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Emergency halt to wolf hunts sought in Montana and Idaho….LA Times

It has been all over the news in many states and publication the last few days so I wanted to make sure I bring it to everyone’s attention.  There has already been over 75 confirmed and “legal” wolves shot and killed in Montana and Idaho after delisting them from the Endangered Species Act.  Now the main season of big game hunting starts Saturday, and with that, comes guns instead of bow-and-arrows.  As I’m sure everyone knows it is much easier to kill things with a gun than it is with a bow-and-arrow, and because of this, and the over 37,000 hunting permits issues in Montana and Idaho,  you can expect the body count to dramatically increase over the following weeks if nothing is done.  There is however, one last chance for these precious wolf populations.  An emergency injunction has been filed by conservation groups including Friends of the Clearwater and WildEarth Guardians looking to put a halt on the hunting until the legal system can process there request to look at how the delisting bypassed the normal separation of powers doctrine to take wolves off the ESA.  The court day for this is set for November 9th.  This story has made its way to a larger than normal segment of the general public thanks to the recent article posted in the LA Times and other large news publications.  Here is the LA Times article in its entirety:

“Bow-and-arrow hunters already have shot 11 of Montana’s once-threatened wolf population since a controversial wolf hunt started at the beginning of September, while 60 wolves have been killed in neighboring Idaho.

Now, big game rifle-hunting season is about to start, bringing thousands of hunters into the mountains at a time when early snowfall will make wolves much easier to spot and chase. Conservation groups went to court Monday seeking an emergency injunction to block the hunts until a federal appeals court can decide whether they’re legal.

“General rifle season is about to start in Montana, it just started in Idaho. About 37,000 people now have wolf hunting permits, and they’re going to be going with high-powered rifles and long-range scopes after a little more than a thousand wolves,” Michael Garrity, executive director of Alliance for the Wild Rockies, said in an interview.

He said a coalition of groups, including Friends of the Clearwater and WildEarth Guardians, are asking the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals to rule as early as today on an emergency order, pending a hearing next month on claims that the fast-track federal legislation that authorized the hunts is illegal.

“With the snow about to fly … the very survival of Northern Rocky Mountain wolves may be at stake,” Wendy Keefover of WildEarth Guardians said in a statement.

There are about 1,400 wolves in the two states, a number the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service concluded is adequate to allow a hunt and still sustain the population. Many residents of Idaho and Montana say the predator numbers have become so large while wolves were protected under the Endangered Species Act that livestock are threatened and herds of game animals such as elk are declining.

After repeated delays in getting federal wolf protections lifted, federal lawmakers from Idaho and Montana in August attached a rider to the must-pass federal budget bill that eliminated protections and cleared the way for the hunts. U.S. District Judge Donald Molloy in Montana upheld the wolf delisting in a ruling that conservationists in their motion Monday argued was reluctant.

“Inserting environmental policy changes into appropriations bills may be politically expedient, but it transgresses the process envisioned by the Constitution by avoiding the very debate on issues of political importance said to provide legitimacy,” Molloy wrote. “Policy changes of questionable political viability, such as occurred here, can be forced using insider tactics without debate by attaching riders to legislation that must be passed.”

The motion filed Monday seeks to have the hunts halted until the appeals court can hear arguments, now scheduled for Nov. 8 in Pasadena, on a lawsuit claming the wolf rider violated the separation of powers doctrine in the U.S. Constitution.”

Author: Kim Murphy in Seattle

Source: LA Times

TAKE ACTION!!! IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO SUPPORT THE EFFORTS TO STOP THE HUNTING OF WOLVES PLEASE LET YOUR GOVERNMENT KNOW! Here is a LINK that will take you to the petition page created for this specific issue:  HELP PREVENT MORE WOLVES FROM BEING KILLED

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One response to “Emergency halt to wolf hunts sought in Montana and Idaho….LA Times

  1. Josh, I rely on your efforts to keep us informed. I signed the petition and sent “Who are We?” as my message to Obama. It feels good to be doing something.

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