May 27, 2017

Reinstatement of Removal of Federal Protections for Gray Wolves in Wyoming

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Final rule.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), are issuing 
this final rule to comply with a court order that reinstates the 
removal of Federal protections for the gray wolf (Canis lupus) in 
Wyoming under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended. Pursuant 
to the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia 
Circuit order dated March 3, 2017, and mandate dated April 25, 2017, 
this rule again removes gray wolves in Wyoming from the List of 
Endangered and Threatened Wildlife.

DATES: This action is effective May 1, 2017. The United States Court of 
Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit order dated March 3, 2017, 
and mandate dated April 25, 2017, removing Federal protections for the 
gray wolf in Wyoming had legal effect immediately upon filing of the 
mandate.

ADDRESSES: This final rule is available electronically at http://www.regulations.gov in Docket No. FWS-R6-ES-2017-0025. It will also be 
available for inspection, by appointment, during normal business hours 
at U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Mountain-Prairie Regional Office, 
Ecological Services Division, 134 Union Blvd., Lakewood, CO 80228; 
telephone (303) 236-7400. Persons who use a telecommunications device 
for the deaf (TDD) may call the Federal Relay Service at 800-877-8339.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For information on wolves in Wyoming, 
contact Tyler Abbott, Wyoming Field Office Supervisor, U.S. Fish and 
Wildlife Service, 5353 Yellowstone Rd., Suite 308A, Cheyenne, WY 82009; 
telephone (307) 772-2374. Individuals who are hearing impaired or 
speech impaired may call the Federal Relay Service at 800-877-8337 for 
TTY assistance.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

    The Federal List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife (List), 
which is authorized by the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended 
(ESA; 16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.), is located in title 50 of the Code of 
Federal Regulations in part 17 (50 CFR 17.11(h)). On September 10, 
2012, we published a final rule to remove the gray wolf in Wyoming from 
the List and remove this population's status as a nonessential 
experimental population under the ESA (77 FR 55530; ``2012 final 
rule''). Additional background information on the gray wolf in Wyoming 
and on this decision, including previous Federal actions, can be found 
in our 2012 final rule at http://www.regulations.gov in Docket No. FWS-
R6-ES-2011-0039, or at https://www.fws.gov/mountain-prairie/es/grayWolf.php.
    Various groups filed lawsuits challenging our 2012 final rule. On 
September 23, 2014, the U.S. District Court for the District of 
Columbia vacated and set aside our 2012 final rule (Defenders of 
Wildlife v. Jewell, 68 F. Supp. 3d 193 (D.D.C. 2014)) and reinstated 
our April 2, 2009 (74 FR 15123), final rule that protected gray wolves 
in Wyoming as a nonessential experimental population under the ESA. On 
December 1, 2014, the United States appealed the District Court's 
decision to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia 
Circuit. Pending the appeal, and consistent with the District Court's 
September 23, 2014, order, we published a final rule reinstating the 
April 2, 2009, final rule protecting the gray wolf in Wyoming (80 FR 
9218, February 20, 2015).
    On March 3, 2017, the U.S. Court of Appeals, in a unanimous 
opinion, reversed the ruling of the U.S. District Court Defenders of 
Wildlife v. Zinke, No. 14-5300 (D.C. Cir. March 3, 2017). On April 25, 
2017, the U.S. Court of Appeals issued its mandate consistent with its 
March 3, 2017, opinion reversing the U.S. District Court's vacatur of 
our 2012 final rule for gray wolves in Wyoming. The issuance of the 
mandate makes the delisting go into effect. To the extent that a 
regulatory change is required to effectuate the delisting, we are doing 
so now. Therefore, this rule amends the List of Endangered and 
Threatened Wildlife by removing gray wolves in Wyoming.

Administrative Procedure

    This rulemaking is necessary to comply with the March 3, 2017, 
court order and April 25, 2017, mandate. Therefore, under these 
circumstances, the Director has determined, pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 
553(b)(3)(B), that prior notice and opportunity for public comment are 
impractical and unnecessary. The Director has further determined, 
pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3), that the court order and mandate 
constitute good cause to make this rule effective upon publication.

Effects of the Rule

    Per the March 3, 2017, court order and April 25, 2017, mandate, the 
protections of the ESA are removed for gray wolves in Wyoming. 
Additionally, the regulations under section 10(j) of the ESA at 50 CFR 
17.84(i) and (n) designating Wyoming as a nonessential experimental 
population area are also removed.

