Bush’s Parting Gift


Stop Wolf Slaughter in the Lower 48

There are only a few weeks left before Our President-elect becomes President of the United States. Many people are counting the days. For wolves those weeks are a matter of life and death. This administration is trying to rush through some last minute dsc_0336sbusiness that would lift the current protections for gray wolves in the lower 48 states. They were removed from the Endangered Species list for a short time earlier in the year. Before a judge quickly reinstated them, more than 100 of these beautiful animals were slaughtered. District Court Judge Donald Molloy of Montana called the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s decision to take the wolf off the list baseless and dangerous. There is no reason to remove wolves from the list. Ranchers are compensated when they lose any livestock to a wolf (which is rare), and “problem” wolves may be shot under the current law.
The introduction of Gray wolves to the ecosystem of Yellowstone has helped to improve the environment there. Wolves are a key predator species. When predators are removed, prey species weaken and are more susceptible to disease. When herbivores increase unchecked, they put tremendous pressure on resources such as water and plant life.
Some hunters complain that wolves decimate the deer population. The numbers refute this. A study by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources showed that wolves kill about 6,000 deer per year, while some 40,000 deer are hit by cars and nearly half a million more are shot by human hunters annually. Those deer killed by cars and hunters are often strong and healthy. Wolves usually cull old, sick and weak animals, which supports Nature’s grand plan of survival of the fittest.
If the wolves are de-listed, management of their populations will be turned over to the states themselves. Will ranchers and hunters seek to preserve viable predator/prey ratios or will they hunt the wolves back into extinction? Do we really want to find out?
The public will have until November 28, 2008, to submit their comments to the Federal eRulemaking Portal at http://www.regulations.gov or via U.S. mail or hand delivery to: Public Comments Processing, Attn: RIN 1018-Au53; Division of Policy and Directives Management; U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; 4401 N. Fairfax Drive, Suite 222; Arlington, VA 22203.

http://www.nrdcactionfund.org/

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