The willingness of Defenders of Wildlife to go straight to the source of these bad policies– the Obama Administration– is commendable. Wish she would have named more names: Department of Interior Secretary Cowboy Ken Salazar has been an abject disaster when it comes to critters in conflict with the livestock industry. Funny thing, that.
This great editorial from the New York Times says it better than we can.
Interior says not to worry. Most of Wyoming’s wolves are in the state’s northwest corner, it points out, and can be shot only during a defined hunting season. Further, the state has agreed not to reduce the statewide population below 150 wolves and 15 breeding pairs.
Really, 15 breeding pairs in a state that is 97, 280 square miles? That's pathetic. It's a token wolf population with such a low threshold that a few dedicated anti-wolf hunters or a stochastic event could simply wipe out. Wyoming has slightly more than half a million people. And we'd say, those folks need to grow up and learn to live with wolves.This is a more protective plan than Wyoming’s politicians, ranchers and hunters wanted a year ago. But whether it’s enough to guarantee a sustainable population is far from clear. Interior has promised to review its deals with Montana and Idaho after five years. It must demand the same of Wyoming. The question there is whether, after five years, there will be any wolves left to review.
This plan is a disaster. Godspeed the lawsuits that shut it down.