Wolves back in the crosshairs after Salazar decision to remove federal protection in the Northern Rockies
WASHINGTON – Tomorrow, the rule removing wolves in the Northern Rockies from the list of endangered and threatened species is expected to be published in the Federal Register. It will take effect on May 4, after which wolves throughout Idaho, Montana, and parts of Utah, Oregon and Washington will no longer receive any protection under the Endangered Species Act.
The following is a statement by Rodger Schlickeisen, president for Defenders of Wildlife:
"We're on the eve of a tragic event in the history of the conservation of endangered species. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar's decision to adopt the Bush administration's plan to remove Endangered Species Act protection for wolves in the Northern Rockies is a loss for the wolves, a loss for their ecosystems and a loss for sound science serving as the backbone of the Endangered Species Act.
"Wolves will once again be in the crosshairs to be needlessly killed starting May 4. Under the inadequate federal delisting rule, as much as two-thirds of the current Northern Rockies wolf population can be killed. Defenders of Wildlife will not stand by and let this go unchallenged.
"We turn now to the federal courts to save these wolves and ensure the future of wolf restoration in the region. It is deeply disappointing that Secretary Salazar missed a major opportunity to work with conservationists, scientists, ranchers, hunters and other stakeholders to resolve the issues that must be resolved to ensure that wolf recovery continues and the requirements of the Endangered Species Act are met. Instead, he has forced us to return to the courts to again challenge the same flawed plan that was rejected by the courts just last summer."
The following is a statement by Suzanne Stone, Northern Rockies Representative for Defenders of Wildlife:
"We look forward to celebrating the transfer of wolves to state management but not until a federal delisting rule is developed that ensures the future of wolves in the region. This plan ignores current science on what wolves need to maintain a healthy population over the long term. It also ignores the hundreds of thousands of citizens who have asked for a better plan."
Defenders of Wildlife is dedicated to the protection of all native animals and plants in their natural communities. With more than 1 million members and activists, Defenders of Wildlife is a leading advocate for innovative solutions to safeguard our wildlife heritage for generations to come. For more information, visit www.defenders.org.
Contact(s):Suzanne Stone, (208)424-9385; (208)861-4655
Erin McCallum, (202)772-3217; (610)207-5209