Wednesday, July 09, 2014

Congressman Calls For "Wolf Safety Zone" Around Yellowstone National Park

A congressman from Oregon is calling on Interior Secretary Sally Jewell work with Montana, Wyoming, and Idaho officials to develop a "wolf safety zone" around Yellowstone National Park, saying without one the health of the park's wolf populations will suffer. Rep. Pete DeFazio, D-Oregon, also took time Tuesday to take the director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to task for working to undermine wolf recovery efforts in the Lower 48, arguing that the agency has used shoddy science to defend the delisting of gray wolves. In his letter to Secretary Jewell, the Democrat blamed hunting of wolves just beyond Yellowstone's borders for a decline in the overall wolf population in the park, telling Secretary Jewell that "(F)or over three years, the population of gray wolves in Yellowstone has steadily decreased as a result of hunting-related deaths. According to wildlife biologists, Yellowstone's wolf population dropped 25 percent between 2011 and 2012. The National Park Service reports that as of March 1, 2013, 12 Yellowstone National Park wolves were legally harvested just outside the park borders."  In his letter, Rep. DeFazio asked Secretary Jewell to "undertake a concerted and coordinated effort to work with the states to establish a uniform wolf saety zone or buffer around Yellowstone National Park...more

What a dandy precedent that would set.  We could expect Wolf Safety Zones around many National Parks & Monuments in the West, including the two new ones in NM.

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