House members tell Jewell to drop plan to delist gray wolves

2014-03-20T06:15:00Z 2014-10-19T08:08:36Z House members tell Jewell to drop plan to delist gray wolvesThe Associated Press The Associated Press
March 20, 2014 6:15 am  • 

BILLINGS – Federal lawmakers pressed Interior Secretary Sally Jewell on Wednesday to drop the administration’s plan to end federal protections for gray wolves across most of the Lower 48 states.

Seventy-four House members signed onto a Wednesday letter to Jewell that cited a peer-review panel’s recent conclusion the government relied on unsettled science to make its case that the wolves have sufficiently recovered.

Gray wolves were added to the endangered species list in 1975 after being widely exterminated in the last century. Protections already have been lifted for rebounding populations of the predators in the Northern Rockies and Great Lakes regions.

Hunting in those regions now kills hundreds of gray wolves annually, though state officials insist the species’ population remains healthy.

But lawmakers led by Oregon Rep. Peter DeFazio, the ranking Democrat on the House Natural Resources Committee, contend protections elsewhere should remain. That’s in part because gray wolves have not yet repopulated areas where researchers identified suitable habitat for the animals in California, Utah, Colorado and the Northeast.

The lawmakers wrote that taking the animals off the endangered species list and putting them under state management would “stifle gray wolf recovery” and undermine decades of restoration efforts.

Among those signing the letter were two House Republicans – Chris Smith of New Jersey and Mike Fitzpatrick of Pennsylvania.

A panel of independent scientists last month rejected the government’s claim that the Northeast and Midwest were home to a separate species, the eastern wolf. The government claim would make it unnecessary to restore gray wolves in those areas, but the peer-review panel said there was too little science to support such a view.

In their letter to Jewell, the lawmakers criticized Interior for resurrecting a dormant government journal to publish a study from its own employees that justified the findings about the eastern wolf.

A public comment period on Interior’s proposal ends March 27.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service spokesman Chris Tollefson said a decision on how to proceed will be made after federal officials review the comments and the peer-review panel’s report. The agency has said it expects to make a final decision by the end of the year.

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

(31) Comments

  1. Sam Lobo
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    Sam Lobo - March 23, 2014 7:04 pm
    "Funny that they seemed to manage 100 to 150 years ago" Years ago......your version of what happened "years ago" matches the narrative pimped by groups such as DOW and HSUS. BUT, out of touch with reality.

    There were an estimated 10 Million PLUS Native Americans living here when white man arrived. It is estimated that 9 in 10 perished well before white man started even started "taking their land" because Native Americans did not have immunity to certain diseases that were brought with "white man" ..... Here is what we know about those 10 million people.....

    Facts related to Native Americans “living in harmony” with wolves.

    * Early Shipping manifest for return trips to Europe show young wolf pelts from dug up dens along with hibernating bears as being common place.
    * Excavation of discard pits from early Native Americans shows ratios averaging 65 prey 35 predator bones.
    * Native American live with dogs as pets...Anyone with any knowledge of an outdoor people living with wolves in the way DoItRight would be absurd.
    * Letharia vulpina – wolf poison - goes back to AT LEAST 1759 & was believed to have been used by and originated with Natives to kill wolves and foxes (predators) by stuffing dead animals with this lichen…
    * Young Apache Native Americans would kill wolves, cougars or bears as a rite of passage to adulthood.
    Wikipedia will at least give you a reference (place to start) for some of these items if you would like to look them up as to their truth/fact worthiness. (Look up the references (footnotes) in Wikipedia – Wikipedia is not fact).

  2. Sam Lobo
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    Sam Lobo - March 23, 2014 6:57 pm
    Just who is making imbecilic comments???? The once 19000 elk herd (1995) on the Northern range of Yellowstone plummeted to 3921 with last years count. as was predicted by Dr Kay. Moose were counted for years 1200 (1995) until the winter of 2009/2010 at which time they counted 100.... THEN they no longer counted them siting it as "not a priority" It would not surprise if they made up some lame excuse for not counting them (elk) this year. BUT, isn't it funny that they have money to put a collar on half the disgusting wolves in Yellowstone ..... but , can't count the remnants of the moose on the Northern range?? Disgusting people pimp wolves.
  3. Sam Lobo
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    Sam Lobo - March 23, 2014 6:24 pm
    Excellent post RPT .... you are dead on.
  4. Snowcrest
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    Snowcrest - March 21, 2014 6:38 pm
    Thanks for your advice, but I've noticed as you get older and weaker, that instead of debating with facts which require knowledge of a subject and more homework, you frequently resort to a form of non substantive debate known as "Pigeon Chess".

