declaring the gray wolf a recovered species in Montana and Idaho

The $1.077 trillion, seven-month spending bill is expected to reach a full Senate vote on Tuesday, and then return to the House of Representatives.”

In response, Defenders of Wildlife released the following press release:

Senate includes wolf delisting bill in must-pass funding pack age:
Provision would strip ESA protections for wolves in Idaho and Montana

Washington, D.C. (March 4, 2011) – In the latest effort to strip federal endangered species protections from gray wolves in the Northern Rockies, a Continuing Budget Resolution to fund federal government operations for the remainder of the fiscal year was unveiled in the Senate today. The provision directs the Secretary of the Interior to reissue the 2009 delisting rule, which was struck down in 2010 by a federal district court, and would insulate the reissued rule from further judicial review. If enacted, wolf management authority would be returned to all states in the region other than Wyoming. Idaho and Montana have made clear that wolf numbers will be drastically reduced in those states, and Wyoming has thus far refused to produce a wolf management plan that passes muster under the Endangered Species Act.

The following is a statement by Rodger Schlickeisen, president of Defenders of Wildlife:

“What do wolves have to do with critical funding for our federal government? Absolutely nothing. Congress should be focused on keeping our nation’s essential services up and running, not going back on America’s commitment to restore wolves to Yellowstone and the Northern Rockies.

“This provision would hand over responsibility for wolves to the states when their approach of late has been anything but responsible. Idaho Gov. Butch Otter has repeatedly stated his intent to kill as many wolves as possible in Idaho, and Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer recently encouraged ranchers to take the law into their own hands and kill wolves on sight. We should not be rewarding these states for thumbing their noses at the conservation of wolves, wildlife that belongs to all Americans.

“This provision sets a dangerous precedent for legislating on Endangered Species Act protections that could leave countless other species vulnerable to attack. And, by blocking any further judicial review of wolf delisting, this provision sends the message that complying with the law doesn’t matter. If Congress adopts this measure, it will be a tragedy not just for wolves and other endangered species, but for the rule of law in America.

“Congress’s last-ditch attempt to force wolf delisting through on a budget bill only opens the door to other riders that eat away at the foundation of our nation’s environmental safeguards.”

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