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Attorney Persevered Like A Wolverine To Protect Them

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View John McManus's blog posts
05 February 2013, 12:34 PM
It took 12 years to finally win Endangered Species Act protections
Less than 300 wolverines are thought to remain in the lower 48. (USDA)

Last Friday, the federal government proposed to protect wolverines as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act. Wolverines are the biggest member of the weasel, mink, marten and otter family, but they don’t act like good family members—they are loners who cover huge ranges usually high in mountain ranges above tree line up in the rock, ice and snow.

No one knows how many wolverines still exist in the 48 contiguous states but their number is estimated to be less than 300, most living high in the Rocky Mountains of Montana, Wyoming, and Idaho and the North Cascades of Washington. A few individual wolverines are scattered through California, Oregon and Colorado.

Wolverines were decimated by trapping and poisoning, and driven to local extinctions by the 1930’s. They are slow to reproduce and tend to avoid developed areas, preferring instead the isolation of shrinking back country areas. As of now, the state of Montana still allows trappers to take them, but the proposed threatened-species listing would end that practice.

Wolverines are persistent, relentless animals known to walk up virtually vertical ice cliffs to get where they’re going. Maybe their persistence inspired Earthjustice lawyer Tim Preso who heard stories about them from field researchers working out of Bozeman, Montana.

Timothy Preso. (Bill Campbell)Earthjustice Managing Attorney Tim Preso.
(Bill Campbell)

Preso, who manages the Northern Rockies Earthjustice office in Bozeman, has worked for more than a decade to win Endangered Species Act protections for wolverines, starting with a petition sent to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in 2000. When the Fish and Wildlife Service refused to act, Preso successfully went to federal court to force the agency to respond.

In 2003 the Fish and Wildlife Service, then under the Bush administration (no friend to the ESA), said there wasn’t enough evidence to warrant protecting wolverines so Preso took the agency to court. A federal judge ruled Tim was right and that the Fish and Wildlife Service ignored “substantial scientific information” demonstrating threats to wolverines. That ruling sent the Fish and Wildlife Service back to the drawing board to reconsider protecting wolverines.

The agency returned in 2008, with George Bush still in the White House, and repeated its view that wolverines didn’t warrant ESA protections. Preso returned to court and forced the Fish and Wildlife Service to reconsider its finding once more. In 2010, with Barack Obama in the White House, the Service finally admitted that wolverines actually did warrant federal protection, but said further action was delayed because of other priorities.

By this time, other conservation groups jumped in, worried about the backlog of other species that, like the wolverine, were slipping towards extinction while the Fish and Wildlife Service dallied. This led to an agreement with the Fish and Wildlife Service to protect a list of species, including the wolverine.

Who knows how many wolverines were lost in the 12 years that have passed since Tim Preso began his work to win them protections. How many more might there be now? How much healthier might their population be now? We’ll never know but we do know that one Earthjustice attorney’s persistence eventually paid off after 12 years of hard work.

To me, the Endangered Species List only means that they will build up the animal group whatever it may be, to then put it on the "Trophy Hunting" list. Cases in point; here in Wisconsin, we built up the Wolf and Sand-hill Crane populations. As of yet, we've won the battle so far for the Cranes, but the Wolf got a "death sentence" and was put on the hunting list. Oh, the judge said, "you can use dogs to hunt the wolf, but you can't train the dog to hunt the wolf" , can you smell that?, ya, it smells like bullsh_t. We humans are a sad and narcissistic species, we can't get along with animals or ourselves. We cry to the politicians, but they are ruled by the dollar, and there's no money in nature, unless you kill it, which brings me to what's happening here in the Badger state. Our "expletive" Governor is now setting the chess board to start "hunting clubs" where they charge a fee to go hunting on fenced in properties with guaranteed kills for the elite and proclaim sportsmanship.

The underlying factor for the demise of the Wolverine family comes from a superior creature which is the Aesculus glabra, or more commonly referred to as Ohio State Buckeyes.

HELP…THE LAST OF A SPECIES “PROTECTED UNDER THE ENDANGERED SPECIES ACT” IS ON THE VERGE OF DESTRUCTION. “Congress declared that it was by “encouraging the States and other interested parties, through Federal financial assistance and a system of incentives, to develop and maintain
conservation programs which meet national… standards is a key to… better safeguarding, for the benefit of all citizens, the Nation’s heritage in fish, wildlife, and plants.”

The city of Rialto is putting a freeway truck on ramp through a federally protected small piece of land where the KANGAROO RAT it is the last and only territory that the species can survive. It is listed under and supposed to be protected under the “ENDANGERED SPECIED ACT”.

They are murdering this animal which is neither a rat nor a kangaroo; it is a marsupial with a pouch and about the size of a small rat, but it is its “OWN SINGULAR” species. It lives no where else on this earth.

They must be stopped. That land was set aside for the species decades ago, but the City of Rialto is so corrupt it has managed to go around the order of protection buy putting in a couple of holes under the ramp. The species requires silence and solitude to survive which will not be the case once giant trucks begin vibrating its entire home. They will die from fear and starvation since the truck use will also keep away the mosquitoes which the species eats due to that singular environment. We are constantly monitored for mosquito abatement and yet they are killing off the only species that allows this entire city to survive the diseases spread by mosquitoes. I can explain (IN DETAIL) why the species needs that environment at another times BECAUSE that is a detailed story. It is not legal to kill off the last of a species which cannot survive elsewhere and cannot be relocated due to the exceedingly special needs of the species. They are aware and were questioned about this in our “so called” community meetings during which the K.R. was brought up by the people that have lived in this area long enough to know of the order of protection.

PLEASE STOP THESE PEOPLE, NOW, BEFORE THEY ARE ENTIRELY WIPED OUT. THESE PUBLIC OFFICIALS WENT AROUNT THAT LAW BY WAY OF CORRUPTION and I can prove that , as well and “in detail” when you wish to know the details of how this corruption came about.

The species can’t speak for itself, so I am trying to save them from extinction. They are not only beautiful little creatures but more useful than anyone cares to understand.
There is no way to set aside a “reserve” for them, there is no where else to “relocate” them to, there is no way they can survive in Zoo, YOU are their last hope.

So “I AM BEGGING YOU TO HURRY AND SAVE THEM” because the city lied about the ramp (at first, and for 50 years) not going through because of the rat and now greedy men have found a way to slaughter them, for money. They are already multi- millionaires, but they want more and more money regardless of what or who is killed in their pursuit in getting more of it.

I apologize if this letter is not articulate in the writing the or wording, but the Kangaroo Rat has no time for me to worry about my writing defects.

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