The Obama administration on Friday will propose lifting most of the remaining federal protections for gray wolves across the Lower 48 states, a move that would end four decades of recovery efforts but has been criticized by some scientists as premature.
Under the administration’s plan, federal protections would remain only for a fledgling population of Mexican gray wolves in the desert Southwest. The proposal will be subject to a public comment period and a final decision made within a year.
Note this is in addition to previous efforts by Obama that allowed hunting of wolves for the first time in decades. Over 1,600 have been killed. See my wolf tag for additional background.
Famous wolf shot and killed for sport to “protect cows”.
Yellowstone National Park’s best-known wolf, beloved by many tourists and valued by scientists who tracked its movements, was shot and killed on Thursday outside the park’s boundaries, Wyoming wildlife officials reported.
The wolf, known as 832F to researchers, was the alpha female of the park’s highly visible Lamar Canyon pack and had become so well known that some wildlife watchers referred to her as a “rock star.” The animal had been a tourist favorite for most of the past six years.
The wolf was fitted with a $4,000 collar with GPS tracking technology, which is being returned, said Daniel Stahler, a project director for Yellowstone’s wolf program. Based on data from the wolf’s collar, researchers knew that her pack rarely ventured outside the park, and then only for brief periods, Dr. Stahler said.
This year’s hunting season in the northern Rockies has been especially controversial because of the high numbers of popular wolves and wolves fitted with research collars that have been killed just outside Yellowstone in Idaho, Montana and Wyoming. NYTimes
The Minnesota Court of Appeals is refusing to block the scheduled opening of Minnesota’s inaugural wolf hunting season on Nov. 3.
In an order Wednesday, Oct. 10, a three-judge panel said two groups that sued to stop the hunt failed to show that letting the season proceed would cause irreparable harm.
The Center for Biological Diversity and Howling for Wolves claimed in their lawsuit that the Department of Natural Resources failed to allow for adequate public comment before it adopted its regulations for the upcoming wolf season. The DNR countered that it received extensive public input.
just following-up my wolf hunt posts last month. via TwinCities
Anonymous asked: Hello! Do you think that environmental protection can successfully be driven by free-market forces? Can we find a successful solution (or a means of mitigation and/or adaptation) to climate change in a free-market?
Thanks for the note. There’s more than one way to manage the environment, and the majority are not free market approaches.
There are many different “environments” that require a mix of solutions. State and federal parks and conservation areas, for example. Research forests, coastal develop restrictions, historic preservation, agricultural techniques, even local zoning by-laws all serve to protect the environment in various ways. And then there’s are huge federal laws like the Endangered Species Act and enforcement agencies like the Environmental Protection Agency.
So, I take issue with the premise of your question. I suppose you’re getting at trading carbon credits, which I’ll have to defer on commenting on.
“American eels were once found in great abundance on the East Coast, often quite far inland, but dams have sealed off much of their routes and their population has plummeted. However, the good news is that some of those old dams are no longer needed and are being torn down.
In 2004 the 22-foot-high Embrey Dam on the Rappahannock River in Virginia was dismantled. Since then, American eel numbers have shot up in headwater streams nearly 100 miles away, according to research just published by the U.S. Geological Survey, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and National Park Service.
Researchers measured eels in Shenandoah National Park streams and found significant increases in numbers two years after the dam came down, with those gains accelerating since.
“Our study shows that the benefits of dam removal can extend far upstream,” Nathaniel Hitt, a USGS biologist and lead author of the study, said in a statement. “American eels have been in decline for decades and so we’re delighted to see them begin to return in abundance to their native streams.”
The study authors noted that the American eel is being considered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for listing as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act.”
The alpha female of the Fox Mountain Pack of Mexican gray wolves will be shot due to the seven-member pack preying on four head of cattle over several months. The owners of the cattle will be fully reimbursed, but the wolf family will lose their matriarch, according to a kill-order issued Wednesday by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to its sister agency, U.S.D.A. Wildlife Services. Last year, only 58 Mexican wolves and six breeding pairs survived in New Mexico and Arizona, their only home in the wild.” More: CBD
My readers know that I love wolves (and birds). Protection of their habitat has a special place in my heart and me wee brain. The Mexican Gray Wolf is protected by the Endangered Species Act. There are about 40 left, and they live here. They cross into Mexico, making it a trans-boundary species that, in my and some conservation lawyers’ opinions, ought to be subject to international law and protection. They’re not.
Despite the fact that grizzly bears’ favorite food is in decline in part due to climate change, the DOI is working with northern states to delist the bears. Of course, there is talk of better “management” (e.g., hunting)…
In 2011, Republicans voted 39 times to weaken protection of public lands and wildlife, including votes to halt reviews of public lands for possible wilderness designations and to remove protections for salmon, wolves, sea turtles, and other species.
The Center for Biological Diversity, a sexy environmental non-profit that helps save endangered species and habitats, has had a very successful year. In their annual report, the CBD lists some fantastic wins:
Signed the largest agreement in history to speed up protections for 757 animals and plants under the Endangered Species Act.
Obtained new, final critical habitat protection on more than 2 million acres in Alaska, California and beyond, as well as proposed protected habitat on another 9 million acres — from Hawaii to Mississippi.
Helped kill an “extinction rider” that would have done away with funding for new species listings and habitat protection.
Launched a campaign, 7 Billion and Counting, making a public connection between human overpopulation and species extinction; we gave away 100,000 free Endangered Species Condoms across the country and published a report on the 10 U.S. species most threatened by human population growth.
Instrumental in securing from the Obama administration a 20-year ban on new uranium mining across 1 million Grand Canyon acres.
After 10 years of fighting, we also won new protections for more than 40 threatened and endangered species on four national forests in Southern California.
Launched the Climate Law Institute, an innovative national campaign, Clean Air Cities, that’s had stellar success to date in rallying 27 cities across the United States to sign resolutions in support of clean air and a healthy climate.
In the high-profile fight against the destructive Keystone XL Pipeline, we led a lawsuit to halt illegal construction along a 100-mile corridor of Nebraska.
Filed to protect more than 200 species from hundreds of pesticides — the most comprehensive legal action ever brought under the Endangered Species Act.
Helped supporters take 1.3 million online actions to save wildlife and wild places; we launched our new Species Finder Android app, containing instantly accessible information on more than 1,000 imperiled plants and animals.
As our nation faces a $15.5 trillion debt that grows by over $4 billion every day, the two agencies appearing today are responsible for managing national fish and wildlife and marine resources and are requesting a combined total of over $200 million more than together they received last year — including for more Endangered Species Act (ESA) listings and regulations. Regrettably, the sizable portion of these agencies’ budgets that already goes to managing endangered species programs focuses less on prioritizing and recovering species than on paying costly attorneys’ fees, avoiding and defending procedural lawsuits, meeting court deadlines, and responding to court orders stemming from the agencies’ own poorly drafted rules and regulations.
Natural Resources Chairman Doc Hastings’ (R-WA), bloviating at a congressional hearing on gutting the Endangered Species Act.
In hopes of increasing wind energy production in New Mexico while protecting wildlife and habitat, a coalition of energy companies, conservation groups and government agencies have come up with recommendations.
The group this week launched a website to list the “best management practices” for designing and siting wind facilities while protecting bats, raptors and other birds. The coalition says its recommendations are based on science but aren’t binding on any of the energy companies operating in the state.
The New Mexico Wind and Wildlife Collaborative involves eight energy companies, seven conservation groups and several agencies such as the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Public Service Company of New Mexico, First Wind, Audubon New Mexico and Hawks Aloft are among the groups that met over the last two years to hammer out recommendations for wind farms.