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Congress v. Endangered Species - Wolves Up For A Vote

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View Marty Hayden's blog posts
17 March 2011, 12:09 PM
At any time, Congress could remove species from endangered list

<Editor's Note: Earthjustice President Trip Van Noppen has released a statement about the organization's continuing efforts to protect the gray wolf.>

The fate of gray wolves—and of the Endangered Species Act itself—may be voted on at any time in the climax of an historic struggle in Congress over budgeting and political philosophy.

Congress took its first stab at approving a full fiscal year 2011 budget on Feb. 19, and unfortunately the House GOP majority and some Democrats proposed slashing billions in public funding and eliminated safeguards for our air, water and wildlife, as well as two dozen anti-environmental policy provisions (riders).

The Senate alternative, unveiled March 4, excluded all of the these anti-environmental riders except one: a rider ordering the Interior Secretary to reinstate a court-overturned 2009 rule. The rule delisted wolves within portions of the northern Rockies, including Montana, Idaho and portions of Utah, Oregon and Washington. It insulated that rule from court review. If enacted, this would be the first time in the ESA’s history that Congress has legislatively delisted a species.

However, on March 9 the Senate rejected both proposals to fund the federal government for the remainder of FY2011. For now, the wolf has been granted a temporary reprieve, but the inclusion of even one anti-environmental rider in a bill eventually passed by the Senate would greatly complicate negotiations for both them and the White House when facing the revolutionaries of the House with their basket full of harmful provisions.

For years, Earthjustice has gone to court to ensure that wolves can recover from the brink of extinction in the northern Rocky Mountains.

Wolves in the lower-48 states were essentially wiped out a few decades ago and have made a slow comeback in the northern Rocky Mountains after reintroduction into Yellowstone National Park in the mid-1990s. There are now just over 1,600 gray wolves in this region, but the proposed delisting would allow the Rocky Mountain states to maintain at most 300 to 450 wolves—far short of the 2,000 to 3,000 number needed for a sustainable, fully recovered population.

Earthjustice and other conservation groups are concerned because when Congress enacted the law in 1973, it specifically stated that delisting decisions are to be made by wildlife experts in the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and National Marine Fisheries Service—not by politicians.

The very idea that congressional leaders are targeting the gray wolf sets an alarming precedent and could spell disaster for other “politically unpopular” animals—grizzly bears, salmon and polar bears among them.

Although the short-term spending bills that are keeping the government running for now are devoid of anti-environmental policy riders, the fight to protect our air, water, and treasured wildlife is not over. The current resolution expires April 8, so we can expect another round of attacks in the imminent future.

<EDITOR'S NOTE: Some comments generated by this blog item have been personal and derogatory. Please tone down the personal attacks or we will start removing offensive comments. Please be respectful. Thank You, the editors>

I have no problem with hunters killing for meat... but how much must you take from the land before you are satisfied? All humans, mammals, invertebrates, etc deserve a habitat, a chance to raise their young... and food, air and water free from human contaminants/poisons. Yes, you may be at the top of the food chain... but for once can't you just be in awe of nature in spite of your own greatness?

Well Scott as hunters in resent times,say the last 75 years we found a a very comfortable balance. We have maintained an acceptable balance of ungulate numbers, that is until Non-Native and Non-Endangered Canadian Grey Wolves were dumped into this Eco-system. They destroyed our Native Wolves,that I can assure you did exist.They are destroying our deer, elk and moose wherever they exist unchecked. The Northern Yellowstone Elk Herd was 19,000 strong before the introduction of Non-Native and Non-Endangered Canadian Grey Wolves, today that number is just above 4,000. Yellowstone's Moose count was 12,000 or so before
the introduction of Non-Native and Non-Endangered Canadian Grey Wolves, today that number is under 1,200. If that don't speak for itself...
Please stop being fooled by special-interest groups whose intentions are any thing but special.They have trained you to hate hunters and ranchers. We are not your enemy nor are we a threat to you...they are.
Have a great day.

Thanks for the response TruthSeeker. I really have no issue with hunters that hunt for meat. It's more humane than how we treat cattle and poultry, right?

It sounds like you are a reasonable individual to have a conversation with, so I'd like to get your opinion on some research I've done. My research is from the folks at and they have stated that the decline of moose in the park is believed to be by past forest fires, tough winters, grizzlies and some wolves: and

They also mention that wolves were non existent in the park after the 1930s in their wolf section. Man wiped them out.

Now there has been a huge decline in elk since the wolves were reintroduced... I'll give you that. Considering elk is their main prey, I suppose it is to be expected. Scientists don't believe wolves are completely to blame. Some blame some of it on food quality, other predators, and low birth rates.

