Huffing and Puffing: The wolf’s strange journey on and off the endangered species list

A good blog on the delisting, relisting, and delisting of the wolf in the Northern  Rockies-

Huffing and Puffing. By Kevin Taylor. The Pacific Northwest Inlander.

Among other things, I like the discussion of the snail darter from back in the 1970s when Congress decided to build a real white elephant of a dam and doom this tiny fish.* Congress has interfered with the ESA before. People should remember that.

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* The snail darter inhabited only the area to be flooded by the Tellico Dam. If it was built, the darter was extinct (or so it was thought . . . more were found later elsewhere). This was the first time the cabinet level Endangered Species Committee or “God squad” was used. The God Squad, however, looked at the matter and decided the Tellico Dam was such a piece of rancid congressional pork that the country would be better off economically, not even to mention the snail darter, if the dam was never completed. This after the dam was 90% done!! Congress loved its pork though, and over-road the Committee and the ESA, and finished the damn dam, violating residents property rights in the process, in the opinion of many whose land was put permanently underwater.

Northern Rocky Mountain Wolf Delisting Rider Unconstitutional

This is a space where we’ll post the various documents that wolf advocates will be filing in federal district court of their challenge of the recent wolf delisting rider that was attached to the 2011 budget bill.

Different parties raced to file, with Alliance for the Wild Rockies, Friends of the Clearwater, and WildEarth Guardians in one camp, the Center for Biological Diversity in another having already filed.  Western Watersheds Project has opted to file its own separate case as well.

It is likely that the cases will be consolidated in the Montana District Court.

We’ll post the filings as they become available.

Alliance for the Wild Rockies, Friends of the Clearwater, WildEarth Guardians 

Complaint for Declaratory and Injunctive Relief

Center for Biological Diversity

Complaint for Declaratory and Injunctive Relief

Interior to Publish Northern Rocky Mountain Wolf Delisting Rule

Salazar announces wolves delisted in Rockies and hunting can begin – Idaho Statesman

Wolves will be delisted in the Northern Rockies except Wyoming on Thursday, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said.

The rule would reinstate the 2009 decision by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to delist the gray wolf in Idaho and Montana, eastern Washington, eastern Oregon and northern Utah.

Download NR Wolf Delisting Reissuance

Western Watersheds Project expects to file litigation in U.S. District court challenging the delisting rider.

What the congressional wolf delisting means in Oregon

Oregon wolves will remain protected on the state’s endangered species act-

What the federal delisting for wolves means for Oregon’s packs, ranchers. By Richard Cockle, The Oregonian.

A Hole in the Endangered Species Act. NYT editorial

NYT condemns Salazar and his acquiescence to delisting the wolf by legislative rider-

A Hole in the Endangered Species Act. New York Times.

Wuerthner: Wolf Restoration is a Challenge to West’s Old Guard

Anti-Wolfer’s Success In An End-Run Delisting of Wolves MUST Ultimately Backfire

George Wuerthner wrote this now apt essay over a year ago, published in New West last September, suggesting that should anti-wolf interests succeed in delisting wolves and fail to exercise restraint in killing wolves that it would ultimately backfire.

Wolf Restoration is a Challenge to West’s Old Guard – George Wuerthner – NewWest.net

Demographically the country is changing to a more diverse racial, religious and age structure.  The majority of Americans who do not hunt only accept hunting if they believe the hunter is killing an animal to eat it. Public support for hunting declines rapidly if hunters kill animals for trophy mounts. When it comes to shooting an animal just to kill it as would be the case for hunters shooting wolves—and/or worse as a matter of vindication as in predator control, public support turns to public opposition.

Similarly, without the ESA ‘hook’ extending legal protection for wolves, some of the last, best remaining legal angles to protect wolves will be in preventing conflict with livestock on public lands that is ultimately responsible for government trapping and slaughter of entire packs of wolves.

Increased public scrutiny over public lands ranching at the land-use level – demanding that ranchers implement preventative measures as a condition of permit to use public lands to graze cattle and sheep is one tangible avenue wolf-advocates might pursue to accomplish wolf protections.

One thing is for sure – if wolves are to persist on the landscape in the ecologically relevant numbers that advocates have been promoting for years, outrage over the wanton slaughter of wolves must be felt by those responsible.

Obama signs budget bill into law.

Wolves will be removed from the Endangered Species List in Idaho, Montana, and parts of Oregon, Washington, and Utah within 60 days.

Wolves to come off endangered list within 60 days
Associated Press