Turning up the Heat Against Idaho’s Predator Derby: Last week we shared with you that we’re taking BLM to task for its approval of a wolf killing contest now slated to occur in January on wide expanses of public lands outside of Salmon, Idaho. Even after Defenders members submitted over 100,000 comments in opposition to the proposal, BLM approved the derby, failing to address the many potential adverse impacts from such an event, including impacts on local and regional wolf populations. If there’s any silver lining here, it is that this BLM’s approval is already getting significant news coverage. Having this news in the national spotlight will hopefully put more pressure on Department of the Interior to stop this before it occurs. And, you can be sure that we won’t stop working to put an end to this killing contest – in the courts, in the media, and on the ground with our members. Stay tuned!
Red Wolf Recovery Program Reviewed: This week, the Wildlife Management Institute (WMI), an independent nonprofit conservation organization, provided an evaluation of the U.S Fish and Wildlife Service’s recovery program for red wolves. At Defenders, we feel the review signals that a more robust and throughout evaluation is needed. In response to the plan, Defenders of Wildlife President Jamie Rappaport Clark said: “This Wildlife Management Institute report shows that red wolves still have a long road ahead of them, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service hasn’t finished the job. The report makes several points that echo Defenders of Wildlife’s stance on what red wolves needs to recover, including more room, better public support and an improved recovery plan based in sound science.”
Wolf Champion in Congress Takes On New Leadership Role: This week, Congressman Grijalva from Arizona was elected as Ranking Member of the House Natural Resources Committee, which is charged with preserving America’s public lands, nation’s parks, fisheries, wildlife, as well as oversight over Native American affairs and mineral land laws. Rep. Grijalva continues to be a champion for wolves and we’re thrilled to see him move into this important position in Congress. Earlier this year, Grijalva co-authored a letter — signed by 85 other bi-partisan Representatives — in which he urged Interior Secretary Sally Jewell to maintain Endangered Species Act (ESA) protection for gray wolves in the US. Our congratulations go out to Rep. Grijalva for this well-deserved honor!