Thank you for being civil. To address your question: "It's more humane than how we treat cattle and poultry, right?"
I think It would be fair to say a portion of the cattle and poultry industry namely the tight quartered feed lots that stack to many cattle into a pen and feed them corn as a primary food source has room for improvement. The same could be said about that portion of the poultry industry that does the same. However, the same cannot be said about much of the ranching that goes on it the west. Ranchers have proven themselves to be good stewards of the land that they care deeply for. After all, it is in their best interests to manage the land properly for future use.
In my opinion the lack of proper management of wolf numbers is the primary cause to the massive decline of Elk, and Moose in the park and elsewhere. This opinion is shared by the countries leading experts on the matter. Experts that don't have alterer motives.There has been a huge effort brought forth to cover up the damages done by these Canadian Wolves. Those on board the cover-up train use every excuse from global warming to poor habitat to manipulate the minds of the masses so they will continue to give their hard earned money up.
As for the low birth rates: This is definitely a major factor to the decline. The reason for the low birth rate is the constant harassment by wolves. Those cows that do manage to come into heat and be bread do so in vain because the calve they give birth to will almost certainly not make it to the age of one years old. It will be killed by predators, the wolves, by far leading the way.
As for the wolves were non existent in the park after the 1930s in their wolf section. Man wiped them out. It is well documented that wolves numbers were severely knocked back in the 1900's--1930's. I fine it interesting that modern day hunters and ranchers appear to be somehow associated with this act. I disagree, in fact I am certain that our native wolves were not completely wiped out during said time period. I personally know multiple people that seen them prior to 1995. Sadly their fate was decided for good when an entirely different,must larger and more aggressive subspecies killed them off.

You are incorrect. The government killed of the wolf populatio. Those "native" wolves were infact gray wolves that migrated down from Canada. gray wolves are all the same animal. Any gray wolf subspecies can be aggressive depending on different factors. You have no idea what you are talking about.

Au contraire mon frere, it is you that does not know what you are talking about. You have simply had smoke blown up your @$$ and you bought it. The Native wolf was definitely a different subspecies. Definitely smaller, definitely more suited for this Eco-system and definitely killed off or bred out by these larger more aggressive Non-Native and Non-endangered Canadian Grey Wolves. But keep on with your denial knowing it doesn't change reality and the fact you have been living a lie. Its not your fault Bud and you are not alone, it is what you were led to believe. How else were they going to be able to use the ESA and the equal access to justice act to extort Billions of dollars from American taxpayers? We should give them a break, everyone needs to make a living...

Wrong, stop drinking the anti wolf koolaid and educate yourself, not make up your own lies and pass them off as facts. The "native" wolves were wiped out, by the people you despise, the FEDS. The resident wolves were migratory canadian wolves. Prove me otherwise, you cannot because you know you got no evidence what so ever. All gray wolves are the same. You are a typical armchair expert who thinks he/she knows everything when you clearly don't. Gray wolves are here and here to stay. Get over it. Do something more productive with your life than arguing and whining about wolves on a website.

You mean like you do?

Wolf Wizard and two are really out of touch with reality, aren't you? Let's go back, say 60-million years. There were no wolves...there were no humans. Both have evolved since that day forth. Wolves have absolutely no regard, no repect, and no obligations to humans. Why should humans have any of that toward wolves? The nature of wolves is to kill...kill...kill and kill again. Then move on...or begin to kill out their own kind in order to continue to exist. Wolves do not understand "balance". They will literally kill themselves out of house and home...and especially prey. Sorry folks, this isn't "Twilight", this is the real world. And if an apex predator like wolves are to continue to exist alongside human kind, it will be because humans realize the necessity to manage wolf numbers at an acceptable level. And that is something that greenie groups like Defenders of Wildlife...the Center for Bilogical Diversity...and Earhjustice are simply too arrogant to understand.

Toby Bridges

I am afraid that you are in error regarding wolves and their eating habits. Wolves, like all preditors except man, only kill what they need to survive, they do not overeat or destroy their food sources and they certainly do not attack and eat each other. Preditors like wolves are impoortant in keeping the their prey animals healthy and strong - most human hunters are aware of this. They provide the necessary balance so that the entire wild community is healthier and stronger than it otherwise would be.