List of Subjects in 50 CFR Part 17

    Endangered and threatened species, Exports, Imports, Reporting and 
recordkeeping requirements, Transportation.

Regulation Promulgation

    To comply with the court order and mandate discussed above, we 
amend part 17, subchapter B of chapter I, title 50 of the CFR, as set 
forth below:

PART 17--ENDANGERED AND THREATENED WILDLIFE AND PLANTS

0
1. The authority citation for part 17 continues to read as follows:

    Authority:  16 U.S.C. 1361-1407; 1531-1544; and 4201-4245, 
unless otherwise noted.


Sec.  17.11   [Amended]

0
2. Amend Sec.  17.11(h) by removing the entry for ``Wolf, gray 
[Northern Rocky Mountain DPS]'' under MAMMALS from the List of 
Endangered and Threatened Wildlife.

[[Page 20285]]

Sec.  17.84   [Amended]

0
3. Amend Sec.  17.84 by removing and reserving paragraphs (i) and (n).

    Dated: March 28, 2017.
James K. Kurth,
Acting Director, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
[FR Doc. 2017-08720 Filed 4-28-17; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 4333-15-P
Share

Removal of Wyoming’s Gray Wolves from Endangered Species List Final Step in Historic Recovery Across Northern Rockies

Press Release from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service:

Action by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in Response to D.C. Appeals Court Ruling Upholding Previous Delisting Determination

April 26, 2017

 

Recovery of the gray wolf in the Northern Rocky Mountains is one of our nation’s greatest conservation success stories. Today, that success was re-affirmed with the filing by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service of a notice again delisting the species in the state of Wyoming. Wolves have already been delisted throughout the rest of the Northern Rockies population.

“Our action today delisting the wolf in Wyoming puts the last puzzle piece of Northern Rocky Mountain wolf conservation back in place,” said Acting Service Director Jim Kurth. “The result is a complete picture of success in wolf conservation across the region, restoring management of this recovered population to the state’s wildlife professionals.”

The Service’s action was in response to a final decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit overturning an earlier U.S. District Court decision vacating the Service’s 2012 delisting rule for Wyoming wolves. The court’s decision recognizes the recovered status of gray wolves and affirms the Service’s determination that the state’s regulatory mechanisms are sufficient for conserving wolves under its authority.  The Service will continue to monitor the population for the next five years to ensure recovery criteria are met.

Noreen Walsh, Regional Director for the Service’s Mountain-Prairie Region credited the considerable dedication of many partners, particularly the state of Wyoming, in helping recover Northern Rockies wolves.

“It is deeply gratifying that we can officially recognize the strong and diverse partnerships that made the vision of wolf recovery a reality,” said Walsh. “We particularly applaud the efforts of the State of Wyoming in implementing their gray wolf management plan and we are confident that they will continue to execute this plan moving forward. Their continued commitment to managing wolves will ensure we maintain a robust, stable and self-sustaining population into the future.”

The Service will be working closely with the State of Wyoming to transition wolf management post delisting. Meanwhile, the state’s annual wolf numbers reveal an enduring healthy population, with approximately 377 wolves in 52 packs with 25 breeding pairs. The Northern Rocky Mountain population as a whole continues to be self-sustaining, with numbers well above federal management objectives. Wolves have continued to expand their range westward into Oregon, Washington, northern California and Nevada.

Share

Google Alert! Gray Wolf

*Editor’s Note* – Mr. Beers, upon examination of a “Google Alert,” of which I have posted below, responds to the material contained within the alert.

Google Alert! Gray Wolf – by James Beers

“Gag me with a spoon”, I apologize (not really) for such an un-scientific observation about such an important subject in the “news” item below..

Note that this is a public relations piece from an “Endangered Wolf Center” and the St. Louis TV station eager for such a cutesy-tootsy evening news item.

  1. Note the Facebook/Google “Alert” below that I have enlarged where appropriate and remember the “Center” colluded in this bit of tripe:

–          “Mexican Gray Wolf species”; considering this comes from a “scientific”  Center” and “scientists” that collect semen, freeze embryos and create a “world’s first” phenomenon ask yourself, “is a Mexican wolf” a “gray wolf?”  “Is a ‘Mexican’ ‘gray’ wolf a ‘species’?”  The inherent and confusing faux wolf biology is sticking its ugly head out once again.

