More than 50 Conservation Groups Want Federal Protections Restored to Protect Wolves
New Wolf Killing Laws in Idaho, Montana Prompt Renewed Push to Restore Wolves’ Federal Safeguards
BOISE, Idaho (KMVT/KSVT) —More than 50 wildlife conservation groups are asking the Biden Administration to Immediately restore protections to Wolves in the Northern Rockies . On Wednesday the groups asked the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to immediately restore Endangered Species Act protections to gray wolves in the northern Rocky Mountains.
The letter supports the emergency petition filed on May 26 by the Center for Biological Diversity, the Humane Society of the United States, Humane Society Legislative Fund and Sierra Club. That petition explains that the changes in wolf killing laws in Idaho and Montana trigger the need to restore federal protections for wolves in the northern Rocky Mountains on an emergency basis.
On June 13, Idaho Fish and Game closed a nine-day public comment period on its proposal to implement the state’s new wolf laws, which take effect July 1. The proposed rules implement Senate Bill 1211, allowing the state to hire private contractors to kill up to 90% of Idaho’s wolf population. The Idaho rules would allow hunters and trappers to kill an unlimited number of wolves, run-down wolves with packs of hounds, chase them and run them over with ATVs and snowmobiles, and trap year-round on private land across the state.
The Montana Fish and Wildlife Commission will decide at a June 24 meeting in Helena whether to move forward with new wolf rules after taking testimony from the public.
Montana’s Senate Bill 314 pushes the commission to authorize hunters and trappers to kill an unlimited number of wolves through baiting, trapping and night hunts using night-vision scopes and spotlighting. The commission will also address new laws allowing snaring and expanding the wolf-trapping seasons by four weeks.
“Wildlife managers in Idaho and Montana are rushing out regulations that’ll allow the widespread slaughter of wolves to start this summer,” said Andrea Zaccardi, an Idaho-based senior attorney at the Center for Biological Diversity. “Decades of progress recovering wolves in the Northern Rockies will be erased unless the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service acts now to restore their Endangered Species Act protections.”
The Endangered Species Act requires the Fish and Wildlife Service to respond to the relisting petition by Aug. 24.
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