Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Guest post: Wolves in Trouble

This repost was kindly supplied to DL by Making Owls Cool (Since 1986) after we admired it on that blog. It sums up the issue quite nicely. Thanks, MOCS1986!

Macho B must be rolling in his grave...er...on his taxidermy mount. Who is Macho B you ask? Macho B was the last know jaguar in the United States. In 2009 scientists from AZFGD intentionally captured Macho B in a cruel leg snare. When it took the jaguar a while to adjust to its new radio collar, the AZ Fish and Genius Department mistook this readjustment for distress. AZFGD recaptured him, shipped him to Phoenix and euthanized him.

The event gained some media attention, but AZFGD just let some low-level workers get crucified for it and resumed making terrible, terrible ecological decisions. Now, AZFGD have like minded people in Washington, including that joke of an Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, who, for whatever reason, feels it necessary to try to undo decades of conservation efforts and remove gray wolves from the endangered species list. If you grew up in the 1980's and 1990's, you'll remember how there were no wolves in the lower 48 states when we were young and what an amazing success story their recovery has been. Until now.

The Endangered Species Act requires that decisions to de-list species be made in view of scientific evidence. Now congress wants to de-list gray wolves. Congress is full of idiots, not zoologists, ecologists or biologists, so their qualifications to make such a decision are, well, nonexistent. Only their elevated sense of self-importance could explain why they would meddle with wolf conservation...or their transparent desire to gain votes at all costs. Either way, they are not qualified to decide what happens to wolves. Furthermore, allowing congress to determine the fates of native species sets a dangerous precedent and it must be stopped. You can contact the White House, voice your concern, and talk shit on Salazar here.

This is the wording of the congressional legislation:
"Notwithstanding any other provision of law (including regulations), the inclusion of the gray wolf (Canis lupus) (including any gray wolf designated as "non-essential experimental") on any list of endangered species or threatened species under section 4(c) of the Endangered Species Act of 1973 ... shall have no force or effect."
See how it goes around the need for scientific evidence? It doesn't say they're off the list, just that the wolves' position on the list "shall have no force or effect." Evidence of both cowardice and duplicity.

Here in Arizona, the situation for wolves is particularly dire. Mexican wolves, a subspecies of the gray wolf, have only recently been reintroduced in the southwest. Fewer than 50 wolves remain in the wild. Yet, the worthless clowns making decisions over at AZGFD support the delisting of the gray wolf! You can read their convoluted, short, contradictory, shitsmear of an official statement here. It's not even well-written.

So what can we do? The immature, but oh-so-gratifying, thing to do is to go to the AZFGD Facebook page and voice your disgust over their support for delisting wolves. The mature, responsible thing to do is to write your legislators and tell them not to delist wolves or put the power to decide which species deserve protection in the hands of politicians. You can find your congressman or congresswoman here or your senator here.

Lobos of the Southwest (mexicanwolves.org) are the leading champions for the conservation of Mexican wolves and their website has a full toolbox of options to help concerned nature lovers defend our wild canine neighbors. If you sign up for their e-mail list, they really only send emails when urgent action is needed, not whenever the intern is bored like some other organizations. Or you could make a blog post to raise awareness of the imminent threat to wolves throughout the country. Just sayin'...

We here at DL would simply add that Endangered Species Coordinator Terry Johnson might want to get his head checked. Something ain't right with that man... like he didn't get enough attention as a child and now he's throwing a very public hissy fit about how important he and the AGFD are to wolf "recovery." Maybe the Arizona Cattlegrowers will give him a medal of honor and he can retire to revel in that glory.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You have to wonder why Johnson makes such a big deal about certain environmental groups he claims are uncooperative and litigious, when it's the livestock industry and its county governmental buddies who have sued three times to get the wolves removed, either all at once, or a few at a time--for eating cows.

In fact, some county governments and permittees over on the New Mexico side are in the middle of a lawsuit right now---to force the removal of some Middle Fork and San Mateo wolves for depredations which have pretty much ceased in 2010 --- removals which AZGFD strongly supported back in 2008 or2009, against the wishes of New Mexico Dept. of Game and Fish. I don't hear Johnson griping about how the livestock industry is holding up progress and costing the project a bunch of dough.