–          “The world’s first Mexican Wolf pup that was recently born from artificially inseminated frozen embryo here in St. Louis.”  Is it really stunning that you can birth such animals this way?  This has been done for decades with livestock and domestic dogs that coincidentally can breed with these wolves and create viable offspring (does that make them the same species or what?)  Billing this as a “World’s First” reminds me of the Cubs/Pirates game I watched last night.  The Pirates were down by 10 runs in the 8th and brought in a rookie to pitch in his “first” Major League game.  He is a big guy and pitched well but the Pittsburgh announcers had a ball joking about his being “the first native-born Lithuanian to play in the majors” and about his name “Neveraskous” (pronounced by them as “Never ask us”)  Actually, I think Neveraskous was a true big deal and reading this tripe from St. Louis is little more than propaganda.

–          “Endangered breed” is mentioned twice.  So a “breed” is like a basset hound or rat terrier, therefore a wolf is like …?  Does the Endangered Species Act cover “breeds”?  Should the ESA be rebranded as the Endangered Breed Act?  Will the radical enviros and self-serving bureaucrats please notify the bleeding heart pols in Washington so that the “breed” is covered?

–         Consulting the “San Francisco Chronicle” about articles like this  is like consulting Pravda on forecasting the stock market or the Kampala Times about the latest surgical techniques for hip implants.

  1. I should get paid for watching these videos of earnest young women “ooohhing” and “aaahing” in T shirts and/or government uniforms while petting baby wolves while they weave their myths and curses like the witches in Macbeth.

–          “Revered”; wolves are to be “revered”?  Are you kidding me and the rest of the Nation or do you, in your elementary paganism of animal/environment worship, really believe that?

–          You blithely assure us about how those “cute” puppies are “dewormed”, “treated for fleas and ticks” and otherwise treated like offspring of last year’s AKC’s Westminster Dog Show and then instruct the rest of us about how the un-wormed, un-flea/tick-medicated, rabies-susceptible, vectors of over 35 diseases and infections are to be “revered” when we see them?  Are we to get on our knees, put our head between our knees and extend our arms and put our hands on the ground when they come into our yard or when they investigate the school bus stop when the kids are there or when they are killing sheep. Calves, foals, big game wildlife or our dogs?  Note to all you urban teachers putting this dangerous nonsense in your little munchkin’s heads, you will have much to answer for one day when you inevitably awake to the true (nor relative) value of human life that you are so blithely equating to dangerous and deadly predators you are teaching your charges to “revere”.

This “ALERT” and propaganda really expose the faux propaganda of the “science” and government action underpinning the ESA.  This “science” is no more than lies used in the way Hitler defined the “Big Lie” in Mein Kampf when he mentioned a lie so colossal that no one would believe that someone “could have the impudence to distort the truth so infamously”.

To change what is happening, you have to disprove the “science”, take away the financial/political influence if rich NGO’s, remove self-serving bureaucrats, turn off these teachers, get the “truth” out and then convince the politicians hiding under their desks to do the right thing.  No problem.  What do you say President Trump?

Jim Beers

Share

You Can’t Roller Skate in a Grizzly Bear Herd

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) is up to its usual lying, cheating and stealing, pretending its intentions are the delisting of the grizzly bear in the so-called, “Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem.” Lest we forget that we operate within a rigged system of control, profiteering, and human engineering? The USFWS has no serious intention to remove the grizzly bear from Endangered Species Act protection. And, when considering all aspects of the fascist U.S. Government, why would states want control – meaning they get to spend local taxpayer’s dollars instead of Federal – over the grizzly bear no more than they should want control over the GI Wolves that the Government forced onto the public. They built it, let them deal with it.

Ignorance and short memories persist in the farce of the Endangered Species Act smoke and mirrors show. In 2008, after several court challenges to gray wolf listing and delisting proposals, the USFWS, by order of the Courts, redrew their lines to designate which boundaries they had been able to get away with in the past. In other words, after President Nixon signed into law (1973) the Endangered Species Act, gray wolves in all of the Lower 48 states were declared “endangered” with the exception of Minnesota, where wolves were labeled, “threatened.”

In 1994, the Feds carved out the Northern Rockies Distinct Population Segment (DPS) of wolves. In 1998, the Feds carved out the Southwest Distinct Population Segment for Mexican Wolves. It would be my assumption that the creation of these Distinct Population Segments were permitted because it involved the introduction of wolves into those areas.

