Back in July, I ranted about the massacre that had ensued in Montana & Wyoming since the Grey Wolf was de-listed from the Endangered Species Act last spring, with approximately one wolf being killed per day. A judge had then granted the wolf a temporary reprieve from hunting. Well now the USFWS may have come to their senses because last week they capitulated and began the process of re-listing the wolves! And in the meantime, at least 130 of the animals have been massacred, most within the first month in so-called “free-fire” zones, resulting in a 10% decline in population! Yes, 10%!!! And I don’t think even the free-fire zones actually went as far as republican vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin’s Alaska, where the poor beasts are hunted aerially! Today’s Los Angeles Times has the story of how the wolf was re-endangered in the Rockies by the hasty delisting by the Bush administration as well as the govts. of Idaho, Wyoming, and Montana:
DANIEL, WYO. — It’s hard for ranchers here to figure how it came to this — again.
After railing for more than a decade against the federal government for reintroducing gray wolves to the region, after finally winning the battle to get the animals taken off the endangered species list, what went so wrong that Washington stepped in last week to protect the wolves all over again?
It began near here in this high-altitude chaparral. No sooner were gray wolves delisted in March than sportsmen in Idaho, Montana and Wyoming began locking and loading. Wyoming officials declared 90% of the state a “free-fire zone.” Hunters from around the state flocked to rural Sublette County to bag a wolf.
Read the rest of the story, and weep! Particularly telling is this graphic accompanying the report:
Do you need a more compelling argument for maintaining the Endangered Species Act than this evidence of how thin the line is that is holding the rabid hunters at bay? The Act obviously has teeth enough to protect the wolves for now – but don’t count on it, given the persistent efforts from this administration to gut it in various ways. And I wouldn’t be surprised at all if they invoke the current wall street banking crisis as another club with which to beat down those protesting the attacks on the Endangered Species Act. They will happily sacrifice the Gray Wolf and any other animal to the wolves of Wall Street
So tell me, again, why is it that this country cannot support the wolf (and other megafauna) in some of its still vast regions least populated by humans?