In April 2011, the U.S. Congress slipped a wolf de-listing rider into the federal budget bill, yanking wolves from the Endangered Species List in the Northern Rockies—where it’s estimated that just over 1500 wolves remain.
U.S. Congress has never before ousted an animal or plant from Endangered Species Act protections — until now. In August, a federal district court ruled to NOT delist Western gray wolves. The case is still open on appeal. Yet Congress ignored separation of powers (between judicial and legislative branches) by taking matters into their own hands. A rider attached to the recently passed spending bill delists wolves, thereby deleting their federal safety net. This political maneuver is unconstitutional and leaves wolves in the crossfire of state-sponsored killing. Idaho already conducted a hunt by helicopter in which wolves are cornered and shot at point blank range. Last year, pups and mothers were gassed inside their dens.
Said Priscilla Feral, president of Friends of Animals: “Removing federal protection and subjecting wolves to more hunting is unconstitutional and unconscionable.
It is the position of the leadership and members of the Wolf Education and Research Center that an effective dialog between the science community and state officials responsible for legislative action has been hastened by decades long appeasement of special interest groups, including those supposedly protecting wildlife.
We invite the National Governors Association. along with Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar to consider the collective voice of outdoors and wilderness enthusiasts across the United States who are uniting to form an informational and educational campaign that reflects the iconic history and culture of predators in healthy ecosystems.
This is a critical moment in US history where we have the opportunity to get this issue right on behalf of all issues related to endangered species, whether listed or not. Governors across this country are in a unique position to both stop the reach of the Federal Government when it refuses to uphold sound science initiatives and influence better manifestation of its reach.
On behalf of WERC's 4,200 members, our reach and influence, and the ability to work in coalition with thousands of like-minded organizations, our leadership implores the National Governors Association to begin an open minded dialog about the conservation and protection of all predators today with local science based advocates.
It is our fiscal responsibility to do so. It is our moral obligation to our country’s future.
Chris Anderson, President & CEO
Wolf Education & Research Center
Portland, Oregon & Winchester, Idaho