The Western Great Lakes Distinct Population Segment designation, didn’t fare so well, because wolf introduction wasn’t involved. Because the Feds made the decision to carve out a DPS for the Western Great Lakes, for the purpose of delisting the gray wolf in that region, a Washington, D.C. Federal Judge ruled that it was illegal for the Feds to create a DPS for the purpose of delisting. Since that time, there have not been attempts to delist any wolves, or any other species that I am aware of, by first creating a DPS, until now. It is also my understanding, as I have not found any other court rulings, that the USFWS, in the Federal Register, expounded on their historic uses of Distinct Population Segments. Of course this was all done for their own convenience. I am not aware that this “explanation” of the Fed’s right to create DPS for any purpose, has been challenged in the Courts.

The question has always remained that if the Courts are to rule that it is illegal to create a DPS for the purpose of delisting, is it also illegal to create a DPS to list a species? As pointed out above, the initial declaration of labeling gray wolves in the United States (lower) as endangered while calling those in Minnesota threatened, was an illegal act, according to Judge Freidman, the Washington, D.C. Federal Judge. Every act of creating DPS for wolves or grizzly bears or any other species, therefore, has been illegal.

What it does do, and always will do, is provide a court convenience to rule according to the whim of the moment. As environmentalist’s lawsuit will be filed to stop the delisting of grizzlies in the “created” DPS of Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, the Courts have all the ammo they need to do just as they please. And the USFWS knows this and they use it for their own purposes as well. It’s easy to play good cop-bad cop when you know the outcome.

If the USFWS is not authorized, according to previous court rulings, to create a DPS for the purpose of delisting gray wolves, it still is not authorized to create a DPS for the purpose of delisting grizzly bears in the newly fabricated “Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem.” This is nothing more that a part of the rigged fascist system we live in, where totalitarians eagerly work toward their own demise.

Below is a link to an opinion piece found in the New York Times. The author shares information, some of which is truth. I have excerpted part of his truthful words about public perceptions and hostile feelings toward the Endangered Species Act, as well as the animals themselves, the result of totalitarian enforcement of individuals’ ideology.

This proposal will end up in court. It will be interesting to see how the courts rule and what lucky rabbit they will pull out of their…hat.

While the author’s ideas may be good, the reality is that you can’t roller skate in a herd of grizzlies – meaning it is pointless to inject sense and sensibility into an insane, rigged system.

“Blocking the delisting of charismatic, Instagram-worthy megafauna like bears and wolves undermines the credibility of the act while costing taxpayers millions and diverting resources away from genuinely imperiled, if less photogenic, species.

There is increasing hostility toward the act, and toward the species themselves.”<<<Read More>>>

Share

GRAY WOLF DAMAGE AND CONFLICT MANAGEMENT IN WYOMING

Wolf Damage and Conflict Management in Wyoming

BACKGROUND AND SUMMARY

There are many positive ecological, ethical and aesthetic benefits associated with maintaining healthy wolf populations in native ecosystems (Weiss et al. 2007). Unfortunately, there are also circumstances when wolves can come in conflict with human interests. In Wyoming, these conflicts may include predation on livestock and pets and threats to human health and safety associated with habituated wolves. This Environmental Assessment has been prepared to analyze the potential environmental impacts of alternatives for the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), Wildlife Services (WS) program involvement in wolf conflict management in Wyoming.

In 1994, the U.S. Department of the Interior, Fish and Wildlife Service and cooperators reintroduced gray wolves (Canis lupus) as a Nonessential Experimental (XN) Population (50 CFR 17.84 (i)) in Yellowstone National Park (YNP) and Central Idaho (59 FR 60252)1 . The Northern Rocky Mountains (NRM) wolf population grew steadily and expanded in number and distribution. The population recovery criterion of ? 10 breeding pairs2 per state (Idaho, Montana, Wyoming) for at least 3 consecutive years was reached by 2002, and has been exceeded every year thereafter (USFWS et al. 2010). The current NRM wolf population is at least 1,691 wolves in 320 packs, and 78 breeding pairs (USFWS et al. 2015); in addition, packs have been confirmed in eastern Washington and Oregon. WS, the USFWS and cooperating federal, state and tribal partners have worked collaboratively on research and monitoring of the wolf population and on wolf conflict management. These efforts have included radio-collaring and monitoring more than 1,200 wolves in the NRM to assess population status, conduct research, and to reduce/resolve wolf conflicts.