    Pigeon Chess, in case you don't know, is where you knock over all the chess pieces, poop on the board, then strut around like you won the game.

    The wolves will be hunted and trapped, get over it.

  5. Bob cat
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    Bob cat - March 21, 2014 1:41 pm
    I did a little digging and Gadfly is a computer program ran by the U of M to judge emotional reactions of people based on comment which are written with conflicting information. This is the reason gadfly's comment's lack reply and creative thought is the lack of a human presents. Hope that helps.
  6. Andy B Hamond
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    Andy B Hamond - March 21, 2014 9:27 am
    You will notice Snowcrest, RPT and others on these pages, that as you become older and perhaps wiser, people that resort to name-calling have run out of arguments. The other side has won the intellectual debate and the name-calling is akin to a tantrum of frustration due to the loss. It only accelerates the decline in any moral or ideological high ground that may have been once held.
  7. Objective observer
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    Objective observer - March 21, 2014 1:31 am
    You're not doing your side any favors with such an imbecilic comment.
  8. Loggerman
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    Loggerman - March 20, 2014 6:40 pm
    Obviously you need to go for a hike and see what really goes on out in the world.
  9. Loggerman
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    Loggerman - March 20, 2014 6:31 pm
    You should really hire on with a working ranch and learn something before you start spewing your ignorance and haven't helped your cause whatever that might be.
  10. Objective observer
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    Objective observer - March 20, 2014 4:48 pm
    By removing ESA protections in three states. BTW, I agree with how MT FWP is managing the wolf population.
  11. Snowcrest
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    Snowcrest - March 20, 2014 3:17 pm
    DoitRight says " Funny that they seemed to manage 100 to 150 yrs ago with less technology then (than?) we have now"
    They also poisoned wolves 100 yrs ago, is that what you are proposing?

    The most ignorant pro-wolf rant that I've read in a very long time.
    Keep up the good work!
  12. Yz250
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    Yz250 - March 20, 2014 2:18 pm
    And the federal government has done better how?
  13. LCHelenajr
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    LCHelenajr - March 20, 2014 12:07 pm
    I wonder when the annual yellowstone elk count is going to happen? Or did they decide there were no elk left so why bother?
  14. Snowcrest
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    Snowcrest - March 20, 2014 12:06 pm
    I'll be glad when the eco-terrorists find some other species to "save" and fade away from the wolf stories. You aren't needed, nor are you relevant.
    They'll be delisted nationwide, without a doubt and they'll never be wiped out.
    There is far less back country for them to exist in than the actual numbers require so hunting and trapping is here to stay as well.
    Get over it already.
  15. LCHelenajr
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    LCHelenajr - March 20, 2014 12:04 pm
    Introducing canadian wolves into YNP really appears to be "wolf farming" to me. I guess you have no problems with how much money the environmental groups have made off of "wolf farming"?
  16. DoItRight
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    DoItRight - March 20, 2014 11:47 am
    Seems amazing that today's ranchers want to let their livestock out to graze over a hundred square miles of public land then come back in the Fall, round them up and expect them to be happy and fat.

    A couple generations ago, they actually stayed out with the herd and made sure everything was going okay. Now there must be too much on satellite TV to allow them to get off the couch.

    If I had tens of thousands (or millions) of dollars of property, I sure wouldn't just put it out on the range or in the forest and think that everything would be fine when I came back for it. That might be asking for trouble.

    By the sound of it by reading these pages, there is no work, everyone is on welfare or getting food stamps. So it shouldn't be any more money to hire a few cowboys to watch these herds. Couldn't cost any more than they are spending on lobbying, and certainly less that if they lost cows to theft, rustlers, domestic dogs, aliens, the cows wandering away, satanic rituals, coyotes or (gasp) wolves.

