Government plan fails to meet intent of species protection law
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE • 27 February 2007
For more information contact: Rob Edward | 303.918.8073 (cell)
Cheyenne, WY – At a hearing today in Cheyenne regarding the federal proposal to strip wolves in the Northern Rockies of their legal protections, citizens and conservationists underscored their opposition to the plan. In particular, Rob Edward, Director of Carnivore Restoration for Sinapu stated that the plan is illegal because wolves presently occupy less than five percent of their once vast range in the lower 48 states (and less than 15 percent of their historic range in the region covered by the plan). “The job is not done,” said Edward. “The government cannot cut-and-run from their stewardship of wolves.”
When measured against the definition of “recovery” outlined in the Endangered Species Act, the effort to recover wolves has a long way to go. The law requires that a listed species (e.g. wolves) must be restored to “all or a significant portion of its range” before being removed from the endangered species list. Moreover, the agency’s plan represents a glaring double standard for wolves, when compared to other wide-ranging species (e.g. bald eagles, brown pelicans, and peregrine falcons) which remained protected until they again occupied nearly all of their historic range.
“Wolves deserve the same chance as bald eagles to reclaim their place in America,” said Edward. According to Sinapu, the government is misapplying an obscure policy for endangered species management in order to strip wolves of their protections. The proposal will set the stage for a massive campaign by the livestock industry and some hunting outfitters to drastically reduce the number of wolves in Wyoming.
Wyoming lawmakers want the state to allow the unregulated killing of wolves everywhere outside of the national parks. Such attitudes underscore that wolves still warrant protection. “The lawsuit that will result from this plan could well be called The 21st Century versus Wyoming,” said Edward.