The WGFD and USFWS have requested that WS continue its role as an agent of the State for managing wolf conflicts (WGFC 2011, USFWS 2014). Any WS wolf conflict management actions would be subject to USFWS and WGFD decisions and authorizations (Letter to R. Krischke, WS, from M. Jimenez, USFWS, Wyoming Wolf Recovery Project Leader, October 22, 2014; contract with WGFD 2012) and applicable federal, state local and tribal laws and regulations and court rulings. WS wolf conflict management assistance could be provided on private or public property when: 1) authorized or approved by the USFWS and/or WGFD as appropriate, 2) resource owners/managers request assistance to alleviate wolf conflicts, 3) wolf conflict or threats are verified, and 4) agreements or work plans have been completed specifying the details of the conflict management actions to be conducted. Depending upon the regulatory status of wolves and applicable management plans and regulations, the types of verified wolf conflicts that could be addressed include: 1) depredation/injury of domestic animals, 2) harassment/threats to domestic animals, 3) property damage, and 4) injury and/or potential threats to human safety (e.g., habituated/bold wolves)1,.

Three alternatives for WS involvement in wolf conflict management are analyzed in this EA, including the Current Program Alternative (the No Action/Proposed Alternative) which continues the current adaptive wolf conflict management program, with nonlethal methods preferred before lethal actions are taken3 (WS Directives 2.101, 2.105). This alternative includes limits on wolf conflict management effective while wolves are federally protected under the ESA and managed under the special 10j rules (e.g., 1994, 2005 and 2008 10j rules) under which the nonessential experimental (XN) populations were reintroduced [50 CFR 17.84 (i)4 ], and authorizations from the USFWS or WGFD (Letter to R. Krischke, WS, from M. Jimenez, USFWS, Wyoming Wolf Recovery Project Leader, March 1, 2009; Letter to R. Krischke, WS, from B. Nesvik, Chief Wildlife Division, WGFD October 4, 2011). Under this alternative, WS would use and/or recommend the full range of legal, practical and effective nonlethal and lethal methods for preventing or reducing wolf conflicts while minimizing any potentially harmful effects of conflict management on humans, wolves, other species and the environment. This Alternative would serve as the environmental base line against which the potential impacts of the other Alternatives are compared (CEQ 1981).

Under a second alternative, WS would only use and provide advice on nonlethal methods for wolf conflict management. Under the third alternative considered, WS would not be involved in wolf conflict management in Wyoming. The limitations on WS actions under these two alternatives would not prevent the USFWS or WGFD, as appropriate, or property owners from using lethal methods in accordance with applicable federal, state and tribal laws, policies and plans.

The analysis evaluates the ability of each of the management alternatives to meet the established management objectives including the efficacy of the alternatives in reducing conflicts with wolves in Wyoming. Issues considered in detail for each alternative include: 1) impacts on the wolf population, 2) Effects on public and pet health and safety, 3) animal welfare and humaneness concerns, 4) impacts to stakeholders including aesthetic impacts, 5) impacts on non-target species including threatened and endangered species.

1 This rule established regulations allowing management of wolves by government agencies and the public to minimize conflicts with livestock. The USFWS authorized WS to investigate reported wolf predation on livestock and to implement corrective measures, including nonlethal and lethal actions, to reduce further predation. 2 A breeding pair is defined as a pack containing > one adult male > one adult female and two or more pups on December 31. 3 Nonlethal methods are generally implemented by the resource owner and usually WS is called after nonlethal methods have failed to stop the damage.

<<<Read Full Assessment>>>

Share

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Announces Finding on Gray Wolf Petition

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has determined that a petition to reclassify all gray wolves in the conterminous United States, except for the Mexican wolf in the Southwest, as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) does not present substantial information indicating that reclassification may be warranted. As a result, the Service will take no further action on the petition, which was submitted by The Humane Society of the United States and 22 other petitioners in January.

The Service’s review concluded that the petition did not provide information to indicate that the population petitioned for listing, which does not correspond to any currently listed gray wolf population, may qualify as a listable entity under the ESA.

The Service also found that the petition failed to provide substantial information indicating these wolves may meet the definition of a threatened species, specifically are likely to be in danger of extinction within the foreseeable future throughout all or a significant portion of their range.