    Funny that they seemed to manage 100 to 150 years ago with less technology then we have now, but today the wolves are destroying every bit of everything in America. Are we more lazy now or just dumber?
  17. Dubs
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    Dubs - March 20, 2014 10:11 am
    O.K., at what point do you think there will be enough wolves? Is there any number you feel would be enough? For conversation sake, lets say 10,000 wolves, o.k.? How long do you think it would take for your 10,000 wolves to kill every elk, deer and moose plus cow, sheep and chicken in the state? Where is your number, or do you have one and is there a threshold that should be met before they should be controlled? As one of you animal rights friends was told by an old rancher when she said at a meeting where she was advocating castration as a means of population control, "we are not concerned that they are breeding, we are concerned that they are killing."
  18. Objective observer
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    Objective observer - March 20, 2014 9:36 am
    Somehow you seem to have forgot the original goal of 300 wolves with 10 reproducing pairs. Why is that? Why did the goal post get moved. Wolf advocates lost all credibility with these moves. And now that I think about it, weren't you the guy that said that predators have no control on prey populations? That statement alone removed any credibility that you may have had. One more thing, why won't you respond to comments made on your comments? Is it because you are afraid of having any type of dialogue on this issue. I think I just might have hit the nail on the head.
  19. RPT
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    RPT - March 20, 2014 9:16 am
    Robert R.... It’s not the job of these parasite,anti-hunting,anti-wildlife environmental terrorist groups to GIVE money for conservation..It’s their goal to TAKE money out of the system anyway possible... Especially to entice the most gullible among us to hit the ‘Donate Here’ option on their websites as often and as many times as possible.
    They have no skin in the game and are the cause of much of the filth, rot, waste and decay that we are seeing in our society today.

  20. RPT
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    RPT - March 20, 2014 9:13 am
    GRANTS PASS, Ore. (AP) — The latest livestock attack by Oregon's Snake River wolf pack puts it one bite away from a potential state kill order.
    Let’s not be doing ^5’s just yet on the Oregon wolf management plan... Seems this pack is just one bite away from being eliminated.
    Not a matter of ‘IF’.. Just a matter of ‘WHEN’.
    And the ranchers there are already starting to realize just what a mistake it was to trust these groups and sign on to something so foolish.

    ” Ranchers are still frustrated with the slow pace of the process, which can take a week or more to confirm a kill and determine whether it qualifies under the rules.”
    Their just starting to understand just how easy it is for these pro-wolf people to move the goal post in their favor.
    We dealt with it here in Montana and Idaho for a long frustrating fifteen years before we were able to get an act of Congress to put an end to their lies... FOREVER.

    I think our Montana ranchers are doing an amazing job of managing their herds and the wolves who attempt to prey on them... Even our own local pro-wolfer and anti-hunter activist Gadfly has admits repeatedly that the number of cattle killed by wolves STATE WIDE was ONLY 65 out of the 5.2 million cattle raised here in 2012 and even fewer cattle were killed by wolves in 2013 ... Which was only 0.002% of all the cattle raised in the entire state of Montana... My hats off to the cattlemen.. Can’t see how they can or should be expected to do any better then that....Job ‘Well Done’ gentlemen and ladies... Keep up the good work.

  21. Kahlotus
    Report Abuse
    Kahlotus - March 20, 2014 8:57 am
    It's been exposed that this has been a top secret gov plan all along to train wolves to be guards for the FEMA death camps.
  22. BJackson
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    BJackson - March 20, 2014 8:47 am
    As wolves have never been endangered, the listing and continued drama of wolves has been an abuse of the Endangered Species Act and as a result, there will be changes in the future to the Act. There is currently a push to re-write and basically gut the ESA and it is gaining momentum. To many truly endangered animals have been overlooked in favor of a few prolific species, which has allowed the NGO to prostitute the purpose of the ESA.

