Saturday, March 11, 2017

Wolf Weekly Wrap Up

A federal appeals court has stripped Wyoming wolves of Endangered Species Act (ESA) protection.

That means after two years of federal protections, the days of indiscriminate killing in most of Wyoming are back.

I promise you this: We will NEVER give up the fight to protect and restore gray wolves. But I can’t lie – this is a shocking setback.

Here’s what happened:
You may recall that after the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service stripped Wyoming wolves of ESA protection in 2012, Wyoming turned about 85 percent of the state into a free fire zone. In this so-called 'predator zone' anyone could kill a wolf at any time and for any reason.

With your support we went to federal court later that year to try and overturn the delisting. And, in 2014, a federal court held in our favor. Wyoming wolves were once again protected under the ESA.

Last week’s appeals court decision reversed the lower court’s decision. So the delisting is back in force. And Wyoming wolves are again running for their lives.

In all my years as a wildlife biologist and as a conservation leader, I have never seen a more cruel and hard-hearted political environment for wildlife protection. 

But you and I know that most Americans favor strong wildlife protection. And if the true voices of Americans can make themselves heard, this despicable era will be behind us.

Let your voice and your love for wildlife be heard with a special emergency gift to Defenders of Wildlife.

The House Just Voted to Allow the Killing of Wolves and Bears in Their Dens – Sign Petition to Block This...
Image credit: Vladimir Wrangel/Shutterstock
Hunting isn’t “fair.” Most commonly, it is brutality and murder disguised as “sport.” It is fear and suffering and death imposed upon innocent and peaceful animals that haven’t done a thing wrong except to breathe and exist.  It doesn’t take much to see just how unfair hunting tends to be, but somehow, that’s still not enough for our nation’s “sportsmen,” i.e., hunters. Somehow, they still feel this “game” is rigged against them, rigged against the men and women who, with their great arms of steel, lay in waiting to destroy a cherished life at a safe distance with little more than a flick of a finger. And now, these “sportsmen” and women have convinced our House of Representatives to make this so-called sport a whole lot less fair for the precious wildlife that resides in Alaska’s national preserves.

In February, the House of Representatives voted to overturn the “fair chase” rule which restricts the use of unfair hunting tactics. These include tactics such as baiting, traps and snares, and the use of airplanes for tracking and shooting bears, wolves, and coyotes on national preserves in Alaska. The law also forbids the killing of bear cubs and mother bears with cubs, as well as the taking of wolves and coyotes during denning season when pups are just being born and starting to getting established.

This move was largely backed, not surprisingly, by the Nation Rifle Association (NRA) and Safari Club International, a group that is widely criticized for advocating canned hunting and trophy hunting. If passed, the law would allow these hunters to wake hibernating bears and use smoke to force them from their dens to be shot on sight. It would also allow these “sportsmen” to chase down bears and wolves using helicopters and planes until those animals become so tired that they stall, and the hunters can simply land and kill at close range. And, it would legalize the murder of mere babies.

This bill is so close to becoming law, it’s scary. But we have one last chance to stop it because it hasn’t passed the Senate yet. But Senators, too, have the NRA whispering in their ears, so we must be very persistent and insistent and ensure they hear us loud and clear. Here’s what to do:

Ever since the initiation of the new Administration in the U.S., environmental and wildlife issues have been given less and less attention and concern. Attempts have been started since day 1 to dismantle protections guarding the safety and preservation of America's lands and animal species. 

The attacks on the United States' wildlife have just reached a whole new level.

I'd like to take this time to bring your attention to an alarming article regarding restrictions on hunting:

The House of Representatives has voted to overturn bans protecting  bear species from being hunted during hibernation, when they're most vulnerable and defenseless. The legislation would also allow innocent wolf families, including pups and their mothers, to be slaughtered in their dens.

Further, as stated within the article: 

"'What the House did today should shock the conscience of every animal lover in America,' Wayne Pacelle, president and CEO of The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), said on Thursday. 'If the Senate and President concur, we'll see wolf families killed in their dens, bears chased down by planes or suffering for hours in barbaric steel-jawed traps or snares.'

The overturning of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) ban would also allow hunters to lure animals with food and shoot them at point-blank range."

I understand hunting can't be banned altogether, and I'm not saying it necessarily should be, but the restrictions set in place are there for a reason, and there are definitely those who would love to have those restrictions lifted. Are hunters in general evil people? No. But that doesn't mean there aren't people who would gladly operate in ways discussed herein. The ban and restrictions need to stay in place to make sure individuals don't practice inhumane hunting tactics.

Please contact your senators and urge them to vote against overturning this ban, and stop hunters from slaughtering defenseless animal families.

This petition will be delivered to: Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, Senator Charles Schumer, U.S. Senate, President of the United States, Read the letter