Editor's Note: On March 10, the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 720, a bill that could have a chilling effect on people’s efforts to file lawsuits that may have untested or non-existent legal theory. The House also passed H.R. 985, the Class-Action Restrictions and Asbestos Trusts bill (H.R. 906 was merged with H.R.
Just over a month into its new session, the 115th Congress has already taken a sledgehammer to environmental safeguards that protect people, wildlife and wild lands from pollution and other harms. Besides moving to roll back protections for clean air and pristine mountain streams, as well as attacking government agencies’ ability to do their jobs and enforce the law, Congress is resurfacing its old grudge against gray wolves, while also clandestinely erecting a barrier to Americans’ ability to take their government to court.
Last year, Earthjustice partnered with the Creative Action Network to launch #JoinThePack, a wolf art campaign to debunk negative stereotypes about this misunderstood species. We received a tremendous response of more than 100 submissions from artists eager to share their passion for wolves.
As the upcoming presidential election consumes our attention, the most anti-wildlife Congress in U.S. history is entering its final stretch and quietly working to pass members’ last pet pieces of legislation. Much of the proposed legislation would have damaging and lasting impacts on America’s wildlife and wild lands. These include measures that could prove devastating to a variety of wolf populations.
Today is Endangered Species Day, and to mark the occasion, 968 scientists from across the country sent a loud and clear message to the federal government: Keep politics out of conservation decisions. The scientists addressed a petition to Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell and Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker, the heads of the federal agencies that oversee America’s land and natural resources and economic growth.
For years, officials in charge of wildlife management have operated under the belief that policy that allows for government-sponsored culling of predators reduces the incidence of poaching. The idea behind this theory is that eliminating “problem” animals, such as wolves with a history of attacking livestock, will make local people more tolerant of the species as a whole. But a new study conducted by researchers in Wisconsin and Sweden found just the opposite is true.
Last month just before packing up for the holiday season, we celebrated a big victory for gray wolves. President Obama signed into law a huge government spending package that did not include a policy “rider” that would have removed wolves in four states from the list of federally endangered species.
The other night I stood with a few friends and about 100 other people at an overlook in San Francisco’s Presidio to watch the rare blood moon eclipse. Right as the orange moon emerged above the cloud line over the Bay, some people across the way raised their heads and let out a howl. Soon the whole mass of strangers, toddler-age to seniors, joined together in a chorus of wolf cries as the moon passed through the Earth’s shadow.
Wolves are easily one of the most polarizing creatures in the animal kingdom, yet a recent nationwide poll concluded that the vast majority of Americans would not want to live in a world without them or other threatened and endangered wildlife.