    We need to get back on track and use the ESA in the manner it was designed, wolves are recovered(of course, they were never endangered) it is time to move on to another truly endangered animal and try to recover them. The NGO's are eventually going to loose it all and what they fear the most will come to pass.
  23. Gadfly
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    Gadfly - March 20, 2014 8:07 am
    Asinine Wolf Killing Called Management
    Wolves never should have been de-listed from protection by political maneuverings and now politically managed in western states that are hostile toward them and by agencies that have traditionally been hostile to them in particular as well as other predators. Western and mid-western states are going very far against hunting ethics or anything that resembles fair chase to cull wolf populations down to marginal numbers. Now, in Montana and other states we are even having a trapping season, extended seasons, and even legislators proposing more drastic measures in the coming year. Basically, this majestic, apex animal is being treated as a varmint by sportsmen, ranchers, state and federal wildlife agencies. Hostile western states cannot responsibly manage the wolves or even other predators. Wolves are a very healthy factor in wilderness ecological systems. Man is not. We need man-management more with regard to man’s long traditions of blood sports and war on wildlife.
    Managing wolves by hunting and trapping is asinine, cruel, barbaric and unnecessary, and poor management strategy, and terrible public relations. It does not work well. It is bad public relations for Montana and other western states. It is vendetta, anti-wolf hysteria, pushed by self-serving hunters, trappers, ranchers, and wolf hating yokels, with a mindset of anti-wolf folklore over the centuries, supported by rancher politicians and rancher government officials and agencies. If Montana and other states have to hunt, why not stick with a fair chase season and then call it good no matter what the outcome. Spare us the perverse arguments of need for management by trapping, extended hunt seasons, bounties, more than one kill ticket, use of calling devices, need to hit a quota, or use of other barbaric measures of unneeded control. Hunting and trapping are barbaric “blood sports” and a war on wildlife, not a legitimate management tools. We do not do near enough about non-lethal means of control or management.
    Actually, hunting wolves is asinine. A hunt and trap season is indiscriminate in killing. Wolves causing no problems are killed. Alpha males and females are killed. Wolves are a very social family with special roles assigned. Families are disrupted. Juveniles are left to learn on their own. Pups are left to die or learn on their own when a female parent is killed. Wolves and packs that are leaving humans alone are killed. Animals are wounded and not killed. Many hunters and trappers take a sadistic pleasure in how they kill. Hunting and trapping tends to drive down the average age of wolf populations. Some younger wolves are not given the opportunity to learn from adults to stay away from human domains and how to hunt their natural prey. Wolf packs are fragmented and de-stabilized. Wolves do not need to be managed by hunting or trapping at all. They will fill up wilderness niches and limit their own populations relative to prey and territory as they have in Yellowstone Park. With respect to Yellowstone wolves, Montana and Wyoming are giving themselves a black eye with the rest of the nation with an anti-tourism, anti-science, anti-wolf hysteria.
    Trapping is cruel even if done legally, even if it is a tradition, even if seen as a management tool. Traps are cruel. It should be banned for the public, allowed as necessary for wildlife officials who use it vastly too much with a pervasive kill attitude of their own. Why should animals suffer for private economic gain on fur sales or to artificially farm (boost) elk herds (elk farming)? In the USA over 4 million animals are trapped each year for “sport” and millions more for “management” and millions more as collateral damage. Hunters worldwide kill over 100 million animals. USDA Wildlife Services sees killing animals, for control or management, as their mission. USDA Wildlife services kills over 3 million animals a year.

    The western states are locked into a mindset of quotas and marginalizing wolf populations by hunting and trapping and other lethal methods. Quotas for delisting were based on outdated figures for sustainable wolf populations. Wolves have not harmed game populations or significantly harmed stock populations (statistically zero, .0029%), contrary to repeated and repeated anecdotal opinion. Elk populations are up, from around 89,000 in 1989 to over 140,000 plus now. Hunters have great seasons on killing ungulates in Montana, 25,000 elk in 2010 and 90,000 deer (per FWP). Elk harvest is generally up, 100 to 127% per MT FWP. Wolves regulate their own populations as they have in Yellowstone where their numbers and bear numbers go down naturally. Problem wolves and problem packs should be “managed” but usually not always by lethal means and not by hunters and trappers. Wildlife agencies seem only to have a kill mentality wanting to control predators by hunting and trapping and other lethal means.
  24. Gadfly
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    Gadfly - March 20, 2014 7:53 am
    How much proof does USFWS need to prove that wolves should not be delisted? What we have is political management of a species, particularly in MT-WY-ID-WI. Wyoming has them classified as varmints in most of the state. Montana's new rules allow ranchers to shoot any wolf they see as "threatening", which means any wolf they see, and proposes to have year around trapping. Idaho is having wolf and coyote contests for cash and has hired a hunter to kill a couple of packs deep in a wilderness area arguing that it is in defense of elk herds. The Governor of and legislature of ID sets aside $400,000 to drive down the wolf population to marginal, delisting levels. Wisconsin is using dogs. MT-WY-ID-WI are obviously marginalizing this apex predator which is not good ecology for trophic cascade of effects; with hunters (sports killing) and ranchers and these state wildlife agencies having unhealthy effects on ecology. We are rapidly getting back to the 1800's in wolf massacring states. Wolf management--they do not generally need management, should be out of the states' hands. The states mentioned are way too hostile, and controlled by historic hostile elements. They are promoting two myths despite contrary evidence: Wolves do not kill too many elk and their impact on cattle is less than 0.002%. These states are run by rancher and hunter folklore, myths and lies and their ilk in the state wildlife agencies and legislatures, with so far the only exception being OR and somewhat WA. OR is the model wolf management state, allowing the killing of only chronic offenders, not general wolf killing, and requiring that nonlethal management be in place and tried. The throwback (1800’s) wolf massacre states are mismanaging wolves. If the states, particularly the ones mentioned, were forced to live with wolves for a number years and focus on nonlethal management, per the Oregon model, they might get use to the idea and wolves would have a chance, but not at the present time.


