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News Release 3/19/12


MARCH 19, 2012

End the Wolf Slaughter-Speak in Boise on March 21

MOSCOW, ID — Over five hundred northern Rocky Grey Wolves have been slaughtered since Idaho and Montana declared war on wolves last fall. The hunting season for wolves in Montana closed in mid-February with 166 wolves killed. But the trapping and hunting of wolves continues in Idaho, with 358 killed so far, and certain hunting zones open until late June. Such killing zones encourage the killing of cubs in their dens. The state of Idaho has also killed wolves via aerial gunning, and was close to passing a bill that would have permitted ranchers to use “live-bait” to lure in wolves and kill them.

Science demonstrates wolves are keystone predators, and play a crucial role in maintaining ecosystem health and resiliency. Since wolves returned to Yellowstone National Park over fifteen years ago, researchers have documented an increase in biodiversity, with riparian areas being restored, aspen stands regenerating, and habitat for birds, fish, and amphibians benefiting.

“The ranching industry of the West has no use for wolves or biodiversity. And a predator-free landscape is just what some outfitters in this state want,” said Ann Sydow, organizer for the Northern Idaho Wolf Alliance. “Influential outfitters want the state management agencies to do whatever it takes to artificially boost elk populations so their clients can kill them for trophies.”

Biologists note that killing apex predators does not induce elk recovery. Rather, large scale killing of predators usually has detrimental effects on the entire system. While wolves generally take the old, sick, and weak, trophy hunters can kill elk important for breeding.

The American people have invested hundreds of millions of tax dollars in species recovery since the US Fish & Wildlife Service reintroduced Grey Wolves in the Northern Rockies in 1995. Members of the public will speak at the Idaho Fish & Game Commissioner’s meeting in Boise on March 21st 600 South Walnut, at 7pm.

“I am an American taxpayer and Idaho resident who is fed up with this deliberate extermination of an icon of wilderness–and an animal sacred to many indigenous peoples,” said Dr. Catherine Feher-Elston, an environmental historian, author, and wildlife rehabilitator. “The states of Montana and Idaho are destroying America’s investment and subverting the will of the people.”

A lawsuit challenging the Congressional budget-rider that delisted wolves from federal endangered species protection last year has yet to regain federal protections for the iconic species.

“The federal government needs to step in and relist the Grey Wolf. It is abundantly clear that states like Idaho cannot manage wolves responsibly, “said Brett Haverstick, Education & Outreach Director for Friends of the Clearwater, a plaintiff on the lawsuit. “Killing half the wolf population is not managing.”