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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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Friday, June 7, 2013

The Obama Administration may be the most "confused" group of politicians to occupy D.C. in my lifetime................They profess one thing and turn around and do another on every issue from terrorism, to privacy to the environment................Why would you postpone Wolf Federal Delisting a week or so ago only to turn around immediately and say WE ARE GOING TO DELIST THE WOLVES ACROSS THE USA,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,And then simultaneously propose an expansion of territrory for the Mexican Wolf, the one subspecies that for whatever reason you deem worthy of retaining federal protection,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,You do all this while completely ignoring the fact that over half the USA east of the Mississippi has prime Wolf habitat that you have abandoned through your delisting measure.....................I came to abhor the smug idiocy of the Bush Administration...........At this point, I have to say at least they were consistent in their thinking and follow-thru, however misguided it turned out to be------Now we have a guy and his crew who professes to be a progressive thinker who really has turned out to be "dazed and confused" on just about everything, including what is near and dear to me as it relates to all things wild and free

Delisting » Government says the mission to restore the population of gray wolves has been accomplished.

By Brian Maffly

 In a decision hoped to close one of the West’s most contentious debates, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has declared mission accomplished for recovering the gray wolf, the predator government officials had exterminated from the West nearly a century ago.

The agency has concluded wolves no longer warrant protection under the Endangered Species Act. On Friday, federal authorities proposed delisting the wolf, but insisted the Mexican gray wolf remain listed as an endangered subspecThe proposal to keep listing the Mexican gray wolf is sure to raise concerns in the Beehive State since some biologists believe southern Utah is within Mexican wolves’ historic range. The Utah Division of Wildlife Resources denies this, while politicians have alleged federal authorities are bent on introducing Mexican wolves in the state.To justify delisting, federal officials point to the gray wolves’ remarkable rebound since the animal was reintroduced in the Northern Rockies in 1995.While sportsmen’s groups and state wildlife officials praised the delisting move, conservationists expressed dismay, saying the gray wolf has yet to return to much of its native range in the Pacific Northwest and southern Rockies.

 "An exhaustive review of the latest scientific and taxonomic information shows that we have accomplished that goal with the gray wolf, allowing us to focus our work ... on recovery of the Mexican wolf subspecies in the Southwest," Dan Ashe, Fish and Wildlife Service director, said in a news release.

But conservationists say the job is far from complete and that it is unlikely wolf populations will thrive because Western states regard wolves as a threat to agriculture, rather than a key part of a functioning ecosystem.

 "Stopping now before the population is fully recovered will negate the decades of hard work that have gone into bringing wolves back from the brink of extinction. Without federal protections, this symbol of our wild heritage will slide back into harm’s way," Sierra Club Executive Director Michael Brune said in a news release.

 But leading sportsmen say it’s time to declare victory in wolf recovery and graduate the species to state-based management.

"We support the administration’s decision to advance science-based, responsible wildlife management that speaks to the values of sportsmen across the nation," said Whit Fosburgh, president of theTheodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership.


 Harris: Positive impact of Mexican wolf program is overlooked

The Mexican wolf reintroduction program has encountered its share of challenges, yet it’s disappointing to see that The Arizona Republic editorial on Tuesday, “Gives wolves a chance,” neglects to include any mention of the program’s positive accomplishments and omits basic facts that are important to understanding the milestones that have been achieved in the management of this experimental population.

Most importantly — and as is often demonstrated — the Arizona Game and Fish Commission is committed to restoring a sustainable, wild population of Mexican wolves in Arizona. It is naive to believe that the needs of the public and multiple uses of the land don’t figure into the equation.

Arizona Game and Fish, working alongside other program partners, spends countless hours in the field working to make the program successful in balance with the other wildlife, public-land values and uses that Arizonans expect from their working landscapes.

Many Arizona ranchers deserve credit for taking proactive measures to work with the department to further wolf recovery, but that’s largely unrecognized — most recently by The Republic, as well as by many in the environmental community. Ranchers use range riders, fencing fladry and telemetry equipment — all of which is accounted for in Arizona’s inventories — to monitor wolves on the landscape, provide a human presence in those areas to deter wolf-livestock interactions, and, in some instances, even move their livestock to avoid conflicts.

