Wolves always seem to be in trouble because of humans.
Senators from Minnesota, Wisconsin and Wyoming have jointly introduced a bill that aims to strip gray wolves of their endangered status and take away their federal protections in the state. This would make it legal to shoot wolves on-sight and allow trophy hunting and trapping in the states. This bill, which is being called the “War On Wolves Act” was introduced alongside a companion bill in the House the week prior.
The House bill, if passed, would reissue the rulings in 2011 and 2012 that allowed all Northern Rocky Mountain wolves to be delisted as an endangered species, which led to nearly 600 wolves being killed during Montana and Idaho’s wolf hunts in just one year. Since the death tolls were so high, a group called Earthjustice worked tirelessly to restore protections for the wolves, which was achieved in all states by 2015. Now all of the wolves are at risk once again.
The bills are politically-driven and without a care for the wolves because their numbers are dwindling at a rapid rate with human intervention, which absolutely does not constitute their delisting. If the attitude towards wolves wasn’t so volatile, delisting them might not have such a huge impact on their population, but the fact of the matter is that hunters love to target wolves and farmers kill them to protect their livestock.
“A new congress has resurfaced an old vendetta against imperiled wolves. If this legislation is signed into law, wolves in Wyoming will be subjected to unregulated killing across the vast majority of the state, and even on the borders of Yellowstone National Park numerous legal loopholes will authorize widespread wolf killing.”
Earthjustice and a number of other organizations have been around for over half a century attempting to protect wolves while humans continuously attack them, both legally and physically. The history of the Northern Rocky gray wolves has been tumultuous to say the least, and the American populations have been injected with Canadian wolves to boost their numbers after bounty hunters nearly made them extinct. As Mulhall said,
“Americans widely hailed the return of wolves to the Northern Rockies two decades ago as a triumph of the Endangered Species Act, but now this ‘War on Wolves Act’ would allow for the same unregulated killing that nearly wiped out the species in the first place.”
Two federal courts ruled the wolf management plans that each state presented as inadequate in maintaining the proper population for the wolves. Appeals for court rulings that restored federal protections to these wolves were underway when these bills were introduced, making it a terrible but suspiciously convenient time to attempt to remove protections. Mulhall explained,
“Politicians should not meddle in the science-based listing status of a particular species at any stage, but now is an especially bad time as these cases are still playing out in the courts. We urge those who support the protection of wolves to call their senators and representatives and tell them to vote down this lethal legislation.”
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