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ACTION ALERT: Stop Idaho’s War on Wolves


September 7, 2009
Defenders of Wildlife

On August 24, the department began selling an estimated 70,000 permits to hunt and kill wolves in Idaho. That’s 70 guns for each wolf in Idaho! This could be the worst wolf massacre in the Lower 48 United States since the 1930s. Hundreds of defenseless wolves will be shot, with many surviving wolf pups left to starve to death. Unless we stop it.

http://www.defenders.org/newsroom/press_releases_folder/2009/09_01_2009_hunters_take_aim_at_idahos_wolves.php

Hunters Take Aim at Idaho's Wolves

WASHINGTON, DC. (September 1, 2009) — Today, Idaho’s previously endangered wolves are in the crosshairs of hunters taking part in the first-ever hunt of reintroduced gray wolves as a game species in the contiguous United States.

Defenders of Wildlife and 12 other conservation groups are still awaiting a decision by the US District Court in Montana on the group’s motion for a preliminary injunction. If granted, federal protection would be restored to the regional wolf population until the court reaches a final decision in the plaintiffs’ pending legal challenge to the delisting.

The 220 wolves slated to be killed in this year’s wolf hunt in Idaho are over and above the 150 or more wolves already killed or meeting death each year in the state by other means including lethal control, natural deaths and the 35 wolves allowed to be killed by the Nez Perce tribe. All these actions combined threaten the recovery of the still tenuous regional wolf population in the Northern Rockies.

The following is a statement by Rodger Schlickeisen, president of Defenders of Wildlife:

“The heavy-handed wolf hunt beginning today in Idaho, together with the hunt planned to begin September 15th in Montana, puts the recovery of the Northern Rockies population of wolves at risk and demonstrates precisely the kind of irresponsible state management that should have precluded taking the wolf off the endangered species list at this point in time.

“We hope that the court will stop this ill-timed and politically motivated hunt before it is too late for hundreds of Idaho’s wolves.”

The following is a statement by Suzanne Stone, Northern Rockies representative for Defenders of Wildlife:

“Today’s hunt undermines decades of tremendous support, time and investment from the American public, federal, tribal and state wildlife agencies, and threatens one of the most successful wildlife restorations in history.

“While we have consistently encouraged all of the states in the region and the federal government to adopt scientifically sound wildlife conservation and management policies that are in the best interests of wolves and people, Idaho’s plan does not adhere to that standard and places the recovery of the Northern Rockies gray wolf in serious jeopardy. This level of mismanagement and population reduction would never be accepted for elk or deer and should not be attempted for any native wildlife, including wolves.

“Idaho hosts the core of the region’s wolf population, with approximately 1,000 wolves. By wiping out 220 wolves, the state is taking the first step toward crippling the regional wolf population by isolating wolves into disconnected subgroups incapable of genetic or ecological sustainability. This puts the wolves at risk for genetic inbreeding and disease outbreaks – and reduces the important ecological niche that wolves fill on the land.

“Idaho’s wildlife agency has stated that its intent is to reduce the population to only 518 wolves, while the Idaho state legislature’s official policy is that all wolves be removed ‘by whatever means necessary.’

“No other endangered species has ever been delisted at such a low population level and then immediately hunted to even lower unsustainable levels. This clearly is not responsible wolf management.”



Idaho Aims for Unprecedented Wolf Slaughter

(August 19, 2009) — The Idaho Department of Fish and Game has made a tragic announcement: Starting Monday, August 24, the department began selling an estimated 70,000 permits to hunt and kill wolves in Idaho. That’s 70 guns for each wolf mother, father and pup in Idaho!

This year, state officials will issue an estimated 70,000 permits to hunt wolves in Idaho. In-state wolf-killing permits will cost just $11.75.

This could be the worst wolf massacre in the Lower 48 United States since the 1930s. Hundreds of defenseless wolves will be shot, with many surviving wolf pups left to starve to death. Unless we stop it.

We’ve won the fight for wolves in court before, and we can do it again. Last year,Defenders of Wildlife and our allies convinced a federal judge to stop wolf killing in Wyoming and secured a reprieve for wolves in the Northern Rockies. Now we need your help to win again for our wolves.

Idaho’s wolf hunting season is scheduled to begin in just 14 days. Please make a tax-deductible donation right now to help fund our legal fight and national mobilization campaign to save wolves in Idaho and Greater Yellowstone.

With the lives of so many wolves hanging in the balance, Defenders of Wildlife needs your support to prevent the worst wolf massacre in decades. I hope we can count on your support.

State officials in Idaho will begin selling some 70,000 permits to shoot and kill up to 220 of the 1,000 wolves living in Idaho — and that’s just this year!

Unless we stop them, hundreds of defenseless wolves will be killed. Orphaned wolf pups that are unable to hunt for themselves will be left to starve to death during the brutal winter months. Sadly, these wolf mothers, fathers and pups have no idea that they’re about to be targeted and no way to protect themselves.

Please help us stand up for these animals and STOP IDAHO’S DEADLY WOLF HUNT.

Thanks to generous Defenders supporters — people who care about animals like you do — our lawyers filed an emergency motion late yesterday to stop these deadly wolf hunts. It will be a difficult legal fight against rich groups like Safari Club International, and we need your support to win for wolves.

Please donate whatever you can today to support our efforts to save these wolves.

Idaho officials have announced they plan to allow hunters to target the 1,000 wolves in Idaho, shooting and killing up to 220 wolves during this hunting season alone.

More than 500 wolves could be killed over the next two years under the state’s wolf plan. But the true results of the state’s plans may be even worse, leading to mass death for Idaho’s wolves, including those leaving the safety of Yellowstone National Park:

• When wolf parents are shot during the fall, some pups will be too young to feed themselves and will likely starve to death — assuming those pups are not shot themselves.

• Idaho Fish & Game estimates that it will issue an estimated 70,000 permits to hunt and kill up to 220 wolves, even though there are only about 1,000 wolves in the entire state of Idaho!

• The state legislature has declared that it wants to remove all wolves from the state “by whatever means necessary” and Governor Butch Otter has declared he wants to be the first one to buy a ticket to shoot a wolf. He literally howled with delight when Interior Secretary Ken Salazar eliminated Endangered Species Act protections for wolves.

It’s unbelievable. We have to stop it.

We’ve won for wolves in court before because of the compassionate support of caring people like you, and we can do it again.

Last year, Defenders of Wildlife helped convince a federal judge to stop the wolf killing and restore life-saving federal protections for wolves in the Northern Rockies. Unbelievably, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar decided to adopt the discredited and illegal path charted by the Bush administration and strip wolves in the Northern Rockies of vital federal protections — a decision we're now challenging in federal court.

For the Wild Ones,
Rodger Schlickeisen, President, Defenders of Wildlife

Defenders of Wildlife is a national, nonprofit membership organization dedicated to the protection of all native wild animals and plants in their natural communities.

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