    MT Stock Loss Board

    MT FWP

    Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation

    The Wolf Almanac by Robert Busch

    The Hidden Life of Wolves by Jamie and Jim Dutcher

    Exposing the Big Game by Jim Robertson

    Romeo, The Story of an Alaskan Wolf by John Hyde

  25. RPT
    Report Abuse
    RPT - March 20, 2014 1:35 am
    The Endangered Species Act is the engine of social change being used by environmental elitists to destroy rural America. The wildlife that they pretend to care so much about are nothing more than tools of conquest to them.
    The unwitting allies of these destructive change agents are the uninformed urban masses who add their political clout to the big bucks of elitist foundations to arm this War against the West.

    There are many species on the endangered list but most of the attention and money goes to just a few of them and those are either fish or predators. This is because fish and predators:

    excite the public imagination more and are therefore good fundraisers and sales creatures for preservation.
    can lock up more land because they have large habitat requirements.
    The rest of the species on the list are mostly ignored until necessary to use them to stop some specific project.

  26. RPT
    Report Abuse
    RPT - March 20, 2014 1:33 am
    There is no shortage of wolves out there.. Never has been never will be.. And there was NEVER a reason that they should have ever been listed as endangered and placed on that list.
    The International Union for the Conservation of Nature is the big daddy of all conservation organizations. The IUCN consists of over 1200 national and international environmental organizations dedicated to conserving biological diversity and preserving wildlands. The IUCN officially lists Grey Wolves as a species of “LEAST CONCERN”. The IUCN’s own Wolf Specialist group says that “the species does not meet, or nearly meet, any of the criteria for the threatened categories.”

    But even by using the most conservative measures it is estimated that today there are between 250,000 and one million wolves roaming the northern hemisphere. Wolves in the United States are receiving special protections not because they are endangered, but because they are the “keystone” species driving the REWILDING agenda.

    Without modern day management and hunting there would be NO wildlife.
  27. mdstevens
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    mdstevens - March 19, 2014 10:26 pm
    Science, 1...Stupidity, 0.
  28. Yz250
    Report Abuse
    Yz250 - March 19, 2014 9:57 pm
    Couldn't agree more Robert
  29. snickers
    Report Abuse
    snickers - March 19, 2014 9:38 pm
    never yet seen anything turned over to the states that they haven't screwed up. You are the joke, and if you think about it you answered your own question. The reason the wolf is the poster child is because of the anti wolf crowd and all their lying rhetoric. It will come back and bite you.
  30. Bob cat
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    Bob cat - March 19, 2014 8:49 pm
    Give every state 60 wolves as a start and then maybe these out of state people will leave Montana wolf management alone.
  31. RobertR
    Report Abuse
    RobertR - March 19, 2014 7:57 pm
    Why is it that the wolf is the poster animal for protection and a bargaining chip to shut natural resources down. The states should be able to manage the wildlife as seen fit and keep the federal government out of any restrictions.......
    The wolf debacle is a joke!!! You do not see these pro wolfers footing the bill for wildlife or habitat only wanting to control hunting and hunters..
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