Defenders News Briefs: Summer 2009

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Wolf Woes Continue in the West 

President Bush is gone, but wolves in the West face a new foe in the Obama administration. Defenders filed a lawsuit on June 4 challenging Interior Secretary Ken Salazar's decision to strip federal protections for wolves in Idaho, Montana and eastern portions of Oregon and Washington and northern Utah. In agreeing with a Bush administration decision to delist these wolves, Salazar will allow the killing of more than two-thirds of the current wolf population in this region. "The plan allows Idaho and Montana to reduce wolf populations to levels that would threaten genetic diversity and undermine the goal of ensuring a healthy, sustainable wolf population in the region. Secretary Salazar's decision leaves us no choice but to stand up for wolves in court," says Defenders' President Rodger Schlickeisen. Learn more about northern Rockies wolves. 

 

Tossing a Lifeline to the Fisher 

It's elusive, agile and tough. But such traits haven't stopped the fisher from becoming imperiled in the northern Rockies, where logging is decimating the old-growth forests it needs to survive. Fur-trapping has also long been a problem for this member of the weasel family, which is why Defenders and others petitioned the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in February to protect the population under the Endangered Species Act. In 2004, the government agency found that the West Coast fisher population warranted protection but the listing was precluded by other priorities.

 

The Road Less Wanted

In a robbing-Peter-to-pay-Paul move, Congress recently approved an unnecessary road that will slice through designated wilderness in Izembek National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska. As part of the omnibus public lands bill, Congress will, in exchange, protect state lands near the refuge. But conservationists say that the land swap will irreparably scar pristine and crucial wetlands in the refuge, and would set a precedent for road-building in designated wilderness areas. Defenders is working to ensure the Interior Department denies the road. Learn more about Izembek National Wildlife Refuge.

 

Defenders Carnivores Conference Set for Fall 

What better place than the Rocky Mountains to learn about carnivore conservation in our changing world? The seventh biennial Defenders' Carnivore Conference brings together the world's leading wildlife scientists, wildlife professionals and conservation advocates and delivers the latest information, insights and solutions on climate change, habitat loss and other pressing issues. Join us in Denver November 15 to 18, 2009. 

More Articles from Summer 2009

The landscape masquerades as Costa Rica, but in reality this refuge lies in Texas' Lower Rio Grande Valley, just north of the border with Mexico. Here, since the 1940s, the national wildlife refuge system has sheltered a rare treasure trove of life.
Global warming and other perils are pushing some of these birds to the brink
Help is on the way for right whales in crowded East Coast shipping lanes
Global warming legislation faces an incredibly tough battle before it can be enacted by this Congress, and overcoming Big Oil and other entrenched corporate interests is...
Please Bear With Them; The Eyespots Have It; Meat Your Mate; Dolphin Days are Here Again
Researchers believe that of the nearly 6,000 known amphibian species in the world, a third are in danger of being wiped out by the disease.
"Under the Bush administration, the Fish and Wildlife Service was willing to basically write the jaguar off because there are so few jaguars left in this country,"...
Wolves in Alaska are under the gun like never before.
"We're very disappointed that Secretary Salazar decided not to cut through the red tape and restore protections for polar bears immediately," says Defenders' executive vice president Jamie Rappaport Clark.
Nearly as long as a bus and weighing almost 2.5 tons, no fish is more fearsome or famous than the great white shark.