Federal Judge Reinstates Gray Wolf as Endangered in Idaho
The governor of Idaho is up in arms over a federal judge’s decision to reinstate the gray wolf as an endangered species.
Governor Butch Otter is outraged by the decision because it interferes with a planned wolf hunt, and he claims that the wolves are responsible for killing livestock in Idaho.
The gray wolf was originally listed as an endangered species in 1974, but the controversy didn’t begin until the gray wolf was delisted as an endangered species in some states – including Idaho – but not others, last fall.
This discrepancy prompted a legal battle that resulted in a federal judge deciding last week that it was an error on the part of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services to list the gray wolf as endangered in Wyoming, but remove protections for them in Idaho and Montana.
Conservation groups say that it is scientifically unsound to list a species as endangered in some politically delineated areas, but not others.
Governor Otter, however, seems to have a personal vendetta against the gray wolf and has spoken out publicly against the judge’s decision, which has predictably been applauded by animal advocates and conservation groups.
The governor says that the wolves are hunting livestock and game animals. As an animal rights advocate, there’s a comedic irony that the governor is angry the wolves are killing game animals before he and other hunters can kill them. He’s angry the wolves are eating livestock before humans can get a chance to eat them.
Forgive me if I don’t feel sympathy for the lost profits of people who raise animals for food. And I’m sure you won’t be surprised if I’m not shedding a tear that the wolves are ruining hunting seasons for humans.
The case made by conservation groups makes sense. The delineation of state borders has no bearing on the territory of the gray wolf. Simply because there are ample amounts of wolves in one area, doesn’t mean the wolves should be fair game to be killed en masse just as they’re recovering from endangered status.
Let’s hope the gray wolf’s status as an endangered species survives the coming legal battle Governor Otter is planning to wage and that the vindictive hunters in Idaho don’t get a chance to kill their wolves this year, or any year hereafter.