Let me suggest a book to you, it is titled, "Wild Animals I have known." It was originally published early in the 20th century but there are great reprints available. It was written by a naturalist and a wolf killer, Earnest Thompson Seaton. There was a recent documentary on TV about Seaton titled, "The Wolf that changed America." That story happens to be the first chapter of the book I referenced above. It was because of Seaton's experience with a huge and exteremely intelligent wolf, Lobo, that changed Seaton's life. After Lobo, Seaton never killed another wolf, he went on to help found the national park system and the Boy Scouts of America.

I wish you the best. I also wish for you a greater sensitivity towards Nature's creatures. Before man's interference, they lived in a harmonious if violent environment. I volunteer for an organization called, The Wildlife Waystation, here in LA. We have all kinds of wild animals which cannot, for various reasons, be returned to the wild: siberian tigers, lions, bears, coyotees, llamas, goats, etc. And yes, wolves, the forefathers of our domestic dogs. If you had an opportunity to experience first hand a wolf being walked by our wolf team you would change your mind about the animal. Yes a big, very big, dog and very dog-like. and beautiful also. Give yourself a gift, go to the zoo or read about animals, they are marvelous and passengers with us on the voyage of the Earth through space. They need to be protected, because they are part of us, part of our history and our children need to be able to see and hear them in the wild, not as a photograph of a species that no longer trods the Earth.

Peace! Bill

Wrong Bill...Wolves kill any and every thing that runs. There are now far too many documented cases to go on belieiving that Farley Mowat fary tale. One incident that proves just how wrong you are is the one or two wolves which killed 133 domestic sheep in November 2009, near Dillon, MT - and ate nothing. Studies now confirm that the average wolf now kills between 25 and 30 elk, deer, moose, head of livestock, etc. EVERY YEAR for sustenance...and kills just about as many animals ANUALLY just for fun. In other words...EACH WOLF kills 50 to 60 animals a year. And with 10,000 wolves now in the Lower 48, that's the loss of 500,000 to 600,000 animals - to wolves.

Bill you are sadly mis-guided. Wolves, particularly these Non-Native and Non-endangered Canadian grey Wolves definitely sport kill.
This is one example of many. It is in their blood. They love to kill, in fact,its what they do best. Let me suggest a book to you. It's called "Wolves in Russia" Anxiety Through the Ages by Will Graves
I strongly recommend it to anyone that prefers to live in reality. Personally all this greeny goo goo gaw gaw falseness about wolves leaves me nauseous when I read it. Its hard to fathom how someone could get lead so far away from reality. You are the puppets of socialism. You are the victims of extortion.

If you understood anything, you would understand that all wolves have to kill in order to survive. Wolves kill other animals. Get over it. You must have a hard time grasping at the fact that predator kills other animals. You are just another typical hunter who cannot stand the fact that wolves were reintroduced and they will eat elk and deer.

What I cant stand it when a deal is made and then the broke by dishonest people with bad intentions.

well, sometimes people lie. that is life. get over it. There is nothing you can do about it.

At least you are willing to admit the enviro nastra lied...thats a huge step forward. Whether or not we can do anything about it will be seen.
I get a strong feeling you and the likes will be very disappointed in the near future. You do make a good point,however,sometimes people do lie and cheat and sometimes they are held accountable for their actions. I believe this is one such case.

What happened to the true hunters who valued intact nature with all the attending carnivores? Today it just seems like they want to drive up on their 4-wheeler, shoot an elk by the side of the road and not have to think there might be a beast in the forest that is stronger and more cunning than they areit isn't that hard to fit that description though)
These people are not 'sportsmen'. They are bumbling killers who know and care very little for the natural world. Delisting would mean a wholesale slaughter of wolves leaving only a tiny remnant population that could be snuffed out again with little effort. When we delisted bald eagles, we didn't go out and shoot 1/3 of the population, but that is what we did with wolves in 2009 and it was set to get even wors had the court not intervened. The states have proven they can't handle wolf delisting. Eagle numbers didn't grow to the sky and wolf numbers won't either. This year, the population appears to have stablized in the Northern Rockies just as it has been in Wisconsin- where there is also no open season on them, there are still plenty of whitetailed deer for hunters and it is still the dairy state.

Wolves and other wildlife have been on this Earth
long before mankind even existed, and if our animal kingdom
vanishes from the face of our Earth, so will the entire human race,
because of man's arrogance, greed, and stupidity!!!
And the consequence will come directly from the Almighty!!!
Many of the like-minds (including myself) revere wolves
very sacred and they are to be left alone!!!
Personally, I would sacrifice my life to protect
our wolves from from extinction!
And if I succumb to gunshots from redneck hunters,
I shall be revered as a martyr, while those murderous
yahoos would be sitting in jail, awaiting trails for my assassination...
And they shall be afraid, 'cause my spirit will haunt them to the
ends of the Earth!!!!

