National Parks Conservation Association Says New Delisting Rule Fails to Protect National Park Wolves

 
PRESS RELEASE
  FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date:   January 15, 2009
Contact:   Sharon Mader, NPCA Grand Teton Program Manager, 307-733-4680


National Parks Conservation Association Says New Delisting Rule Fails to Protect National Park Wolves

JACKSON, WYO. – The nation’s leading voice for the national parks, the nonprofit National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA) today condemned the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announcement about regional management of the Northern Rockies gray wolf under the Endangered Species Act as “inconsistent” and “precedent setting.”

“Under this new scheme, a wolf in Grand Teton National Park would be protected under the Endangered Species Act, but when it leaves the park and steps across the invisible state line into Idaho, it could become a hunted animal,” said National Parks Conservation Association Grand Teton Program Manager Sharon Mader. “This inconsistent protection for Greater Yellowstone’s wolves will make it difficult to sustain a healthy population of this iconic wildlife species for our children and grandchildren.”

While the Greater Yellowstone wolves are one population biologically, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service proposed that the wolves receive different protections, depending on which state they happen to be in at the time.

Under this proposal, the gray wolf would be removed from Endangered Species Act protections in Montana and Idaho, allowing the wolves to be managed by state wildlife management agencies and subject to state hunting quotas. In neighboring Wyoming, which has had problems developing an acceptable state wolf management plan, the Greater Yellowstone wolves would continue to receive federal protection under the Endangered Species Act, which doesn’t allow for hunting.

“Biologically, wolf recovery in Greater Yellowstone has been a success,” said Mader. “Unfortunately, this arbitrary management plan sets a precedent that risks the protection of threatened and endangered species in national parks across the country. We urge the incoming Obama Administration to halt the implementation of this proposed plan, and  instead work with the state of Wyoming to complete an acceptable state wolf management plan. Only then, should the Administration reconsider the status of the Greater Yellowstone wolf population.”

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