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Grizzly bears, black bears, wolves, coyotes, cougars/ mountain lions,bobcats, wolverines, lynx, foxes, fishers and martens are the suite of carnivores that originally inhabited North America after the Pleistocene extinctions. This site invites research, commentary, point/counterpoint on that suite of native animals (predator and prey) that inhabited The Americas circa 1500-at the initial point of European exploration and subsequent colonization. Landscape ecology, journal accounts of explorers and frontiersmen, genetic evaluations of museum animals, peer reviewed 20th and 21st century research on various aspects of our "Wild America" as well as subjective commentary from expert and layman alike. All of the above being revealed and discussed with the underlying goal of one day seeing our Continent rewilded.....Where big enough swaths of open space exist with connective corridors to other large forest, meadow, mountain, valley, prairie, desert and chaparral wildlands.....Thereby enabling all of our historic fauna, including man, to live in a sustainable and healthy environment. - Blogger Rick

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Wednesday, August 15, 2012

The Center for Biological Diversity along with 24 other Conservation Organizations have written a letter to President O'Bama asking him to keep Pacific Northwest Wolves on the Endangered Species List...........The President has come out in favor of Gay Marriage and the "Dream Act" to support the rights of humans..........Time for him to show his environmental concerns and "step up and be counted in taking a stand on long term rewilding of our trophic carnivores!

For Immediate Release, August 14, 2012
Contact:   Noah Greenwald, Center for Biological Diversity, (503) 484-7495
Jasmine Minbashian, Conservation Northwest, (360) 671-9950 x29
John Motsinger, Defenders of Wildlife, (202) 772-0288
Rob Klavins, Oregon Wild, (503) 283-6343 x210
Josh Laughlin, Cascadia Wildlands, (541) 844 8182
Twenty-four Conservation Groups Call on President Obama to Maintain Federal Protections for
Wolves in Pacific Northwest

PORTLAND, Ore.— Twenty-four conservation organizations sent a letter to President Barack Obama today asking for continued Endangered Species Act protection for wolves in the Pacific Northwest. The groups, including the Center for Biological Diversity, Conservation Northwest, Oregon Wild, Defenders of Wildlife, Cascadia Wildlands, Sierra Club, NRDC, and others, sent the letter as the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service moves toward a final decision on whether wolves in the Northwest and other areas will retain protection. 
Imnaha Pack male wolf

"Wolves are only just beginning to recover in the Pacific Northwest and need the continued protections of the Endangered Species Act," said Noah Greenwald, endangered species director with the Center for Biological Diversity. "Wolves once roamed across most of the Pacific Northwest, but today they occupy just a fraction of their former range."

There are now about 100 wolves dispersed among five Oregon packs and eight in Washington. All but two of these packs — the Lookout and Teanaway packs — lost federal protection along with the northern Rocky Mountains population, delisted by an act of Congress. The conservation groups are asking the administration to retain protection for these two packs and to develop a recovery plan for wolves in the Pacific Northwest, including in western Washington and Oregon and parts of California. 

"Wolves called the Pacific Northwest home for 10,000 years," said Jasmine Minbashian of Conservation Northwest. "The fact that they are returning to the Cascades on their own is a good sign, but if we want them to survive and fully recover they will need our help."The need for continued protection of wolves in the Pacific Northwest was driven home when the Lookout Pack — the first breeding pack to be confirmed in Washington in more than 70 years — was decimated by poaching. The poachers were fortunately caught and prosecuted under the Endangered Species Act. Additional incidents at this stage could seriously jeopardize the prospects for wolf recovery in the Cascades. 

"The return of wolves to the West is one of our generation's greatest conservation success stories," said Rob Klavins of Oregon Wild. "The journey of OR-7 captured imaginations around the world and wouldn't have been possible without the critical protections of the Endangered Species Act. If recovery is to take root here, it's important for wolves not to be prematurely stripped of those basic protections."

Last winter, California saw its first wolf in more than 80 years when the wolf known as OR-7 migrated from Oregon. Scientists have identified extensive habitat for wolves in the Cascade and Olympic mountains, Northern California and the Sierra Nevada.  "Wolves have made an incredible comeback in the Rockies, but that doesn't mean it's time to give up on wolf recovery in the West," said Pamela Flick, California program coordinator with Defenders of Wildlife. "Californians deserve the chance to see wolves returned to their former habitat in our state too, and maintaining federal protections across the Pacific Northwest is the best way to make sure that happens."

Since wolves were reintroduced to Yellowstone National Park and central Idaho research has shown that by forcing elk to move more, wolves have allowed streamside vegetation to recover, benefitting songbirds and beavers. Studies also show that wolves provide benefits to scavenging animals such as weasels, eagles, wolverines and bears, and help increase numbers of foxes and pronghorns by controlling coyotes, which wolves regard as competitors. Thousands of visitors to the park have been thrilled to see wolves in their natural habitat.

"The gray wolf is the quintessential keystone animal that has been part of shaping the North American landscape for hundreds of thousands of years," said Josh Laughlin, campaign director with Cascadia Wildlands. "Research shows that wolves benefit a plethora of other wildlife species and are a significant tourist draw for states where they have recovered."

Gray wolves are currently listed under the Endangered species Act throughout the lower 48, with the exception of the northern Rocky Mountains and the western Great Lakes populations. The Fish and Wildlife Service is now proposing to remove protections for the lower 48 population, but has stated it will consider protection for any existing distinct populations of wolves, including, potentially, in the Pacific Northwest and northeastern United States. The results of the agency's status review and reclassification finding are expected to be finalized and announced in early 2013.

The Lookout and Teanaway packs are distinct from other U.S. wolves. They are related to coastal wolves of British Columbia, which have unique ecological, morphological, behavioral and genetic characteristics. Wolves in the Cascades are observed to be slightly smaller than others and have brownish coats similar to their coastal ancestors; in addition, some are known to eat salmon.

Wolves do sometimes depredate livestock. To deal with this problem, both Washington and Oregon have compensation programs and are working with ranchers to help them reduce risk to their livestock. California is in the initial stages of developing similar programs. 

The Center for Biological Diversity is a national, nonprofit conservation organization with more than 375,000 members and online activists dedicated to the protection of endangered species and wild places.

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