Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Wolves no longer protected in northern Rockies

How many times will we have to be at this point? Before you go on to read this story, be prepared for an interesting phrase- seemingly passed off like everyone just knew it was happening- wolves were once killed en masse by "government sponsored poisoning."

Government sponsored poisoning? Has dishonor sunk to new lows? What we poison out there, we poison in here, because in this web of living force, "outside" and "inside" are not absolute distinctions. They are poisoning more than animals, more than wolves; they are poisoning our right to exist in this world.

It grieves me to think that president Obama has decided to go forward with this, upholding a policy instituted by former president Bush; being an independent, I don't get involved in democrat/republican politics that much, but I was happier to see Obama in office than McCain, personally. However, I didn't have any hopes one way or the other; Obama, like all presidents, will have to prove himself. His "start" appears to be good- he certainly has a lot on his plate, (perhaps too much to care about wolves) but like with so many things in life, the true spirit is in the details- the trees that we can miss when focusing on the forest.
And he, along with all government officials, has a sacred duty to care and to do better than this.

A good leader isn't just a leader on a macro level; they must love every grain of soil and every beast or bird that flies through their land. I am fully convinced personally that such a man or woman could not fail to be a good leader, because if they can care about something as "insignificant" (from most people's perspective) as wolf populations or Spotted Owls, they would have to have a care for people. It has to do with caring for the whole- not just the parts we single out for special treatment.

There is no such thing as "just" animals; there is only the immense sacred mystery that appears as both people and animals, and which demands from human beings a moral way of living that stems from the deepest places. And that moral way, for me, is demonstrated in how we treat every part of every thing.

Wolves no longer protected in northern Rockies
By MATTHEW BROWN, Associated Press Writer
Mon May 4, 8:46 am ET

BILLINGS, Mont. – Wolves in parts of the northern Rockies and the Great Lakes region come off the endangered species list on Monday, opening them to public hunts in some states for the first time in decades.

Federal officials say the population of gray wolves in those areas has recovered and is large enough to survive on its own. The animals were listed as endangered in 1974, after they had been wiped out across the lower 48 states by hunting and government-sponsored poisoning.

"We've exceeded our recovery goals for nine consecutive years, and we fully expect those trends will continue," said Seth Willey, regional recovery coordinator for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in Denver.

With the delisting, state wildlife agencies will have full control over the animals. States such as Idaho and Montana plan to resume hunting the animals this fall, but no hunting has been proposed in the Great Lakes region.

Ranchers and livestock groups, particularly in the Rockies, have pushed to strip the endangered status in hopes that hunting will keep the population in check.

About 300 wolves in Wyoming will remain on the list because the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service rejected the state's plan for a "predator zone" where wolves could be shot on sight. Wyoming Gov. Dave Freudenthal and a coalition of livestock and hunting groups have announced a lawsuit against the federal government over the decision.

Freudenthal, a Democrat, claimed "political expediency" was behind the rejection of his state's wolf plan.

Wolves were taken off the endangered list in the northern Rockies — including Wyoming — for about five months last year. After environmentalists sued, a federal judge in Montana restored the protections and cited Wyoming's predator zone as a main reason. In the Great Lakes, the animal was off the list beginning in 2007 until a judge in Washington last September ordered them protected again.

Environmental and animal rights groups have also said they planned to sue over the delisting, claiming that there are still not enough wolves to guarantee their survival. The groups point to Idaho's plan to kill up to 100 wolves believed to have killed elk.

"We understand that hunting is part of wildlife policy in the West," said Anne Carlson with the Western Wolf Coalition. "(But) wolves should be managed like native wildlife and not as pests to be exterminated."

The delisting review began under the administration of President George W. Bush and the proposal was upheld by President Barack Obama's administration after an internal review. In a recent letter to several members of Congress, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar wrote that he was "confident that science justifies the delisting of the gray wolf."

Willey said his agency projected there would be between 973 and 1302 wolves in the northern Rockies under state management, a number well above the 300 wolves set as the original benchmark for the animal's recovery.

More than 1,300 wolves roam the mountains of Montana and Idaho and an estimated 4,000 live in Michigan, Wisconsin and Minnesota.

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May the wolf-father protect his people.

1 comment:

Alice Kytler said...

Are the elk to be protected from the wolf so that there are more elk for people to shoot at for sport? Is this the concept behind it? I don't fully understand. I can understand someone shooting at a wolf that is carrying off something one intends to eat one's self, part of one's livelihood. But when you're talking about mass poisonings of a small population that sounds like more of a genocide. Aren't wolves native animals over there? As you say, we are poisoning our right to exist in this world. We've extended our sense of 'what is needed for us' our livelihood, outward to a realm where it's not longer really 'what is needed' by us but what is CONVENIENT for us, which are two perilously different things. And it seems everything will be flattened in the path of our 'convenience'. I hope there is a lot of public out-cry about this over there, thank you for posting it.