This finding will appear in a 90-day batched notice with 30 other petition findings,

http://www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=FWS-HQ-ES-2015-0072

The notice will publish in the Federal Register on July 1, 2015, and also will be available at www.fws.gov/policy/frsystem/default.cfm by clicking on the 2015 Notices link under Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants. Information can be submitted on species for which a status review is being initiated, using the specified docket number, beginning upon publication in the Federal Register, for 60 days until August 31, 2015.

For more information on the gray wolf, visit: http://www.fws.gov/home/wolfrecovery/.

Share

AZ and NM Want Their Wolves Included in Ribble Bill for Delisting

As I understand things, a bill that is planned to go before the U.S. House of Representatives that would effectively remove gray wolves in Wisconsin, Michigan, Wyoming and Minnesota from protection under the Endangered Species Act (ESA), is being crafted as I write. According to some sources, once that bill is ready it will be presented to the House.

There now appears to be a movement underway in Arizona and New Mexico where groups seeking control of wolves in the Southwest want their Congressional representatives to get in on the action and get Mexican wolves in those states included on this bill.

Below is a copy of a letter sent to Rep. Steve Pearce from the Catron County Commission seeking action.

RE: Addition of “Mexican Gray Wolf” to be included with the “Gray Wolf’s” removal from the Endangered Species List Congressman Pearce,

The Catron County Commission requests that you add the “Mexican Gray Wolf” (Canis Lupus Baileyi) into the legislation U.S. Representative Reed Ribble, R-Wis. is preparing to remove the “Gray Wolf” off the Endangered Species List in four States.

U.S. Representative Ribble is leading the effort and the co-sponsors include U.S. Representatives Collin Peterson, D-Minn., Dan Benishek, R-Mich., and Cynthia Lummis, R-Wyo.

There has already been severe collateral damage to the citizens of Catron County, County Government and the State of New Mexico in recovery of Mexican Gray Wolves on settled landscapes by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. (See attachment A1 Dr. Geist)

Now, with the new 10j rule, Mexican Wolf Recovery will be expanded up to I-40 (eventually beyond) in New Mexico-Arizona and South to the Mexican border. This expansion will take in vast settled landscapes and will have major negative effects on the citizens, pets, businesses, livestock, and wildlife.

All the Mexican wolves that have been released into the Gila Wilderness have moved and gone into areas of human activity. The last wolf pack, the Coronado Pack was released last July, 2014 into the Gila Wilderness. The wolves left the Wilderness recently, entered private property attacking and injuring two dogs. The wolves were hazed back into the Gila Wilderness by the USFWS and the chance of them remaining is questionable.

Congressman Pearce, by taking the Mexican Wolf off the Endangered Species List it will save rural families from losing their homes, businesses and private property rights.

Attached are documents to show the negative effects and collateral damage to achieve Mexican Wolf Recovery on settled landscapes .

Respectfully Submitted,
Glyn Griffin,
Catron County Commission Chair

Attachment A1

Dr. Geist addresses the issue of wolf recovery on settled landscapes

Wolves cannot be kept in settled landscapes, because of the impossibility of keeping wolves and dogs apart, and the destruction of the wolf genome by creeping hybridization. While I whole-heatedly agree that there should be no keeping of wolves and wolf hybrids as pets, the sheer size of the “wolf-dog” industry as well as past releases of wolf hybrids will insure further erosion of the genome of free-ranging wolves. Secondly, how is officialdom to know of wolf hybrids unless wolf numbers are strictly and closely regulated so that plenty of specimens are available for testing. Thirdly, from my experience identifying wolves or dogs from photos sent my way I have serious doubts that European wolf specialists can currently distinguish wolf from dog. Unless limits are set early to wolf numbers – and I see no hint of that – wolf populations will expand to destroy the populations of deer and turn to livestock and humans.

Do the authors of this manifesto really think that they can significantly keep wolves and dogs apart by minimizing the number of free-ranging dogs? Even if they have some success in doing so, are they not aware that lone wolves themselves seek out dogs? Do they really think that lone wolf females in heat will desist from visiting suburbs and farms looking for a mate? Do they think that chained farm dogs will not copulate with a female wolf in heat at night? Has nobody had the experience of holding a young very large male dog in training while they come in contact with am estrus female canid? I had a Bouvier de Flandre on the leash while we came across a small wolf track in the snow – and the Bouvier went wild! He then weighed only about a hundred pounds. I had my hands full! An amorous male wolf threatened my wife when he approached an estrus hunting dog in an enclosure. No neighborhood male dog had been that bold! In short, given wolves with a desire to mate and they will intrude deep into human habitation. There is no way to effectively segregate wolves from dogs in settled landscapes. Moreover, as this is written, there is now way to protect wildlife from marauding packs of dogs either.

