AK: Groups to sue Fish & Wildlife on wolf protection

Endangered Species Act and the Alexander Archipelago wolf


The Center for Biological Diversity and Greenpeace continue their push to have Southeast Alaska’s Alexander Archipelago wolf listed on the Endangered Species Act.

The non-profit environmental organizations submitted a petition to list the wolf to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in August 2011 (goo.gl/Py9gf) and (goo.gl/J4CZB). The Service is expected to determine whether or not further investigation is required within 90 days of the filing. It has yet to release a decision.

The environmental non-profits have announced a 60-day notice of their intent to sue the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for delay in its decision whether the non-profits’ petition warrants further investigation. The 60-day notice of intent to sue is a legally required precursor before a lawsuit can be filed.

The Alexander Archipelago wolf (Canis lupus ligoni) is a subspecies of the gray or timber wolf, according to Forest Service report on the wolf. It lives throughout most of Southeast Alaska, Yakutat Bay to Dixon Entrance, excluding Admiralty, Baranof, and Chichagof Islands, according to the report.

Alexander Archipelago wolves den in the roots of large trees in old-growth forests. They hunt mostly Sitka black-tailed deer. These deer also rely on old-growth forest for habitat.

High levels of wolf harvest by humans and loss of habitat for the wolf’s prey “primarily to extensive timber harvesting” hinder conservation of the wolf, according to the Forest Service report.

“The existence of this unique wolf is imperiled by ongoing old-growth logging that adds to the high loss of quality wildlife habitat,” Larry Edwards, Greenpeace forest campaigner, said in a press release.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service does not comment on pending litigation, Larry Bell, Region 7 assistant regional director for external affairs for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife said. Due to the pending lawsuit Bell said he was not able to answer whether Fish and Wildlife denies the Center for Biological Diversity’s implication that the Service is dragging its heels.

Bell said the Service did receive a petition from the non-profits requesting to list the wolf as an endangered species, triggering a 90-day review.

“What the 90-day finding does is makes a determination if it warrants further study,” Bell said. The Service can turn down the petition, or, if the petition does warrant further review, Bell said, the Service begins a 12-month finding and conduct a status review for the species.

”At the end of that 12-months we’d make a determination,” Bell said. “We are a long way from there yet, but that is the process.”

If the wolf is listed, federal projects or projects it funds or authorizes must be ensured to “not likely to jeopardize the continued existence of any listed species or result in the destruction or adverse modification of designated critical habitat of such species,” according to the Environmental Protection Agency.


15 thoughts on “AK: Groups to sue Fish & Wildlife on wolf protection

  1. All wolves need our protection from so called human beings. We have to stay firm and united to keep the oil interests and other distructive groups away from our wolves.
    The wolf is a true symbol of freedom , family and unity-this cannot be left to perish for someone’s greed.

  2. Never Forget….

    As the weekend closes 46 wolves have been slaughtered in the Montana and Idaho hunts and that number is going to skyrocket once the cold weather hits and wolves lose their cover. Idaho wolf trapping season begins November 15, the tortures wolves will suffer is beyond measure. Wolf families torn apart, their pups killed.

    There are vengeful people out hunting wolves. All you have to do is look at some of the disgusting anti-wolf sites to see the terrible things that are being said. One wanna be “wolf hunter” quoted Wyatt Earp’s famous line from Tombstone: ”You tell ‘em I’M coming… and hell’s coming with me, you hear?…”. Does that even sound rational to you?

    There’s a video on YouTube filming a young kid talking about going to Idaho to kill wolves….meanwhile he’s target practicing with a 50 cal. What??

    Wolf advocates knew this would happen, that’s why we fight so hard to protect them. It’s a culture war out there and it has little to do with wolves.

    Lets not forget who made this all possible. In April of this year 81 US Senators voted to delist wolves via budget rider, stripping wolves in Idaho and Montana of their much-needed ESA protections. It was a bitter betrayal by Senate Democrats.