The wolf issue is a symptom. Our society as we know it, is being changed by environmental laws and regulations. What we are seeing is a brain washing of our kids and ourselves.

The "mystic wolf" is an example of a new pagan religion called Gaia.
Gaia worship is at the very heart of today's environmental policy.

The Endangered Species Act, The United Nation's Biodiversity Treaty and the Presidents Council on Sustainable Development are all offspring of the Gaia hypothesis of saving "Mother Earth".

This religious movement, with cult-like qualities, is being promoted by leading figures and organizations such as former Vice President Albert Gore, broadcaster Ted Turner, and the United Nations.

Al Gore's book "Earth in the Balance" is just one of many books that unabashedly proclaims the deity of Earth and blames the falling away from this Pagan God on the environmentally unfriendly followers of Jesus Christ.

The United Nations has been extremely successful in infusing the "Green Religion" into an international governmental body that has an increasing affect and control over all of our lives. The evidence of this is seen in the goals of Agenda 21. Google Agenda 21 also. This isn't hype..this is reality. Thank you for reading my point of view.

Well said.

The wheels are turning, eh guys? Your side simply got greedy, Sportsmen simply got tired of the stupidity of allowing wolves to, uncontrolled, make seriously negative impacts in big game populations. Face it, the enviro groups have really not spent a dime on wildlife conservation...but you want to "be in charge" of how sustainable resources, like our big game popualtions, are valued. And the sportsmen of the United States are now organizing like never before to put an end to YOUR considering OUR wildlife as nothing more than fodder for YOUR wolves.

Toby Bridges

Dear Tom: I love hunters. They taste a bit like chicken!


You are just another classic case of stupidity at work. Wolves and other apex predators have been living side by side with their prey for thousands of years and have never wiped them out and there were more wolves before man came along and almost wiped them out. Nature knows how to balance itself out because God made it that way. He did not intend for Man to interfere. All man knows how to do is screw things up.



Yes because man is not part of nature right? Typical greeny mumbo-jumbo. Man has been competing and killing wolves, likewise, being killed by wolves for thousands of years. You are right God did not intend on man to interfere, his intention was for man to be part of, which is what we are.

Wolves keep the environment in balance. An over population of elk and deer, etc. is NOT good for the environment!! The deer have chronic wasting disease because there are too many of them - the elk have grazed areas down to nothing. Wolves serve an important purpose in nature or they would have never been made!! Plants have begun to grow again in areas where wolves have been reintroduced ( documentary, Nat'l Geographic I think it was) and the cattlemen don't own the world either........ hunting is fine, IF it's for FOOD but trophy hunting is disgusting - a typical ego trip is what it is. Just like the fairy tale of bison spreading brucellosis when EVERY SINGLE TIME it's been proven to come from the elk, yet they slaughter the bison anyway.... We have spent NO MONEY - where the hell is your head besides up your butt? Defenders of Wildlife, Earthjustice, NRDC, and so many other groups have spent a FORTUNE on this issue! Wake up.....

The possibility of changes to the ESA were avoidable. The litigation in Montana over delisting in MT and ID while they remain listed in WY for good reason, was a really dumb strategic legal move. Wolf populations in the former two states were still subject to continuing ESA protections if either MT or ID violated or compromised their wolf management plans approved by the US Fish & Wildlife Service.

Wolves in the Northern Rocky Mountains and the Great Lakes are clearly not in danger of extinction. There is genetic connectivity within the respective areas and the population is fairly large and diverse. States under the ESA are entitled to manage and they should manage wolves consistent with other state wildlife objectives.

You idiots at Earthjustice created this confrontation yourselves. If it ends badly you have only yourselves to blame AND you may have created the backlash for future ESA challenges or revisions. Nice work you morons.

17, 2011.

"The possibility of changes to the ESA were avoidable. The litigation in Montana over delisting in MT and ID while they remain listed in WY for good reason, was a really dumb strategic legal move. Wolf populations in the former two states were still subject to continuing ESA protections if either MT or ID violated or compromised their wolf management plans approved by the US Fish & Wildlife Service.

Wolves in the Northern Rocky Mountains and the Great Lakes are clearly not in danger of extinction. There is genetic connectivity within the respective areas and the population is fairly large and diverse. States under the ESA are entitled to manage and they should manage wolves consistent with other state wildlife objectives.

You idiots at Earthjustice created this confrontation yourselves. If it ends badly you have only yourselves to blame AND you may have created the backlash for future ESA challenges or revisions. Nice work you morons."

