February 13, 2007

USFWS is Crying Wolf!

USFWS proposes to devastate Wyoming's Wolf Population from 300 to 100 individuals by allowing them to be shot as trophy species or predators. Under this proposed plan, any wolf outside an area from Yellowstone National Park to near Pinedale and east to Meeteetsee in Park County could be SHOT ON SIGHT!

This Proposal is Fully Unacceptable! US Fish & Wildlife Proposes to Lift Endangered Species Protections from Wyoming's Gray Wolf and to Declare Open Season on Wyoming's Remnant Population.

Make Your Voice Heard!
February 27, 2007
Holiday Inn Cheyenne
204 West Fox Farm Road
Cheyenne, WY


A Public Meeting will be from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Public Hearings will be from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

During the public hearing, formal oral testimony will be accepted.
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UW Students!
Transportation Will Be Available! Carpooling To Be Arranged

Contact:
Maggie Schafer, Outreach Coordinator Biodiversity Conservation Alliance
at 742-7978

 

Wolf
Talking Points

Wolves are NOT devastating Wyoming's livestock industry.
In 2005, wolves killed a total of 74 cattle and 16 sheep in entire state of Wyoming. Source: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Rocky Mountain Wolf Recovery 2005 Interagency Annual Report, http://www.fws.gov/mountain-prairie/species/mammals/wolf

Only 2% of sheep mortality statewide is attributable to wolves. More sheep die from poisoning (5.5%), eagles (3.3%), lambing (13.9%), weather (17.8%), disease (8.2%), and other predators (45.1%). Source: USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service, http://www.nass.usda.gov/wy.

Wolves are NOT decimating Wyoming's elk population.
The state of Wyoming continues to manage for a reduction in Wyoming's elk population. The population is currently estimated at 91,555 elk - 8,910 more elk than the state's population objective. Source: Lauren M. Whaley, "State Elk 9,000 Beyond Objective," Jackson Hole Daily News, April 7, 2006
http://www.jacksonholenet.com/news/jackson_hole_news_article.php?ArticleNum=1405.

Wyoming Game & Fish revenues are NOT dropping precipitously.
Wyoming Department of Game & Fish revenues have steadily increased from $33.4 million in 1999 to $41.5 million in 2004. In fact, elk license revenues were up by more than $1 million this year. Source: Kathy Frank, Wyoming Game & Fish Department (personal comm.); Wyoming Game & Fish Department, 2004 Annual Report

Wolves are NOT destroying Wyoming's tourism industry.
Total spending on Wyoming tourism, tourism revenues, and the number of people employed in the industry have all increased every year since 1997 (by 5.8%, 5.5%, and 1.5% each year respectively). Source: Wyoming Business Council, Wyoming Travel Industry 2005 Impact Report at 2, http://www.wyomingbusiness.org/pdf/tourism/Impact_2005_Final.pdf.

Wolves are NOT decreasing the State of Wyoming's revenue base.

Revenue to Wyoming's general fund has grown from $890 million when wolves were reintroduced to over $2 billion today. Source: State of Wyoming, Consensus Revenue Estimating Group, Wyoming State Government Revenue Forecast Fiscal Year 2007 - Fiscal Year 2012, http://eadiv.state.wy.us/CREG/GreenCREG_Oct06.pdf.


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Letters
Comments Due before or on April 9, 2007.
Written comments also will be accepted at the public meeting and hearing.
Address to:
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Wolf Delisting
585 Shepard Way
Helena, MT 59601

For more information on the Northern Rocky Mountain gray wolves, visit
http//:www.voiceforthewild.org, or contact duane@voiceforthewild.org
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SEND A MESSAGE
Comments due before or on April 9, 2007.
Comments can also be electronically mailed to NRMGrayWolf@fws.gov
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POWERFUL OPTION: Personalize your note, for example, Decision makers pay much more attention to personalized messages.

QUICK OPTION: If you only have a minute, copy the message below, as is, add your name and address, and email it to:

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U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Wolf Delisting
585 Shepard Way
Helena, MT 59601

To whom it may concern;

Please accept these comments in response to the USF&WS proposal to designate the Northern Rocky Mountain population of Gray Wolf a Distinct Population Segment and remove this Distinct Population Segment From the Federal List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife.

The gray wolf as a species is struggling to survive in what is left of its historic range. The much maligned wolf is the subject of much misinformation leading to public misperceptions of its threats to livestock and even humans. USF&WS should take the lead in distinguishing the for public, as part of its obligation to enforce the letter and intent of the Endangered Species Act, Myth and Reality concerning the gray wolf and it's relationship to the state of Wyoming.

MYTH: Wolves are devastating Wyoming's livestock industry.

REALITY:
1 In 2005, wolves killed a total of 74 cattle and 16 sheep in entire state of Wyoming. Source: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Rocky Mountain Wolf Recovery 2005 Interagency Annual Report,
http://www.fws.gov/mountain-prairie/species/mammals/wolf
2 Only 2% of sheep mortality statewide is attributable to wolves. More sheep die from poisoning (5.5%), eagles (3.3%), lambing (13.9%), weather (17.8%), disease (8.2%), and other predators (45.1%). Source: USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service, http://www.nass.usda.gov/wy.

MYTH: Wolves are decimating Wyoming's elk population.