    Interestingly, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, allowed separate votes on two other riders in the budget bill. One sought to defund Planned Parenthood and the other Obamacare. Both were defeated.

    Wolves weren’t so lucky. The wolf rider didn’t get a separate vote, it was the only rider left in the budget bill. ALL Democrat Senators, save three. voted yea. I watched it on C-Span. Lots of camaraderie and smiles. It was disgusting. No mention of gutting the ESA or delisting wolves.

    Believe it or not, just one week before they voted to delist wolves via budget rider “Senators Patty Murray, Dianne Feinstein, Maria Cantwell, Barbara Mikulski, Debbie Stabenow, Kirsten Gillibrand, Amy Klobuchar, Kay Hagan and Barbara Boxer held a press conference” blasting Republicans, for their “tactics” during the budget negotiations. Apparently they were upset about the budget riders to defund Planned Parenthood and Obamacare but no mention of gray wolves or the ESA.

    My message to the Senators, don’t grandstand about something then turn around and do the same thing. Pot meet kettle.

    From the Democrat Daily:

    “If the Democratic women in the Senate defeated the use of procedurally unethical tactics to achieve a “radical agenda against women” outside the public debate, they did not succeed in preventing Democratic Senator John Tester’s “divisive policy rider” from stripping endangered species protection from gray wolves in the Northern Rocky Mountains.

    In response to this failure, the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) lamented: “It is a shameful day for this nation when both parties unite behind the slaughter of an endangered species—without public hearing or debate.” The NRDC also noted that “Congress has never before removed an animal from the endangered species list. By replacing scientific judgment with political calculation, the House and Senate have struck at the very heart of wildlife protection in America.”

    Thus, under threat of a government shutdown, unprincipled politicians pursued an “extreme social agenda” not just against women, but also against the environment, the Endangered Species Act, the endangered grey wolf, and all Americans who hope for a future in which the integrity of our ecosystems is still preserved.”

    I guess the Senators thought they’d pulled a fast one on the American people. After all, the wolf rider was not mentioned on C-Span before the vote, at least I didn’t hear it. If you were watching you’d never know gray wolves in Montana and Idaho were about to lose their ESA safeguards. It seemed Senators were simply voting on an appropriations bill. The sad truth? Democrats, with help from Republicans, were about to gut the ESA and deliver wolves to brutal state management, all under cover of a hush-hush budget rider.

    And we can’t forget Obama, he signed the bill into law. But then what can we expect from a President who appointed a rancher to head the Interior? A President who delisted gray wolves in the Northern Rockies just a few months into his first term. In fact he has delisted wolves twice in less than four years, not even George Bush can make that claim.

    Make no mistake, if the Democrats had not betrayed wolves, they wouldn’t be facing hunts in Idaho and Montana. Even though hunting and ranching lobbies were pushing hard for hunts, without the help of Congress, they wouldn’t be taking place, at least not this year. And personally I believe they would have continued to lose in court and they knew it too. So they buddied up with Western politicians, eager to gain mileage from “wolf wars”. The worst sort of politics.

    The Senate could easily have stripped the rider out of the budget bill or allowed an up or down vote on it, as they did for the other two riders.

    In my opinion, Senators didn’t want to “go on the record” and vote for the wolf delisting rider outright, so they tucked it away in the budget bill. The ESA was used and abused for political gain. For the first time, a species like the wolf, who has a long history of persecution and ultimately extermination in the West, was removed from the Endangered Species List for political reasons, science be damned.

    The wolf delisting rider was inserted by Jon Tester to enhance his “anti-wolf” credentials for the 2012 re-election battle with opponent Denny Rehberg. The two are trying to “out-wolf” each other and are now arguing who should get credit for delisting wolves.


