Rule Provides Poor Protection for Wyoming Wolves just Removed from the Endangered Species List
JACKSON, Wyo. – Today the federal government moved forward with a policy that will remove wolves from the Endangered Species List in Wyoming, and opens the door for a highly criticized hunt of wolves in some national park lands.
Although NPCA and many others have repeatedly questioned the wisdom and precedence of allowing hunting of a just-delisted species within its most core refuge—national parks– the federal government has refused to correct the glaring national park-related deficiencies in the state’s management plan before delisting.
According to NPCA’s Grand Teton Program Manager Sharon Mader,
“It is truly a shame that after spending millions of taxpayer dollars to recover the gray wolf in this region that the federal government would choose to permit wolf hunting within our national parks. Permitting the hunting of an animal fresh off the Endangered Species List within a national park unit is unprecedented. Under the administration’s delisting rule, even those wolves seeking sanctuary in national park lands—America’s most sacred lands—could be hunted.”
Unfortunately, the Fish and Wildlife Service could have easily fixed the problem by excluding wolf hunting from all national park lands in Wyoming, as is the case for Yellowstone, but because of political pressure, they chose to turn their backs on the parks.
Similarly, the National Park Service had the responsibility to fight for provisions that would permanently protect the newly recovered wolves from hunting within national park lands, but they were unsuccessful in their efforts.
According to Mader, a solution still exists: “Since delisting is now a fact in Wyoming, we call on the National Park Service to immediately move forward with rulemaking in the JDR Parkway and Grand Teton National Park to clarify and correct this policy by prohibiting the hunting of wolves within these park units. Without this, we risk repeating a dangerous cycle that the 1995 reintroduction worked to correct.”
About National Parks Conservation Association
Since 1919, the nonpartisan National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA) has been the leading voice in safeguarding our national parks. NPCA and its more than one million members and supporters work together to protect and preserve our nation’s natural, historical, and cultural heritage for future generations. For more information, visit www.npca.org.
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Kati SchmidtDirector, Communications
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