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Western States Killing Wolves By the Hundreds

Western States Killing Wolves By the Hundreds

Ever since Congress stripped Endangered Species Act protections from our nation’s gray wolves, the Montana state government is encouraging people to kill them. People can kill up to 220 wolves in-state during hunting season.  Already 100 wolves have been killed this season, but since that’s shy of the total allowed, Montana actually extended the hunting season to make sure that they fill the “quota” — which amounts to offing 40 percent of Montana’s entire wolf population.

Their justification for advocating for the large-scale killing of wolves is that the wolf population is at a “healthy” number.  Apparently to some, driving the barely-recovered gray wolves back towards the brink of extinction is acceptable policy once again.

It’s not just Montana. Wolves have been gunned down by hunters and federal sharpshooters in Idaho, Wyoming, Oregon and, as of this week, New Mexico.

By the 1960s, gray wolves had been hunted for sport to near extinction in the United States.  The Endangered Species Act was their saving grace, providing them with protection from hunters under the law.  But today, our government doesn’t consider wolves an endangered species — it considers them vermin.

Last April, Congress stripped gray wolves of their protection under the Endangered Species Act, the law which had saved them.  This was the first time Congress mandated that a species’ protection be taken away and sets a dangerous precedent.

Under normal circumstances, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services and the judiciary designate which species are “endangered.” However, Congress overrode scientists’ and the courts’ decision to protect gray wolves, caving to lobbies by people who profit from hunting or farming livestock.

Gray wolves balance the ecosystem by naturally controlling the population of animals that consume vegetation.  Wolves also facilitate evolution in other species.  These creatures are needed by the natural community to maintain the delicate balance of life.  Without them, caribou, deer, bison and rabbits would clear the land of flora, and the ecosystem would be unable to maintain itself.

Who are we to decide exactly how many wolves should be able to live?  The gray wolf population isn’t even a fraction of its historic size back when they inhabited most regions of United States.  State governments needs to let go of this unnecessary and merciless desire to control the population of animals who are just trying to simply survive.

Related Stories:

Culling Wolves Will Not Save Caribou

New Mexico Lifts Trapping Ban

Loss of Top Predators is “Humankind’s Most Pervasive Influence on Nature”

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279 comments

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9:03PM PST on Nov 9, 2013

We stop this on-going slaughter of native wild animals by demanding and protesting that All public lands livestock grazing in western states end immediately. The western livestock industry has an 1800's mindset that sees all "predators" as competition for what they perceive as "their right" to graze livestock on wilderness areas, National Forests, BLM lands, and state lands. These lands are the last refuge for wildlife. They have no place else to go. Yet, the livestock industry gets to graze cattle and sheep, with government subsidies, destroying watersheds, riparian areas, polluting rivers & streams, denuding native plants--and demanding that the federal agency Wildlife Services poison, trap, burn out, shoot wolves, coyotes, mountain lions, bears, prairie dogs, beaver, river otter, foxes, & other animals. Soon, our public lands will be lifeless, except for cattle and sheep. Now is the time to stop this destructive industry--for the wildlife to survive. We taxpayers are paying for this slaughter!
Visit: www.foranimals.org

8:46AM PST on Feb 21, 2013

How do we actually STOP this wolf killing agenda!! Seems like no one is listening to the people on this!! By the way I hate S. Palin for many reasons, but her killing wolves from a helicopter was extremely sick!!

8:58AM PST on Dec 11, 2012

Thank you for sharing.

5:29AM PST on Nov 25, 2012

Obama re elected, woohoo! I haven't stopped celebrating. What a great day for conservation and conservationists. Teddy Roosevelt is probably cheering from the grave. And tomorrow the senate will pass it's version of the Sportsmen's Act, clearing the way for Obama to sign it. First piece of legislation out of the post election congress. All that money going for protecting species and habitat all paid for by those dastardly hunters. Money specially targeted (I can say target here right? I see a profile of a prairie dog and words like target just spill out of my mouth) where was I, oh ya, money targeted to African and Asian Elephant protection and tigers and migratory birds in the US. And Obama says he'll sign it.

Lots of wolf seasons going on all at the same time in so many states it's just impossible to know what to be outraged about, maybe nothing.

10:57PM PST on Nov 24, 2012

Ken Salazar (Interior Dept.) is no friend of wildlife. He is a rancher, and as a rancher he supports Public Lands Ranching. The Obama Admin. has a terrible environmental record.
Millions of wildlife are slaughtered every year in this country to appease the Livestock Industry--all paid for by federal subsidies (the taxpayer).
No wolves, prairiedogs, mountain lions, bears, coyotes or other wild animals will ever have peace or justice as long as the environmentally destructive Livestock Industry is allowed to graze cattle and sheep on National Forests, wilderness areas and BLM lands. Western states are running out of water. Native grasses are in serious decline, as are wildlife populations.
Thanks to the Livestock Industry. We must remove the Livestock Industry from all Public Lands, if we are to save remaining natural areas and native wildlife.

Please sign the Care 2 petition on this issue: just search "public lands ranching" on Care 2 to sign. Feel free to share this petition on your networks, facebook, etc.

A good website: www.foranimals.org

7:38AM PST on Nov 7, 2012

Where's god?

3:47PM PDT on Oct 7, 2012

McIrvine reportedly “believes radical environmental groups are conspiring to introduce wolves in order to force ranchers off public lands.”

AMAZING! First it's the wild horses (ON OUR PUBLIC LANDS) that are being removed by the thousands and recently it's been found that the BLM is selling them for $10 a head to a kill buyer who hauls them to Mexico for slaughter! Now it's the wolves that are being destroyed?! People need to know these welfare ranchers are paying $1.25 a head to run their cattle on PUBLIC LAND and screaming the horses (who have been out there for 100s of years) are destroying the grazing! Also, the BLM is leasing OUR PUBLIC LAND to corporations who then fence it off and have no trespassing signs on the gates which stops our access to the land that was deemed PUBLIC for all of us to enjoy. Wake up people and get involved before it's too late.

3:33AM PDT on Sep 11, 2012

I feel very much attuned to Gabriel C's comment, let's deal with what is wrong with our "society" of today and leave fragile packs of wolves and other animals alone. It appears that once again the ranchers and the hunters win through the weakness of Congress!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

12:48PM PDT on Sep 9, 2012

Hunting seasons in 5 states to open soon. Bow hunting already in some.

8:18AM PDT on Sep 9, 2012

Well said, Nina!

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Julie M. Rodriguez Julie M. Rodriguez is an arts, green living, and political writer based in San Mateo, CA. Her work... more
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