    Senate Democrats Who Voted Yes On Budget Bill/Wolf Delisting Rider

    Akaka (D-HI)

    Baucus (D-MT)

    Begich (D-AK)

    Bennet (D-CO)

    Bingaman (D-NM)

    Blumenthal (D-CT)

    Boxer (D-CA)

    Brown (D-OH)

    Cantwell (D-WA)

    Cardin (D-MD)

    Carper (D-DE)

    Casey (D-PA)

    Conrad (D-ND)

    Coons (D-DE)

    Durbin (D-IL)

    Feinstein (D-CA)

    Franken (D-MN)

    Gillibrand (D-NY)

    Hagan (D-NC)

    Harkin (D-IA)

    Inouye (D-HI)

    Johnson (D-SD)

    Kerry (D-MA)

    Klobuchar (D-MN)

    Kohl (D-WI)

    Landrieu (D-LA)

    Lautenberg (D-NJ)

    Lieberman (ID-CT)

    Manchin (D-WV)

    McCaskill (D-MO)

    Menendez (D-NJ)

    Merkley (D-OR)

    Mikulski (D-MD)

    Murray (D-WA)

    Nelson (D-FL)

    Nelson (D-NE)

    Pryor (D-AR)

    Reed (D-RI)

    Reid (D-NV)

    Roberts (R-KS)

    Rockefeller (D-WV)

    Schumer (D-NY)

    Shaheen (D-NH)

    Stabenow (D-MI)

    *Tester (D-MT)

    Udall (D-CO)

    Udall (D-NM)

    Warner (D-VA)

    Webb (D-VA)

    Whitehouse (D-RI)

    Remember these Democrat Senators at the polling booth in 2012, they need to be booted out of office. As a matter of fact every Senator who voted yes should not be invited to serve another term. We need politicians who will resist political pandering. Governing by budget rider is wrong and intolerable. Politically delisting wolves and tearing apart the ESA to please special interests is despicable. Now wolves are paying the price of that betrayal.


    Senate Democrats Who Voted No on the Budget Bill/Wolf Rider

    Leahy (D-VT)

    Levin (D-MI)

    Wyden (D-OR)


    Senate Republicans Who Voted Yes on the Budget Bill/ Wolf Delisting Rider

    Alexander (R-TN)

    Ayotte (R-NH)

    Barrasso (R-WY)

    Blunt (R-MO)

    Boozman (R-AR)

    Brown (R-MA)

    Burr (R-NC)

    Chambliss (R-GA)

    Coats (R-IN)

    Cochran (R-MS)

    Collins (R-ME)

    Corker (R-TN)

    Cornyn (R-TX)

    Enzi (R-WY)

    Grassley (R-IA)

    Hoeven (R-ND)

    Hutchison (R-TX)

    Isakson (R-GA)

    Johanns (R-NE)

    Kirk (R-IL)

    Kyl (R-AZ)

    Lugar (R-IN)

    McCain (R-AZ)

    McConnell (R-KY)

    Moran (R-KS)

    Murkowski (R-AK)

    Portman (R-OH)

    Roberts (R-KS)

    Sessions (R-AL)

    Snowe (R-ME)

    Thune (R-SD)

    Wicker (R-MS)


    Senate Republicans Who Voted No on the Budget/Wolf Delisting Rider

    Coburn (R-OK

    Crapo (R-ID)

    DeMint (R-SC)

    Ensign (R-NV)

    Graham (R-SC)

    Hatch (R-UT)

    Inhofe (R-OK)

    Johnson (R-WI)

    Lee (R-UT)

    Paul (R-KY)

    Risch (R-ID)

    Rubio (R-FL)

    Shelby (R-AL)

    Toomey (R-PA)

    Vitter (R-LA)


    *To be fair, I believe many of these Republicans knew the Democrats had the votes to pass the budget bill/wolf rider. So, they were free to vote no, not because they were wolf lovers but to make a statement about their dislike of the budget bill. Some of the names in the no vote column are not known to be wolf advocates. My 2 cents.


    Senate Independents Who Voted No on the Budget/Wolf Delisting Rider

    Bernie Sanders (I-VT)


    This should never have happened. After eight years of George Bush the country was looking for positive change. I think the promise was “hope and change” but instead we got “more of the same.”

    It’s ironic, Bill Clinton oversaw the reintroduction of wolves into the Northern Rockies and Obama is overseeing their destruction.


