Press Releases

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February 27, 2014
The number of endangered gray wolves living in Oregon shows a slight increase from the previous year, according to the official winter count released this week by the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW). This year’s count tallied 64 wolves, an increase of 16 individuals from the 2012 year-end population. The ODFW also reported four breeding pairs. Oregon’s wolf population is determined annually based on verified sightings of wolves, thus these numbers represent the minimum wolf population in Oregon.
February 24, 2014
Michigan Representative John Dingell announced today that he will retire after nearly six decades in the House of Representatives. His leadership was instrumental in the passage of some of our nation’s groundbreaking environmental laws, including the National Wildlife Refuge System Administration Act, the Endangered Species Act, the Clean Water Act and the National Environmental Policy Act. Representative Dingell set the high bar for wildlife conservation in this country and demonstrated to generations of Americans that our nation’s natural resources are too valuable to be left unprotected.
February 24, 2014
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (the Service) announced that it will seek public comments on the management of private oil and gas development activities within federal wildlife refuges in the country’s National Wildlife Refuge System. The Service plans to work with a variety of stakeholders to ensure that best conservation and management practices are utilized when reserved, private oil and gas interests are developed on refuge land. Below-surface mineral rights are privately owned on many refuge lands, and more than 200 refuges contain active oil and gas operations that currently lack comprehensive oversight. Moreover, the Fish and Wildlife Refuge System regulations for managing private oil and gas activities on national wildlife refuges are horribly outdated and inadequate for ensuring that private oil and gas activities on refuges avoid, minimize and mitigate adverse impacts to refuge resources.
February 18, 2014
Defenders of Wildlife, Friends of the Sea Otter, The Humane Society of the United States and the Humane Society Wildlife Land Trust, California Department of Fish and Wildlife, Monterey Bay Aquarium, U.C. Davis Karen C. Drayer Wildlife Health Center, and individual donor Dusty Nabor, are offering a $21,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person(s) responsible for fatally shooting three threatened southern sea otters found at Asilomar Beach, near Monterey, California in early September of 2013.
February 14, 2014
Yellowstone National Park has begun to round up and ship wild bison to slaughterhouses as they cross the park’s boundaries in search of lower snow depths outside the Park. On Wednesday, the first shipment of what will ultimately be many truckloads of bison left the Yellowstone National Park’s Stephens Creek facility for transport to a northwest Montana slaughterhouse. Another 26 were shipped to the slaughterhouse on Thursday. This capture and slaughter program, implemented by the National Park Service, is meant to keep the Yellowstone bison population below an arbitrary cap of 3,000.
Gray wolf, © Peter Thiemann
February 12, 2014
In an effort to inflate elk populations for commercial outfitters and hunters, the Idaho Department of Fish and Game (IDFG) hopes to kill 60 percent of the wolves in the Middle Fork area of central Idaho’s Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness, according to a predator management plan for the area released this week.
Gray Wolf © Michael S Quinton / National Geographic Stock
February 7, 2014
Panel members of the independent scientific peer review committee conducted by the National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis at the University of California, Santa Barbara today told the U.S Fish and Wildlife Service (the Service) that the science behind the proposal to strip federal protections for gray wolves across nearly all of the lower 48 states was not based on the best available.
Gray wolf, © Peter Thiemann
February 7, 2014
A bill to establish a wolf control board to kill most of the wolves in the state gained traction this week in Idaho’s state legislature.
Florida Panther,  © SuperStock
February 4, 2014
Rep. Doc Hastings (R-Wa.) today released a report and a set of proposals that would radically change the way the Endangered Species Act (ESA) works, severely curtailing the act’s ability to protect the nation’s most imperiled species.
President's Council, original wildlife photograph by Joel Sartore
February 3, 2014
Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife (WDFW) recently released a new wolf management protocol that will remove important safeguards for recovering wolf packs in the state. Today, Defenders of Wildlife sent Governor Inslee a letter requesting that he work with WDFW to rescind this protocol until the WDFW’s stakeholder Wolf Advisory Group and the public have an opportunity to provide further input on this matter.

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