Thursday, November 15, 2012

Wolves return to courthouse

Environmental groups once again are aiming to place Wyoming wolves under federal protection. The groups, Defenders of Wildlife, Sierra Club, Center for Biological Diversity and Natural Resources Defense Council, asked a federal judge to order the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to revoke its granting of wolf management to Wyoming and get the canines back on the Endangered Species list. The groups filing the suit oppose the predator zone where wolves can be shot on sight across most of Wyoming. “While it is true that most of the wolves in Wyoming currently reside in that northwestern corner of the state, the Wyoming plan ensures that wolves will never be allowed beyond that imposed boundary — a policy of absolute intolerance for a species that our country just spent the last several decades working to recover,” said Natural Resource Defense Council Wildlife Program Director Dr. Sylvia Fallon in her blog Tuesday. “Furthermore, by restricting wolves to the northwest corner and reducing the number of wolves surrounding Yellowstone, Wyoming’s plan compromises the ability of wolves to successfully travel (and exchange DNA) between the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem and the remaining wolf sub-populations in central Idaho and northwest Montana — a component that has been identified as critical to the survival of the entire Northern Rockies wolf population.” But Eric Keszler, public information officer for the Wyoming Game and Fish Department, said there is documentation of genetic exchange between Wyoming wolves and wolves in central Idaho and northwest Montana,. Wyoming is getting the samples necessary to track the genetic diversity of wolves, said Gov. Matt Mead. “Those suing the federal government appear to have decided to go forward regardless of what is happening on the ground,” Mead said...more

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