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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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Sunday, September 8, 2013

Another impassioned call to keep Wolves on the Federal Endangered list in the regions where they are not yet recovered and where peer reviewed science shows that they can be successfully re-wilded-----------As the authors of the article below states so eloquently----- "Postage-stamp populations of wolves on the American landscape is not comprehensive recovery, and this underscores as misguided and premature the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's proposal to strip critical protections for wolves in nearly all of the lower 48 states"

Wolves need protection to fully recover
By Doug Tompkins and Peter Metcalf

Wildlands need their full complement of species to maintain their ecological integrity. Thus it has been heartening to see the gray wolf repopulate the rugged northern Rockies and expansive western Great Lakes in recent years.
But postage-stamp populations of wolves on the American landscape is not comprehensive recovery, and this underscores as misguided and premature the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's proposal to strip critical protections for wolves in nearly all of the lower 48 states.
  It is clear the gray wolf recovery mission is not accomplished. Scientists strongly agree that significant habitat continues to exist for the wolf. Recently, 16 of our nation's prominent wolf and ecological scientists sent a letter to Jewell calling on her to maintain protections for wolves, and the secretary should heed their advice.
Gray wolves need continued protections because they are necessary for ecosystem balance and because they are an economic driver for communities around them.
In Yellowstone National Park, where wolves have returned, landscape health is being restored. Scientists have documented that wolves keep elk herds alert and may prevent overgrazing of sensitive streamside areas. With the presence of the wolf, there has been a documented positive effect upon many other species, from songbirds to fish to beavers.

Research shows that wolves are not just good for ecosystem health, but also for the economy. The return of wolves to Yellowstone brings an estimated $35 million in annual tourist revenue to surrounding communities. Seeing wolves often entails filling up the gas tank, grabbing breakfast at the diner, booking a room, and hiring a guide. Wolves are big business in this part of the country.
But there is another reason to restore wolves. Wolf restoration epitomizes our country's true commitment to restoring the nation's wildlife patrimony. And we have a responsibility to our children and grandchildren to be good stewards of the wild American landscapes from which we so effectively exterminated wolves.
But in order to do so, they need maintained federal protections.State management isn't promising. Utah's Legislature has already tried to make it a "wolf-free" state if federal protections are stripped.
In Montana, Wyoming and Idaho, nearly 1,200 wolves have been shot or trapped since the federal government in 2011 removed protections for the northern Rocky Mountain gray wolf population and handed management over to states.

Passing the recovery buck off to states is a risky proposition for
 comprehensive wolf recovery
 and does not follow in the footsteps of past successful efforts to keep species
 from blinking off into oblivion. 
The bald eagle is a great example, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service shouldn't take
 a different tack with wolves.

Gray wolves have begun their noble recovery in places like the northern Rockies and western Great Lakes, and all predictions suggest that, with enough time and human tolerance, they will migrate into neighboring wildlands to reclaim their rightful place on the landscape.
But they need their critical federal protections maintained or they will likely be relegated to a handful of biologically isolated pockets, setting a potentially destructive precedent as to what defines species recovery in America's great outdoors.
Doug Tompkins is the founder of The North Face. Peter Metcalf is CEO and lead founder of Black Diamond Equipment.

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