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Feds Threaten an End to Wolf Protections

n the latest and most farreaching threat to wolf

federal protection is essential if

Gray wolf and pup.

wolves are truly going to make a comeback.”

recovery in America, the

Obama Administration has

In an unprecedented move in 2011,

announced plans to strip wolves

anti-wolf lawmakers in Congress

of their endangered species

succeeded in passing legislation to

protection across most of the

remove federal protections from

Lower 48 states. NRDC is

wolves in Idaho and Montana; a year

mobilizing tens of thou­sands of

later, the Obama Admini­stration

Gray wolf and pup © LeesonPhoto.com

Members and online activists to

dropped Wyoming’s wolves from

protest the move during a 90-day

the Endangered Species List as well. Since then, more

period of public comment, and our wildlife experts are

than 1,000 of the animals in those three states have been

challeng­ing the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service over the plan.

killed, many gunned down in state-sponsored hunts.

“This politically motivated policy would throw national wolf

“We don’t need to look further than radio-collared wolves’

recovery into reverse,” says Matt Skoglund, a wildlife advocate in NRDC’s Montana office. “Wolves are just beginning to return to places where they historically roamed, such as the Pacific Northwest, and lone wolves have crossed into California, the southern Rockies and even the Northeast. They are far from recovery. Ongoing

being shot just outside of Yellowstone National Park to see what can happen when wolves are stripped of their federal protections,” Skoglund says. NRDC is prepared to take the Fish and Wildlife Service to federal court, if necessary, to block this latest attack on wolf recovery.

Take action at: www.nrdc.org/wolves

Polar Bears Win in Court, Lose in World Forum

A

6

laska’s polar bears will remain protected under federal law, thanks to NRDC and other polar bear defenders who successfully beat back a court challenge to a 2008 decision by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to list the bears as “threatened” under the Endangered Species Act. That listing was a landmark: the first time the government took action to protect a species based solely on the threat it faced from global warming. The protection included an immediate ban on the import of polar bear trophies into the United States. Trophy hunters and their allies sued to have the protections overturned, but in March the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals roundly rejected their claims.

fall to propose the

That victory was tempered the very same week, however, when 178 nations, meeting in Thailand under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species, failed to pass a ban on the global trade in polar bear skins and other body parts. More than 100,000 petitions from NRDC Members helped persuade the Obama Administration last

“We’re not giving up this fight to defend the world’s last

ban, which also gained the strong support of Russia, another polar bear range state. But Canada, the only country that allows its polar bears to be

Members of the Russian delegation helped lead the fight for stronger polar bear protections at CITES.

hunted for sport, vigorously campaigned against the ban. In addition, the pro-polar-bear forces were let down by the European Union, whose 27 nations abstained from the final vote because they could not reach internal agreement. 20,000 polar bears,” says Zak Smith, NRDC attorney and co-leader of our Polar Bear SOS campaign. “We’ll be working country by country to ban the import of polar bear body parts — just as they’re banned in the U.S. — and to shut down Canada’s shameful trade.”


Nature's Voice Summer 2013