A plan has been announced by federal officials to remove wolves from the Endangered Species Act in Wyoming, which would move wolf management to the state and allow for a shoot-on-sight policy for wolves in roughly 90 percent of the state.
This week, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service released it’s Final Wyoming Gray Wolf Management Peer Review Summary Report of the state’s management plan that calls for Wyoming to keep a minimum of 10 breeding pairs and 100 wolves outside of Yellowstone National Park. Wolves will be considered trophy animals in the Northwest part of the state and predators that could be killed everywhere else …at any time, by anyone.
Wyoming was excluded from the states where protection has already been lifted because its previous plan wasn’t considered viable.
The report has left scientists split over whether or not the plan is consistent with recovery efforts.
According to a scientific review, “[T]he Plan, as written, does not do an adequate job of explaining how wolf populations will be maintained, and how recovery will be maintained. It is clear that more than one panelist believes that there is a need for explicit buffering, and better explanations of the adaptive processes that will be used in managing down the wolf populations.”
The FWS’ plan is also being opposed by conservation groups. According to WildEarth Gaurdians, the plan would reduce the current population, which is now at an estimated 343, by half, isolate packs, allow hunting in migration routes and threaten wolves that leave national parks. Unfortunately, they’ll miss the big sign that says “Now Leaving Yellowstone: You are Totally Screwed.”
The plan still has to be approved the Wyoming Legislature. If passed, it could be open season on wolves next fall.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is accepting public comments until January 13, please submit one at regulations.gov opposing the delisting of wolves in Wyoming and asking for a science-based plan that will allow wolves to fully recover and sign Defender’s of Wildlife’s petition.
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