Here is the proposed new 10j rule in the Federal Register and the reopening of comments on delisting
By Ralph Maughan On July 6, 2007 · 2 Comments · In Delisting, Wolves
Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Proposed Revision of Special Regulation for the Central Idaho and Yellowstone Area Nonessential Experimental Populations of Gray Wolves in the Northern Rocky Mountains AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior. ACTION: Proposed rule.
Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Designating the Northern Rocky Mountain Population of Gray Wolf as a Distinct Population Segment and Removing This Distinct Population Segment From the Federal List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior. ACTION: Proposed rule; reopening of comment period; notice of public hearing.
Dr. Ralph Maughan is professor emeritus of political science at Idaho State University. He was a Western Watersheds Project Board Member off and on for many years, and was also its President for several years. For a long time he produced Ralph Maughan's Wolf Report. He was a founder of the Greater Yellowstone Coalition. He and Jackie Johnson Maughan wrote three editions of "Hiking Idaho." He also wrote "Beyond the Tetons" and "Backpacking Wyoming's Teton and Washakie Wilderness." He created and is the administrator of The Wildlife News.
2 Responses to Here is the proposed new 10j rule in the Federal Register and the reopening of comments on delisting
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I fail to see how this change makes any sense.
One thing folks need to be aware of is that the basis of the 10j rule leaves us with VERY little recourse. FWS can and likely will proceed. Doing so would be a violation of NEPA because I’m certain that public comment would show overwhelming support against these modifications; but still; I predict they will proceed…I fear they will proceed.
But to my point. The NRM Wolf Recovery Plan states the following as the “Reasons for Decline” of the wolves in the Northern Rockies:
According to Young and Goldman (1944) AND Mech (1970), the population decline of the eastern timber wolf was a result of: (1) intensive human settlement, (2) direct conflict with domestic livestock, (3) a lack of understanding of the animal’s ecology and habits, (4) fears and superstitions concerning wolves, and (5) the extreme control programs designed to eradicate it. These factors caused the decline in all the wolf populations within the United States, including those in the Northern Rocky Mountains. Threatened Wildlife of the United States (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service 1973) lists land development, loss of habitat, poisoning, trapping, and hunting as reasons for decline of the Northern Rocky Mountain wolf.
Reasons 3 and 4 persist, and are the basis for this new 10j rule (pressure from ranchers, hunters, and guides.) Reason 5 is what this new 10j rule in fact is, an extreme measure designed to eradicate wolves.
It has already been shown that genetic diversity cannot be maintained at the numbers specified by the NRMWRP. We also know that there is precious little mixing of the populations from Wyoming, Idaho, and Montana. Loss of over half of the wolves will further pressure this situation and we will once again face a situation wherein wolves will not be self-sustaining. Further, this rule will eliminate any chance of intermingling of the three populations; and very effectively eliminate any notion scientific or otherwise, of a single DPS; thus, this rule is in and of itself illogical.
I only hope that a basis can be found to argue against the rule, or that legal action can be taken to delay onset of this rule until Bush is out of office, and Kempthorne with him.
Personally, I am devestated. I want to setup a research facility working with livestock and wolf interactions, among other things. This requires a healthy population of wild wolves in potential conflict with livestock. The Bush administration is shattering this dream, and may indeed force me to pursue my research in a more sane location such as Canada, or perhaps Mongolia.
Couldn’t sleep tonight because of this thing so I wrote my democrat senator and democrat representative. I suggest everyone do the same. It’s not the best letter in the world, but it gets the point across I believe:
Dear Senator Salazar,
I’d like to bring to your attention (or hopefully, I’m not bringing this to your attention) a recent proposed adendum by the Fish and Wildlife Service regarding the management of wolves under the Northern Rocky Mountain recovery program.
This adendum is alarming at best, a death knell for wolves at worst. I would certainly recommend having someone on your staff read up on it…a good source for information can be found at http://wolves.wordpress.com.
Basically, it allows wolves to be killed who are suspected of being “ONE OF” the causes of wildlife depredation. This is a big difference from the current status, which demands that science prove that the wolf is the primary cause of depredation.
What does this mean on the ground? Well, if I’m Joe Blow living in Dubois, Wyoming, or Bozeman, Montana, or Stanley, Idaho, or heck…Craig, Colorado…and I think a wolf or wolf pack might be causing a decline in elk numbers, I can legally shoot it/them, even if I don’t have science evidence to back it up. Clearly, this in effect means there is no protection for wolves.
There are some other anomolies in this proposed measure (you can find the actual Federal Register Rule here: http://wolves.wordpress.com/2007/07/06/new-10j-rule/), such as being able to shoot a wolf if your dog gets attacked (what if you “happen” to come upon a wolf den), if the wolf is even in the vacinity of livestock, etc. It makes little sense and is not consistent with anything in the Endangered Species Act or the wolf reintroduction project.
Futhermore, it’s fairly obvious that this is a backhanded way by the current administration to serve the interests of a small group of folks through some bureacratic mish-mash of paperwork and wording. Which, is not inconsistent with how they have handled most environmental issues…backhanded deals and permission given to oil companies, ranchers and loggers to usurp environmental protections for economic gain.
I encourange you to examine the wolf issue and bring it to the forefront politically. You’ll certainly have the support of your consituency, as well as most of America…most people don’t want to see fluffy wolf pups, an icon for wild places, shot for no reason. Governor Richardson recently issued this press release regarding wolves in New Mexico (http://www.governor.state.nm.us/press.php?id=450), no doubt a direct response to the proposed federal register rule. It seems he’s willing to go toe-to-toe with the current administration regarding environmental issues and the wolf. I strongly encourage you to do the same.
(insert name here)