As I have said before, all efforts to make wolves compatible with settle landscapes are a waste of time and energy. All marauding canids in settle landscape need to be removed. This raises the question of how to conserve wolves as a species. What we know for certain is that they need to be kept away from people and dogs. In the first instance that means that wolves and other large predators need to be kept where the public has no entry. And such areas need to be large. The very first step is to negotiate internationally for keeping large predators on military and atomic reserves. I doubt that national parks are suitable because the tourist lobby will balk. Secondly, means and ways need to be found to control closely wolf populations in such reserves to insure that the predators do not run out of prey, and leave the reserves for settled landscapes. Well-fed wolves will cause the least problems. Severe trapping and predator control in 20th century North America kept wolves out of settled landscapes, eliminated agricultural losses and disease transmission, retained their genetic integrity, while attacks on humans were unheard of.

Wolf conservation as proposed here (i.e. Europe) is not serious.

Sincerely, Val Geist
Professor Emeritus of Environmental Science

Share

Service Reopens Comment Period on Wolf Proposal

February 7, 2014
Contacts:

Gavin Shire, 703-346-9123, gavin_shire@fws.gov

Independent scientific peer review report available for public review

Following receipt of an independent scientific peer review, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is reopening the comment period on its proposal to list the Mexican wolf as an endangered subspecies and remove the gray wolf from the Endangered Species List. The Service is making that report available for public review, and beginning Monday, February 10, interested stakeholders will have an additional 45 days to provide information that may be helpful to the Service in making a final determination on the proposal.

The independent scientific peer review was hosted and managed by the National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis (NCEAS), a highly respected interdisciplinary research center at the University of California – Santa Barbara. At the Service’s request, NCEAS sponsored and conducted a peer review of the science underlying the Service’s proposal.

“Peer review is an important step in our efforts to assure that the final decision on our proposal to delist the wolf is based on the best available scientific and technical information,” said Service Director Dan Ashe. “We thank the National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis for conducting a transparent, objective and well-documented process. We are incorporating the peer review report into the public record for the proposed rulemaking, and accordingly, reopening the public comment period to provide the public with the opportunity for input.”

The peer review report is available online, along with instructions on how to provide comment and comprehensive links relating to the proposal, at www.fws.gov/home/wolfrecovery.

The Service intends that any final action resulting from this proposed rule will be based on the best available information. Comments and materials we receive, as well as some of the supporting documentation used in preparing this proposed rule, are available for public inspection at www.regulations.gov under the docket number FWS–HQ–ES–2013–0073.

The Service will post all comments on www.regulations.gov. This generally means the agency will post any personal information provided through the process. The Service is not able to accept email or faxes. Comments must be received by midnight on March 27.

The Federal Register publication of this notice will be available online Feb. 10 at www.fws.gov/policy/frsystem/default.cfm by clicking on the 2014 Proposed Rules under Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants.

The Service expects to make final determination on the proposal by the end of 2014.

Share

Independent Review of Rule Proposal to Delist Wolves Nationally

The National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis was asked by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) to review a proposal being made by the USFWS to remove the gray wolf from the Endangered Species Act list of protected animals. The link below will take readers to that 68-page report.

In short, the panel of so-called expert and independent scientists determined that the USFWS’s rule, “does not currently represent the ‘best available science’.”

While it may be that this report accurately describes the work of the USFWS in its proposed rule to delist wolves nationally, one has to wonder about the politics involved at every level. In my mind, I am highly skeptical about the overall plans of the USFWS and how they may be using this review for future purposes, some of which we know nothing about. Historically, the USFWS is notorious for manipulating “science” and utilizing court rulings to further their agenda, while taking advantage of their subsidiaries in wildlife crime, the environmental groups.

We will have to wait and see, I suppose, what kind of sinister effects this review will have on the management of gray wolves and other threatened or endangered species.

Here is the link to the review.

Share

Thoughts on Albuquerque, N.M. Wolf Hearing

A Guest Post by Laura Schneberger: (with permission)

Here are my thoughts after listening to the FWS [U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service] and wolf advocates the other night[at Albuquerque, NM hearing]. I know I haven’t been around this year much but rumors of my death were greatly exaggerated. I am still here still paying attention and still have not been wrong yet.

