Hunters or Hunted?

gray-wolf-gazing

This week, the Wisconsin DNR reported that a number of gray wolves (recently re-listed as endangered in the state) were shot and killed during last month’s deer hunting season. Due to the Endangered Species Act, it is a full-fledged crime to kill a wolf in the state of Wisconsin. The full story is below:

Wisconsin DNR Reports 6 Endangered Wolves Killed

Gray Wolf Put Back On Endangered Species List in Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Michigan

Brother Wolf, photo by Jim Brandenburg

In a ruling Monday, a federal court judge overturned the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s decision to take wolves off the endangered species list last year. In what hopefully indicates a trend for gray wolf re-listing, U.S. District Judge Paul Friedman contended that the USFWS should not have simultaneously designated a distinct population of wolves and delisted them.

Friedman, who defended his decision to reporters soon after the ruling, said that the USFWS decision last year wasn’t clearly supported by the language or purpose of the Endangered Species Act.

“Little confusion or inefficiency will result from reinstating a regulatory regime that was in place from 1978 to 2007, particularly given the fact that state and federal wolf management authorities have been working in tandem for years,” Friedman wrote.

For almost three decades until their delisting in 2007, gray wolves, or timber wolves, had been listed as threatened in Minnesota and endangered in the other two states- they are now back to that protected status, although there are those who would certainly wish to see them de-listed once again.

Department of the Interior Lists Polar Bear as “Threatened” Species: A Big Success in the Long Fight Ahead

A Dwindling Species

In a landmark decision that makes a lot of us want to shout “Finally!”, the Department of the Interior announced this afternoon that the Polar Bear would be added to the list of “Threatened” species under the Endangered Species Act.

It’s about time! However, the oh-so-qualified Secretary of the Interior has done everything in his power to down-play the decision, stating that the decision should not be cause for more global warming “alarmism.”

Why the heck not, Mr. Kempthorne?

For the full story:

Polar bear now listed as ‘threatened’ -[CNN]

Loons Go To Court- NRDC Lawsuit for Alaskan Yellow-Billed Loons

The National Resources Defense Council heads to court soon as a part of the latest struggle in their massive campaign to protect the unusual yellow-billed loon and its habitat: the Arctic.

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NRDC’s members and activists mobilized repeatedly against the Bush Administration’s ongoing push to lease vast stretches of the bird’s fragile nesting grounds in the Western Arctic Reserve for destructive oil and gas drilling. With Alaska’s population of yellow-billed loons hovering at around 3,700, the lawsuit aims to force the Bush Administration to reach a decision — more than two years overdue — on whether to protect these vulnerable birds under the Endangered Species Act.

Population numbers for the yellow-billed loon are low and extremely vulnerable. Most of the Alaskan breeding population — and 18 percent of the global population — lives within the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska. In January 2004, the Bush administration opened nearly 9 million acres of the northwest portion of the reserve to oil and gas development. This area was originally set aside as important wildlife habitat. The quest to place these birds on the Endagered Species Act is important not only for the loons themselves, but also for the entire ecology of their habitat, where countless other animals would be protected as a result.

Borrowed Earth maintains its stance that drilling for oil in ANWR would not only severely and irreparably damage the ecosytem, its wildlife, and the people dependent on it, but would only back-track the US in its search for sustainable aternative energy.

For more information on the yellow-billed loon campaign, visit http://www.nrdc.org/.