And YOUR Canadian Grey( northern Canadian) wolves have now done what man couldn't do in these areas. They have WIPED OUT the native wolf species!!! Great job
I'm getting VERY tired of you using our money to fight your legal battles. while I have spent thousands on wildlife, you all have spent nothing!
If man is so bad for the the earth = Get off of it!

Uhm WRONG. I see another hunt short on facts. First off, there is no wolf called the canadian gray. It's a gray wolf that lives in Canada. The reintroduced wolves DID NOT WIPE OUT THE NATIVE WOLVES. You have absolutely no idea what you are talking about and I'm going to say this real slowly to you so you understand. IT WAS THE FEDERAL GOVT. THAT WIPED OUT THE WOLVES FROM BEFORE AND THERE IS NO DOUBT ABOUT IT. You cannot stand the fact that wolves were reintroduced and now you have to compete with them for game. You spent thousands on killing wildlife. Do not act like you are a conservationist. YOU KILL WILDLIFE and that is the only thing you will ever be known for. You are a wildlife killer just like your buddy Dale.


I believe that you should reread your entry. I hope that your thought processes are better than your writing.



The comment might be missing a comma or two, BUT the thought process is very clear. If you don't get the message, perhaps you should see the related post on this angle of the topic I made today (3/18), including the reference to the Earthjustice lawyers wanting to pull out of the Montana wolf delisting case because the views of their respective clients have changed and Earthjustice can no longer represent them. Some clients want a solution that protects wolves at near current levels, while others want to push the boundary and risk adverse changes to the ESA that might result in less protection for wolves. A settlement is in the works, if it can be global, which would likely mean all plaintiffs.

Here is the link again:

Oh a change is coming, you can bet your best pair of boots on that cowboy.

Your abrasive tone is offensive and not suitable for listservs of any kind. If you have a solid argument, post it. If you need to bash, please go elswhere.

Alaska - Sorry you disapprove of the tone. It was intended to underscore a point and get some attention about how this mess got started. Normally I would not be "abrasive." This situation needed it.

I am a Wildlife Scientist with 49 years of experience in research on the behavior and ecology of wild and domesticated Canid species. For the past 19 years, my Wolf Research Team, consisting of 25-35 wildlife biology students, has been conducting studies of the wolf in Northern Wisconsin. I am well acquainted with the scientific knowledge on the population biology of this species and I have personally contributed to this body of evidence.

On March 4 the Senate unveiled a funding bill that includes a rider ordering the Interior Secretary to reinstate the court-overturned 2009 rule delisting wolves within portions of the northern Rockies, including Montana, Idaho and portions of Utah, Oregon and Washington. Further, it exempted that rule from court review.

If the Senate enacts this rule, it will be publicly displaying an utter contempt for scientific knowledge and practice in population biology. The Senate rule attempts to strip wolves of legal protections and fails to address the critical issues raised by the 2009 court ruling on the original delisting proposal. The plan provides no new wolf protections, will harm the wolf population and could jeopardize the future of the wolf in the northern Rockies.

Good wildlife science demands that the Senate remove the proposed rule and instead focus recovery efforts on helping the states develop plans that conserve their wolf populations and results in a sustainable population across the northern Rockies region.

Well for once someone who has the truth to say......thank you from the bottom of my heart!! I'd sell my soul to go out and and be able to work w/ someone to help save these majestic animals - just to take touch one!! I've worked w/ wild animals but don't have the "degrees" - just life experience but that doesn't count in today's society.....


Wolves are needed, and should not be open for slaughtering. They are a precious part of the heritage of this country called the U.S.A. They help to keep the ecosystem undercontrol
They are beautiful, and we should not be short sighted in actions. Once the wolves are off the endangered species act they will disappear so quickly we will never be able to get them back.

There are tag limits, seasons and regulations to hunting. Funny thing tell us the wolves are needed to bring the elk and deer in check because they are eating and destroying the is it they ( deer and elk) are not GONE and "slaughtered" into extinction since there is no prtection for them? The wolves will be treated the same way...seasons and regulations to maintain certain levels of healthy numbers.

Words like extinction and slaughtered are emotional terms meant to get people who dont know any better all worked up and stressed out without them really knowing whats going on....

We must also keep our eyes on the environment. I suffer from a very rare lung disease called LAM, and clean air is extremely important to me. We must continue to build on the progress the EPA has made not roll things back.

I am speechless at the thought of just totally eliminating the Endangered Species Act, and it is already bad enough that wolves have to take a blow year after year as it is in the Northwest.

They are not taking any blows. They are reproducing and spreading quite nicely....unfortunately those in the know wont be upfront about it......

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