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Montana and Idaho’s recently-passed unethical, extreme wolf-killing laws are now in effect. In Montana, wolves can be baited, strangled to death by neck snares and shot at night using artificial light or night vision scopes. Wolf quotas around Yellowstone and Glacier National Parks were eliminated, and bounties are again being paid for dead wolves -- taking us back 100 years or more to when wolves were nearly driven to extinction. In Idaho, besides bounties, baiting and snaring, wolves can be chased to exhaustion and killed by motorized vehicles and shot from helicopters. Hunters and trappers can kill an unlimited number of wolves, and the use of private companies to maximize wolf killing is allowed. The goal of these new laws is to reduce the wolf population by 85% and 90% respectively in each state.
Recognizing these and other threats to wolves posed by hostile state management policies, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service recently agreed to undertake a formal status review of gray wolves, noting that the petitions filed earlier this year by conservation groups to reinstate protections provided “credible and substantial information that increased human-caused mortality in Idaho and Montana may pose a threat to wolves” across the western U.S. A status review is an important step, but wolves must be protected from all-out slaughter while the year-long review is ongoing.
In 2019, more than 120 Tribes and Indigenous leaders signed the “The Wolf: A Treaty of Cultural and Environmental Survival” to urge the U.S. government to protect wolves from extinction. Indigenous leaders are calling for emergency relisting of gray wolves and formal government-to-goverment consultation with Tribes on gray wolf protection and management.
We must continue to make our voices heard until wolves are protected again and can fully recover. What’s happening now in the Northern Rockies will destroy over 40 years of efforts to recover gray wolves. Gray wolves are still recovering across the lower 48 states, and are missing from the vast majority of their historic habitat.
Significant reductions in Northern Rockies wolf populations means that healthy wolf populations will never be re-established in the Pacific Northwest and other places, as there will not be enough Northern Rockies wolves to disperse across the landscape and form new packs in new areas.
We are in the midst of an extinction crisis that is directly a result of human activities.Scientists estimate that over 1 million species are at risk of extinction. As a native keystone species, wolves play a key role in maintaining the natural balance of ecosystems; Under the Biden administration and Secretary Haaland's leadership, we can reinstate protections for wolves, combat the loss of species, and protect wildlife and habitat..
Right now, wolves need us. Send your message to Secretary Haaland now and ask her to protect wolves, including emergency relisting of Northern Rockies wolves. Please make sure to personalize your message - adding your own words gives your message much greater weight!
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Video courtesy Global Indigenous Council
Directed by Rain (Say Her Name/Somebody's Daughter)
Narrated by Crystle Lightning (Trickster/Yellowstone)