Just as those who vilify wolves do a disservice to wolf conservation, those who vilify people who live on the land where wolves are conserved do a similar disservice.

While The Republic’s editorial paints a picture of “only 75 (wolves) were left at the end of 2012,” the public deserves to know that number represents a one-year increase of 23 percent and the most Mexican wolves on the ground in the U.S. since the 1930s.

One of the most important achievements of the program is that nearly 100 percent of the population is wild-born and co-exists with a host of uses on our public lands. That’s a factor considered critical to wolf recovery.

Species-recovery programs of this complexity don’t happen overnight with the wave of a magic wand. Successes occur only after difficult and boots-on-the-ground work. Arizona’s wolf program is showing significant forward progress despite the controversies. We are literally learning each step of the way how we can achieve balance between wolf conservation and existing uses of our public lands.

Why aren’t those positive achievements mentioned in The Republic’s editorial?

J.W. Harris is chairman of the Arizona Game and Fish Commission.


 Wolves lose protection in Northeast under proposed US rule

This 2008 photo released by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service shows a gray wolf. The Obama administration on Friday, June 7, 2013 proposed lifting most of the remaining federal protections for gray wolves across the mainland states, a move that would end four decades of recovery efforts but has been criticized by some scientists as premature.(AP Photo/U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service)

MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) -- Wolves that wander into Upstate
New York or northern New England from Canada
or elsewhere would lose federal protection after
most of the animal's species are removed from the
federal endangered species list, the U.S. Fish and
Wildlife Service proposed Friday.

Wolves, which have been persecuted to
near-extermination, have rebounded, the Fish
and Wildlife Service said.

There are no breeding populations of wolves in
the Northeast, but there are populations of wolves
in Canada not far from the U.S. and wolves from
other regions are occasionally found in the region,
said Fish and Wildlife Service Endangered
Species Specialist Mark McCollough, based in
Orono, Maine. Eventually, they will no longer
have federal protection, he said.  "They will no longer be protected under the
 federal act, but the states will be responsible
 for managing wolves," he said.

In Vermont and Maine, wolves aren't given
protection beyond the prohibition of hunting
or trapping them.

Over the years there have been other occasions
when large wolf-like animals have appeared in
the region. In some cases, genetic testing has
found them to mixes of wolf species and eastern

This year, a trail camera took a series of photos
of a large wolf-like animal in Wilson's Mills,
Maine, not far from the New Hampshire border.

In 2012, a wolf was shot in the Canadian province
of New Brunswick, not far from Maine,
McCollough said.

The proposed change to the Endangered
Species Act would end four decades of recovery
efforts for wolves. There are more than 6,100
wolves roaming the northern Rockies and western
Great Lakes.

Despite vast tracts of wilderness that are suitable
for wolves in the Northeast, efforts to restore wolves
to the region never got off the ground. McCollough said there are populations of Eastern
wolves in Canada within 60 miles of the Maine border,
but the St. Lawrence River acts as a natural barrier,
keeping all but a few of the wolves from finding their
way south.


Feds Propose Expanding Range For Mexican Wolves

Endangered Mexican gray wolves would have
more room to roam in the Southwest under a
proposal unveiled by federal wildlife managers.
The provisions regarding the Mexican wolves
are part of a plan proposed Friday by the
Obama administration that calls for lifting
most of the remaining federal protections for
gray wolves.

Under the plan, protections would remain only
for the fledgling population of Mexican wolves
in Arizona and New Mexico. The plan also calls
for allowing Mexican wolves to be released in
New Mexico and to roam outside the current
Blue Range recovery area.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Regional Director
Benjamin Tuggle says the plan would provide
more flexibility, which could lead to more
wolves and more packs on the ground.

Environmentalists are excited about expanding
the wolves' range, but they have other concerns
about the plan.


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