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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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Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Since being re-elected, President Obama has had a "loud voice" regarding Immigration Reform and Gay Marriage rights.................On arguably a larger issue that impacts all current American Citizens, clean air, clean water and biodiversity(the health of the land), barely a loud whisper has been heard from him...........Obama's land preservation and Parks record is the worst of any President, Democrat or Republican since 1960...............When it comes to making a case on behalf of the rest of creation besides man, not a peep is to be heard from the President..............Day in and day out, fringe groups yelling states rights and poking adverse holes in the Endangered Species Act-----Now the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service is bowing to this pressure and discussing declaring Wolves across the USA to be federally delisted,,,,,,,,,doing a reverse course in their stated mission of recovering species where suitable habitat exists, regardless of whether a current population of a particular species exists currently...................This would be a disaster for Wolf restoration East of the Mississippi where scientifically identified and suitable Wolf habitat like the North Woods of New England and New York and the Southern Appalachians fanning out from the Smokey Mountains is just waiting for the howl of the Wolf to be heard once more...............Both of Obama's Secretary of the Interior choices have been anything but "Babbitt-like"(President Clinton's superior Secretary of the Interior Bruce Babbitt)...............Mr. President, the National Enviro Organizations just do not have the firepower alone to stem the anti-wolf, anti carnivore reactionary fever that seems to becoming pandemic in nature..............We need you to be a Mariano Rivera(NY Yankee Great relief Pitcher) coming out of the bullpen in our 9th inning to shut down the subversives!

Western Environmentalists Oppose Wolf Delisting

By BEN NEARY Associated Press;
Western environmental groups say they're alarmed that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is

 considering a plan to end federal protections for gray wolves in vast areas where the animals

 no longer exist.
The groups say ending federal protections would keep wolves from expanding their range 

back into states that could support them, including Colorado and California.

"As a matter of principal, I just think it's wrong," said Jay Tutchton, a Colorado lawyer with

 the group WildEarth Guardians.
Tutchton's group has sued over recent action to end federal protections for wolves in 

Wyoming. Wolves in most of the "Cowboy State" are classified as unprotected predators and

 scores have been killed since federal protections ended last fall.
"The Endangered Species Act was designed to protect species, including in places where they

 no longer reside," Tutchton said. "You were supposed to try to recover them, not throw in the towel."
The Fish and Wildlife Service could announce as soon as this spring whether it will propose a 

blanket delisting of wolves in most of the lower 48 states. Wolves in the Northern Rockies 

and around the Great Lakes, where reintroduced populations are well-established, are already off the Endangered Species List.

Chris Tollefson, spokesman for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in Washington, DC, said 

Tuesday that the agency hasn't made any decision yet whether it will proposed the blanket

delisting. An agency report last year proposed dropping wolves from the endangered list in

 most areas where they're known not to live.
Even if the Fish and Wildlife Service ends federal protections, Tollefson said states would be

 free to cultivate their own wolf populations. "It's fair to say that there wouldn't be a 

prohibition, it would simply be left to the states to determine how to manage wolves in their

 boundaries," he said.
Tollefson said his agency regards the wolf recovery efforts in the Great Lakes states and 

Northern Rockies as enormous successes.
"Our view, and that of the biological community is that those populations are thriving and no

 longer require the protections of the Endangered Species Act," Tollefson said. "Obviously, 

we'll be discussing other areas as we move forward on that."
The prospect of the national delisting has prompted members of Congress on both sides of 

the issue to lobby the Fish and Wildlife Service Director Dan Ashe.
Seventy-two members of Congress, most of the Republicans, signed the most recent letter to

 Ashe on Friday urging him to go through with the delisting. Another group of scores of 

congressmen wrote to Ashe earlier this month urging him to reject the delisting idea.
"Unmanaged wolves are devastating to livestock and indigenous wildlife," the members of 

Congress, led by Rep. Cynthia Lummis, R-Wyo., and Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, and others, 

wrote to Ashe last week. "Currently state wildlife officials have their hands tied any time 

wolves are involved."
Lummis said Tuesday that the letter was intended to celebrate the successful recovery of 

I know some will wring their hands over a delisting, but for the life of me I don't understand 

why they don't throw a party instead," Lummis stated. "In most suitable habitat, and in 

states that strongly objected to their presence initially, the wolf is here to stay. For some that

 is a bitter pill to swallow, for others it's not enough, but the bottom line is there are wolves 

where there once were none, and everyone but the most litigious among us seem ready to move on."
Bob Brister, wildlife campaign coordinator for the Utah Environmental Congress in Salt Lake

 City, has been campaigning to restore wolves to Utah, where he said they were extirpated in

 the 1930s.
Brister said the effect of delisting wolves in Utah and elsewhere where they currently don't

 exist would be to preclude their ultimate recovery back into their historic range. He noted 

that wolves are hunted heavily in the Wyoming, Utah and Montana and that states can't be

 counted on to provide the protections new populations would need to survive

"It's especially dire here in Utah, 

because we depend on wolves migrating from Wyoming and Idaho to restore wolves here in 

Utah," Brister said. "And when they're being hunted so intensely in Wyoming and Idaho, it 

greatly decreases the possibility of wolves migrating into Utah."
Erik Molvar executive director of the Bioldiversity Conservation Alliance in Laramie, Wyo., 

also noted that Wyoming, Idaho and Montana allow substantial wolf hunting. He said 

delisting wolves across the rest of the Lower 48, "would seem to be a very unwise move,

given the tenuous status of wolf populations in this area."
Molvar, whose group also is challenging the recent delisting of wolves in Wyoming, said it's

 clear there are other areas of the West that could support wolf populations.
"It certainly is true that there are places in Colorado, particularly Rocky Mountain National 

Park, where elk are so overpopulated that they're becoming a nuisance, that wolves are one

 of the few options to restore the natural balance," Molvar said.
Tutchton said his group and others are likely to fight the sweeping delisting effort.
"I'm very sure that if wolves were delisted in Colorado, we would want to sue. If wolves get 

delisted in Oklahoma, I don't know. That might be a different question," Tutchton said. 