REALITY:
1 The state of Wyoming continues to manage for a reduction in Wyoming's elk population. The population is currently estimated at 91,555 elk - 8,910 more elk than the state's population objective. Source: Lauren M. Whaley, "State Elk 9,000 Beyond Objective," Jackson Hole Daily News, April 7, 2006
http://www.jacksonholenet.com/news/jackson_hole_news_article.php?ArticleNum=1405.
2 A recent scientific study by Research Ecologist Kim Murray Berger, indicates wolf density aids pronghorn fawn survival. "The idea that restoring top predators can influence species at lower trophic levels [i.e., positions on the food chain] is called "trophic cascades" and it’s an active area of research," Berger explained. Her study shows why: "Coyotes used to be concentrated in the Midwestern and western regions of the United States," she said. "Now we pretty much see them from Maine to Florida, Alaska to Canada, and down into Mexico." Since the reintroduction of wolves to Wyoming in the mid '90s, coyotes are more likely to be killed (but not eaten) by wolves because wolves see coyotes as potential competitors for food. In short, gray wolves serve to better balance the natural food web to the benefit of the pronghorn. It could be that a healthy wolf density may serve elk in the same way.


MYTH: Wyoming Game & Fish revenues are dropping precipitously.

REALITY: Wyoming Department of Game & Fish revenues have steadily increased from $33.4 million in 1999 to $41.5 million in 2004. In fact, elk license revenues were up by more than $1 million this year. Source: Kathy Frank, Wyoming Game & Fish Department (personal comm.); Wyoming Game & Fish Department, 2004 Annual Report

MYTH: Wolves are destroying Wyoming's tourism industry.

REALITY: Total spending on Wyoming tourism, tourism revenues, and the number of people employed in the industry have all increased every year since 1997 (by 5.8%, 5.5%, and 1.5% each year respectively). Source: Wyoming Business Council, Wyoming Travel Industry 2005 Impact Report at 2, http://www.wyomingbusiness.org/pdf/tourism/Impact_2005_Final.pdf.


MYTH: Wolves are decreasing the State of Wyoming's revenue base.

REALITY: Revenue to Wyoming's general fund has grown from $890 million when wolves were reintroduced to over $2 billion today. Source: State of Wyoming, Consensus Revenue Estimating Group, Wyoming State Government Revenue Forecast Fiscal Year 2007 - Fiscal Year 2012, http://eadiv.state.wy.us/CREG/GreenCREG_Oct06.pdf.

Aside from purely human considerations, the gray wolf is simply trying to survive as a species. At a time in history when many of our wild species are likewise trying to survive ever-increasing human pressures on their habitat and food web the USF&WS must not succumb to narrow special interests and thereby only add to these pressures.
Please, in the interest of honoring the species itself and the Endangered Species Act, do not delist the gray wolf by arbitrarily classifying it as Distinct Population Segment and allow what would certainly become nothing short of a wholesale slaughter.

Sincerely,

Signature Here

 

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Additional Information

Recent History

Six conservation organizations filed legal papers in Wyoming federal court on November 15, 2006 seeking to prevent unregulated poisoning, trapping, and shooting of gray wolves across the vast majority of the species' range in Wyoming outside of Yellowstone National Park.
The State of Wyoming filed suit in October, challenging the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's refusal to approve Wyoming's wolf management plan and eliminate Endangered Species Act protections for the Northern Rockies population of gray wolves. The Wyoming plan proposes to classify wolves as "predators," which would legalize indiscriminate killing throughout 90% of the wolf's range in Wyoming outside of Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks. Wyoming has requested a court order requiring the federal government to approve the Wyoming management plan and to immediately kill approximately 200 wolves in the state.
"Wyoming seeks to turn back the clock on wolf recovery," said Steve Thomas of the Wyoming Sierra Club's Sheridan office. "Wyoming's plan would reinstate wolf policies that brought wolves to the brink of extinction in the first place."
Gray wolves in Wyoming are currently protected by the Endangered Species Act. Although numbers of wolves are increasing, the Fish and Wildlife Service cannot legally "delist" wolves in the Northern Rockies until Idaho, Montana and Wyoming have laws and management plans in place that will maintain viable wolf populations. Based on Wyoming's proposal to manage wolves as "predators," the Fish and Wildlife Service has concluded that Wyoming's plan falls short. Wyoming's previous lawsuit challenging the Fish and Wildlife Service's rejection of its wolf management plan was rejected by the federal courts on procedural grounds.
Wyoming claims that the wolf population is responsible for a loss in state revenues. However, according to Louisa Willcox of the Natural Resources Defense Council, "Since wolves were reintroduced in Yellowstone over a decade ago, tourism revenues have steadily increased, in large part because wolves attract so many visitors from all over the country." Willcox adds that wolves are consistently one of the lowest causes of mortality in Wyoming livestock, well behind weather, disease, poison, and other predators.
"Wyoming's request that the court order the federal government to remove two-thirds of Wyoming's wolf population demonstrates the state's outright hostility to wolves," said Suzanne Asha Stone, northern Rockies representative for Defenders of Wildlife, the conservation organization that has reimbursed Wyoming ranchers more than S200,000 for confirmed livestock losses to wolves. "The fact is the Service would have to kill those wolves and their offspring if Wyoming's demand is granted."

EarthJustice is representing Sierra Club, Natural Resources Defense Council, Defenders of Wildlife, Wyoming Outdoor Council, Jackson Hole Conservation Alliance, and Biodiversity Conservation Alliance in the lawsuit.


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On behalf of Wyoming's much maligned Gray Wolf, Thank You in advance for Speaking Up at the
Public Hearing and/or Sending in Your Comments!


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Biodiversity Conservation Alliance
P.O. Box 1512, Laramie, WY 82073
(307) 742-7978 - maggie@voiceforthewild.org