Update: Defenders of Wildlife sent a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request to ascertain what new scientific review Secretary Salazar used in making this determination. Defenders President Rodger Schlickeisen noted: “There’s no way, in six short weeks, that the Department of the Interior had time to properly review the proposed delisting and examine the latest scientific information. If Secretary Salazar had done his job, and taken the time needed to come up with a good delisting plan, there’s no way he could have approved this half-baked recipe for disaster.”
I had trepidation about Ken Salazar’s appointment to the Department of the Interior as might be expected of someone with my environmental persuasions. His record on conservation is mixed to be sure. But it’s my pattern to hope for the best and to grant some benefit of the doubt, even if the logic of that hope eludes me.
A few days ago, my regular updates from Defenders of Wildlife pleaded urgent. In short: Ken Salazar has opted to follow in the steps of the Bush Administration by removing Endangered Species protection from wolves in the Northern Rockies. On March 10, Wayne Pacelle of HSUS wrote about the same issue, suggesting that the region’s strong ties to the hunting lobby is driving the decision — a typical scenario whereby natural predators like wolves are targeted to keep game animal numbers high for hunters.
What this means is that short of court intervention, the shooting of the formerly protected wolves in the Rockies could begin soon — and during wolf breeding season, putting pregnant female wolves and newborn pups in the crosshairs of this state sponsored kill.
Defenders of Wildlife is asking people to write or phone in their opposition to the delisting of wolves. If calling, here is the suggested methodology from Defenders:
Phone the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service at 1-800-344-9453, select option “3” (for endangered species) and hit â€œ0â€ to speak with the operator. Once you are connected, just deliver this simple message:
My name is [Your Name] and I am calling from [Your City], [Your State] to express my extreme disappointment in Interior Secretary Salazar’s decision to eliminate Endangered Species Act protections for wolves in the Northern Rockies states of Idaho and Montana.
If you make the call, let Defenders of Wildlife know since they’re tracking the number of calls on this. Use this online form.