Feds Gives the Wolves Another Six Weeks
Good news. Federal wildlife officials have given the public an extra six weeks to comment on its proposal to open wolf hunting across the US — which means we have more time to get more Americans to tell the US Fish and Wildlife Service to save the wolves, not send them to slaughter.
The FWS also announced three public hearings on the issue: Sept. 30 in Washington, Oct. 2 in Sacramento, and Oct. 4 in Albuquerque.
The bad news is that the feds seem intent on passing this proposal, despite the heavy opposition from wildlife biologists, environmental groups and the public in general. In its release on extending the public comment period until Oct. 28, the FWS wrote: "The proposed rule is based on the best science available and incorporates new information about the gray wolf’s current and historical distribution in the contiguous United States and Mexico."
The feds believe that, thanks to almost four decades of protection as an endangered species, there are more than enough gray wolves now, and hunters can return to killing them. Of course, hunters are the ones who had driven the gray wolf nearly into extinction, leading to Congress' decision in 1978 to add them to the Endangered Species List.
Wolves are already being hunted in numerous states, thanks to Congress' 2011 decision to remove the gray wolf from the Endangered Species List and subsequent FWS decisions to allow wolf hunting in the Northern Rockies and Great Lakes regions. Already, more than a thousand wolves have been killed, often maimed and left to suffer and die in steel traps only to be shot point blank.
Masked as tradition, recreation and protection of livestock, hunting wolves has now been revealed as a sadistic exploitation of this majestic animal. The threat to livestock has been grossly exaggerated by state officials who would rather kowtow to hunting lobbyists than protect a species that until last year was considered endangered.
We didn't spend the past four decades saving the wolves just so we can kill them again. Wolves are not a commodity to be managed by bean counters — they're beautiful, engaging creatures that live in large, multi-generational families (called packs), and they have every right to be here that we do.
Please submit your comments today, while there is still time to save the wolves.