Wolf advocates want 3 separate populations of Mexican wolves in the newly defined recovery area that will be expanded after this comment period. They also want the animals reclassified to “essential”, which would effectively mean full ESA [Endangered Species Act] status and NO take. They [wolf advocates] are arguing for massive expansion of the northern boundary beyond I-40, and above the Grand Canyon, into Utah and Colorado, in the hopes that their consolation prize will be all of AZ and NM and expanded essential populations there. It’s the old bait and switch.

Keep in mind this strategy is due to the fact that Utah and Colorado will fuss and fight tooth and nail to keep any new program out of their area and end up, by default, supporting those advocacy efforts to just keep them down here; the same way people inside and outside the current boundary [areas] end up fighting each other rather than consolidating and dealing with the real problem. This is deliberate manipulation of our positions and pitting us against each other and we seem to succumb to it every time with our NIMBY attitudes allowing the agencies and extremists to get further and further by default. NIMBY will not work at this point due to what I will outline below.

Currently, FWS are claiming that under the new rule, they will only want to do direct releases into the current BRWRA and they only want an additional 25 wolves for the entire recovery area and will magnanimously only allow natural dispersal into the entire recovery area which will change soon to Mexico border to I-40 and Eastern NM to Western AZ.

I hope everyone will realize how important the history of this program is when I say, last time they changed their minds about releases and more wolves on the ground was a year or so into implementation of the 1998 rule. Then, they simply did a backdoor supplemental EA [environmental assessment or environmental impact statement] and identified areas for releases directly in NM. I implore you, do not for one minute think that a year or so after the new rule implementation, or maybe even immediately after re-listing, depending on what criteria they choose for this wolf, that there will not be a supplemental EA identifying the potential for more wolves in AZ and NM and sites that meet their criteria, exactly as they did back then. These will be located throughout the recovery area, Mexico border to I-40, and eastern NM to western AZ.

Here is more of my reasoning, historically based. It is not normal to have a big captive breeding program. Several years ago FWS were desperately scrambling for more room in the zoos and other cooperator breeders, like Turners and California wolf center. They even talked of euthanizing wolves if necessary since they were breeding so many and could not do further releases in AZ and NM. (They now have been maintaining over 300 genetically redundant wolves in the breeding program deliberately bred so there will be excess wolves ready for release. This has been going on for the past 5 -7 years) Don’t believe me? I was there when those meetings took place and even Jamie Rappaport Clark agrees with me. http://www.defendersblog.org/2013/03/mexican-gray-wolves-15th-anniversary/

These excess captive wolves ready for release right now, do not include the wolves used as breeders that are not genetically redundant (the real captive breeding population which they also maintain). On a side note, there will never, ever be a scientifically valid, extinction in the wild because all those wild wolves are genetically redundant. Only the loss of those used as breeders can render the population as extinct. Using the extinction argument is simply a media ploy, thinly veiled, to gain sympathy for the animal and support for the perceived absolute necessity of the expansion.

Now the discussion should be around genetics. A self-sustaining wolf population is not 125 animals, it is the legal requirement and it is closer to those numbers raised by almost every wolf advocate involved. Depending on what will occur during delisting and re-listing of the Mexican wolf and how they will choose to relist it, there are several scenarios. None of which will come to pass without some kind of genetic rescue. In a nutshell if they are listed as full endangered (essential) rather than “experimental non essential”, as they are now, critical habitat will be identified and land uses will be changed and the potential exists for people to be forced off the land and other economic businesses will be curtailed in whatever areas are deemed suitable habitat. (are we getting a clue now where all those northern program biologists will be employed and what they will be doing?)

But if they stay “experimental non essential” those genetically redundant animals will still need genetic rescue due to serious inbreeding repression. It may even be legal to pursue that by allowing northern gray wolves to be part of the breeding program or to just allow bisecting populations from the northern end of the Mexican wolf recovery area and southern ends of the gray wolf area. Paper on genetic rescue and the Mexican wolf. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17609180

Just some thoughts I am having after listening to all the pseudoscience at the hearing the other night, and reading through documents available. Any further ideas anyone else gleaned from the presentation comments or federal register? I am trying to organize my thoughts and once again come up with what I think are strategies to deal with our lack of organization on the issue.

Laura Schneberger

Share