    Endangered Wolves Sacrificed in Budget Deal

    Glenn Hurowitz

    Senior Fellow, Center for International Policy

    Posted: 04/11/11 04:09 PM ET

    Although Majority Leader Harry Reid and President Barack Obama stood firm against Republican attempts to repeal clean air and clean water protections, wolves in the Northern Rockies weren’t so lucky.

    Under pressure from ranching interests in Montana and Idaho, as well as anti-wolf zealots in those states, Reid and Obama agreed to accept an amendment from Montana Democrat Jon Tester mandating the removal of grey wolves in Idaho and Montana from the endangered species list. For Obama, at least, the move isn’t surprising: his administration backed the Bush administration’s delisting of wolves even though it would allow the two massive states to cut wolf populations to as few as 450 individuals between them.

    Read more: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/glenn-hurowitz/endangered-wolves-sacrifi_b_847673.html


    Tester’s howling error

    Congressionally delisting wolves could gut the ESA

    by George Ochenski


    Posted In: Wolf Wars, Howling For Justice, Endangered Species Act

    Tags: wolf delisting rider, Senate Democrats , President Obama, Northern Rockies gray wolves, Idaho hunt, Montana hunt, Jon Tester, endangered species act

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    Published in:
    •endangered species act
    •Howling For Justice
    •Wolf Wars

  3. You know it is not the Wolfe’s killing every thing< It is man him self:
    Look at all the Hunting license that is sold world wide: I have had
    sheep out in the Wilderness area's and no wild life killed any just man
    because he did not want sheep eating what the cattle man called there
    grass land:

  4. Fish and Wildlife and Larry Bell,

    There is no question that you and the service continually drag your heels on numerous activities, proposals, and requests. You are about as free of political content and intent as the likes of Cantor and Boehner in the house of reps. In addition, you take advantage of every bureaucratic maneuver possible to keep the action delayed as long as possible.

    Get off your duffs and start working for your salaries and your job description. Your behaviour is sickening!!! RDLeonard

  5. It is without a doubt, unacceptable the way animals are treated around the world. It is unfortunate that the U.S. cannot be an example for other countries on how to balance the human to nature needs with respect to all. Without organizations like Greenpeace, I am scared to even think about where the world would be. Thank you for all you do.

  6. Enough killing of wolves already. They have been around much longer than we have. Haven’t harmed this earth as we have. Are willing to coexist, unlike we are.

  7. What is it with humans? Why do we have conquer al things in this world. These wolves are magnificant creatures and a creator much wiser than weare placed them here to be part of an ecosystem and this works really well if we will just get out of the way. They were all here before we were and need to reveared and nurtured. Let’s let them alone.

  8. The wolf has and continues to play a vital role in culling out the weak and sickly prey animals resulting in a continuing survival of the best breeding stock. this is the only long term source of natural selection. Hunting wolves would eliminate the finest specimens, weakening the gene pool to certain extinction within time. Since hunters take only the finest specimens of game animals they would also weaken the game gene pool. Wolves take only the weakest and therefore strengthen the herd. Without this natural culling hunters would eliminate all the best breeders with predictable results. Short term thinking is destructive.

  9. I think wolves are a beautiful animal created by God and their lives should be protected and respected. Their habitats should also be protected.

  10. The wolf is noble, intelligent, familial, and is far better off without human intrusion to their lands. Humans have no need to fell such old growth forests when alternatives are available easily. Wolves, deers, trees, the environment is to be protected as we are responsible and we have no viable alternative to this planet.

  11. I applaud this. What else is there to say; it is a step in the right direction!!

  12. Our wolves need our protection to keep them from becoming another extinct animal. Without safeguards, they will no longer be around and the smaller rodents that they feed on will overtake us and we will have a huge problem that will eventually spill over into our cities. Save our wolves…..they are a beautiful animal!

  13. It is essential that movement is made to protect endangered species because they play a vital role in the ecosystem. It is not too late to take action and protect species before it is too late.