The term “Crap Shoot” Comes to Mind . . .
Over at one of my favorite on-line news sources, NewWest.net, Idaho’s Governor Butch “I Want to Be One of the First to Kill A Wolf” Otter has posted an article extolling the virtues of his state’s plan for wolves. Although you need to read between the lines a bit to see what Governor Otter wants for wolves, it’s worth a read. Click here to jump to the article.
One of the points that Governor Otter makes is that the federal recovery plan for wolves contains numeric goals for determining when wolves are recovered in the three-state region. Yet, these goals were not created as trigger points for de-listing outside of the context of the species’ status in other parts of its range. Specifically, these goals were (unfortunately) not tiered to any spatial aspect of where wolves should be roaming again–an oversight that puts the recovery plan crossways with the Endangered Species Act.
Wolves presently occupy less than five percent of their former range in the lower forty-eight states. The law says that we must restore wolves to “all or a significant portion” of the species’ historic range before saying that the job is done. Although nobody expects wolves to again roam most of the United States, many places (such as western Colorado and west-central Wyoming) have plenty of wild prey and wild land for wolves.
Five percent isn’t enough, Governor. The job’s not done.