Wolf advocates not as sheepish as NYT claims

Is there a new dynamic playing out between ranchers and the defenders of wolves since they were taken of the endangered species list? The New York Times thinks wolf lovers and watchers have been chastened by the delisting and are newly compromising. “Aghast, some environmental groups had a moment of reckoning. Had they gone too far in using the Endangered Species Act as a cudgel instead of forging compromises with ranchers?”

Yeah, there’s a new dynamic: ranchers, hunters and government agents can kill wolves like they haven’t in a century. Michael Robinson of the Center for Biological Diversity points out that delisting wolves means that the USDA’s Wildlife Services unit, which kills wildlife for farmers and ranchers at taxpayer expense, will now be able to kill even more wolves for even more reasons. Like to promote elk hunting. Even though biologists say the wolves aren’t really hurting the elk.

Only about 1,100 wolves survive out west, but Wildlife Services kills an amazing number: 452 in FY2010 and 481 in FY2009. Wolves didn’t get kicked off the list (this time) by a bizarre political deal until April. In Idaho 169 wolves have been killed so far this year: 122 for hunters, 42 for cows and 5 for elk. Montana has already killed 136, more than half by hunting.

Leslie Kaufman’s story has some sense of history, but the entire premise seems based on a fabulist rancher’s point of view. I don’t know any wolf people who feel they have “gone too far.” Nor do they–we–feel we have been

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The endangered species deficit


About 850 species are waiting for endangered species protection, including 264 biologists say need it. At this rate we won’t help them all till at least 2044.

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Budget compromises wolves, other politics shafts orcas, PA porcupines

Did Obama cave on political riders in the budget compromise? Idaho Rep. Mike Simpson de-listed wolves in Idaho and Montana in a closed-door deal. NOAA almost protects orcas in Puget Sound. PA to declare open season on porcupines.

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