"There are some places where wolves would be quite viable."

WASHINGTON – A bipartisan group of 72 Members of Congress have written to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) to urge that the Agency delist the gray wolf from the Endangered Species Act (ESA) in the Continental United States. The letter was spearheaded by Sens. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) and John Barrasso (R-WY), and Reps. Cynthia Lummis (R-WY) and Doc Hastings (R-WA), Chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee.

In the letter, the Members of Congress write that "[w]olves are not an endangered species and do not merit federal protections. The full delisting of the species and the return of the management of wolf populations to State governments is long overdue. As you know, State governments are fully qualified to responsibly manage wolf populations and are able to meet both the needs of local communities and wildlife populations."

The lawmakers added that an unmanaged wolf population poses a threat to the communities and surrounding livestock and indigenous wildlife, but that "currently State wildlife officials have their hands tied any time wolves are involved." They add that State wildlife managers "need to be able to respond to the needs of their native wildlife without being burdened by the impediments of the federal bureaucracy created by the ESA."

In addition to Hatch and Barrasso, Senators signing the letter were Sens. John Cornyn (R-TX), Mike Crapo (R-ID), Mike Enzi (R-WY), Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND), Dean Heller (R-NV), Mike Lee (R-UT), Joe Manchin (D-WV), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), James Risch (R-ID), John Thune (R-ND), and David Vitter (R-LA).

Members of the House signing the letter in addition to Lummis and Hastings were Reps. Michele Bachmann (R-MN), Dan Benishek (R-MI), Rob Bishop (R-UT), Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), Kevin Brady (R-TX), Jason Chaffetz (R-UT), Howard Coble (R-NC), Tom Cole (R-OK), Mike Conaway (R-TX), Kevin Cramer (R-ND), Steven Daines (R-MT), Ron DeSantis (R-FL), Jeff Duncan (R-SC), Stephen Fincher (R-TN), Bob Gibbs (R-OH), Sam Graves (R-MO), Bill Huizenga (R-MI), Duncan Hunter (R-CA), Bill Johnson (R-OH), Steve King (R-IA), John Kline (R-MN), Doug Lamalfa (R-CA), Bob Latta (R-OH), Blayne Luetkemeyer (R-MO), Kenny Marchant (R-TX), Jim Matheson (D-UT), Patrick McHenry (R-NC), Candice Miller (R-MI), Jeff Miller (R-FL), Mick Mulvaney (R-SC), Randy Neugebauer (R-TX), Kristi Noem (R-SD), Alan Nunnelee (R-MS), Steve Palazzo (R-MS), Collin Peterson (D-MN), Mike Pompeo (R-KS), Jim Renacci (R-OH), Reid Ribble (R-WI), Dennis Ross (R-FL), Paul Ryan (R-WI), Steve Scalise (R-LA), David Schweikert (R-AZ), Austin Scott (R-GA), Pete Sessions (R-TX), Terri Sewell (D-AL), Adrian Smith (R-NE), Steve Southerland (R-FL), Chris Stewart (R-UT), Steve Stivers (R-OH), Steve Stockman (R-TX), Marlin Stutzman (R-TX), Glenn Thompson (R-PA), Tim Walz (D-MN), Randy Weber (R-TX), Lynn Westmoreland (GA), Rob Wittman (R-VA), Don Young (R-AK).

The full text of the letter is below:

The Honorable Dan Ashe
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
1849 C Street, NW
Washington, DC 20240

Dear Director Ashe:

We understand the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) is in the process of reviewing the Endangered Species Act (ESA) recovery status of the gray wolf in the lower 48 States and is preparing to announce the delisting of the species. We support the nationwide delisting of wolves and urge you to move as quickly as possible on making this a reality. We were supportive of the USFWS decision in 2009 when most wolves were delisted in the Northern Rocky Mountains, again in 2011 when wolves in the Great Lake States were delisted, and the 2012 delisting in Wyoming.  It is unfortunate that these decisions were met with lawsuits from environmental activists.

Wolves are not an endangered species and do not merit federal protections.  The full delisting of the species and the return of the management of wolf populations to State governments is long overdue. As you know, State governments are fully qualified to responsibly manage wolf populations and are able to meet both the needs of local communities and wildlife populations.

Unmanaged wolves are devastating to livestock and indigenous wildlife. Currently State wildlife officials have their hands tied any time wolves are involved. They need to be able to respond to the needs of their native wildlife without being burdened by the impediments of the federal bureaucracy created by the ESA. During the four decades that wolves have had ESA protections, there has been an uncontrolled and unmanaged growth of wolf populations resulting in devastating impacts on hunting and ranching in America as well as tragic damages to historically strong and healthy herds of moose, elk, big horn sheep, and mule deer.

As you consider these much needed changes to federal protections with regard to the gray wolf, we urge you to expand the delisting of the species to all of the lower 48 states.  It is critical that the states be given the ability to properly manage all of the species within their boundaries.

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