Traps, Poisons and Guns Put Wolves and Lynx at Risk

Conservation Groups Urge Interior Secretary to Ensure Protections

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE | October 9, 2006

For more information contact:

Rob Edward | 303.447.8655 | rob@sinapu.org
Nicole Rosmarino | 505-988-9126 x156 | nrosmarino@fguardians.org

Lynx chasing a mouseConservationists urged Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne today to take immediate steps to ensure that predator control activities in Colorado and Utah do not threaten wandering wolves and Canada lynx, both of which are species protected under the Endangered Species Act (Click here to download a PDF version of the letter). The letter from Sinapu, Forest Guardians, and the Western Wildlife Conservancy comes on the heels of a gray wolf found dead in a trap on private lands in Utah and periodic reports of wolves wandering into Colorado and Utah from the Yellowstone area.

“The death of any wolf in Utah is the death of wildness. That this wolf appears to have died from negligence makes its passing all the more tragic,” said author and wilderness champion Terry Tempest Williams from her home in Utah.

Underscoring that the letter to Secretary Kempthorne is an opening volley in a broad push to reclaim the American West for wolves, Nicole Rosmarino of Forest Guardians said, “More than thirty years after wolves were protected under the Endangered Species Act, the agency in charge of their recovery remains complicit in allowing wolves to be killed.”

The groups noted that the repatriation of wolves and lynx to former habitat in the West should be leading to these species expanding their range outside of the reintroduction areas. U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service restrictions of predator control activities are imperative for achieving those range expansions. Wolves and lynx are vulnerable to harm or killing through traps and poisons set for coyotes, bobcats, mountain lions, and other native carnivores.

“The government is putting wolves on the ground with one hand, while simultaneously littering the landscape with traps, poisons on behalf of the livestock industry,” said Rob Edward of Colorado-based Sinapu. “That’s certainly not stewardship, and it may in fact be illegal.”

The groups aim to push the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service to make western landscapes more hospitable to wild carnivores, species that are critical to the health of wilderness and resident wildlife.

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