Concerned supporters of wolves in the western United States are urging Utahns to contact President Obama and ask for expansion of the gray wolf on the endangered species list, rather than delisting the wolf, as is currently expected in March this year.
Wolf advocates fear that in March, Obama’s administration will announce the removal of gray wolves from the protection currently afforded them by the endangered list in states such as Utah and Colorado. They were taken off the list in Idaho, Montana and Wyoming in 2011, resulting in wolves being hunted and trapped by the hundreds, say pro-wolf advocates.
Kirk Robinson of the Western Wildlife Conservancy noted in an October 2012 article for the New Mexico Wilderness Alliance’s website that wolves were delisted within the Northern Rockies part of Utah. “In 2010, the Utah legislature passed SB36, ordering the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources to ‘prevent the establishment’ of a pack of wolves” within that area.
With wolves still protected in 90 percent of Utah, the State of Utah Wolf Management Plan allows, according to Robinson, “the establishment of up to two breeding pairs of wolves in the states,” a pittance, he says, in comparison to the “ecologically effective population of wolves that Utah needs from the Bear River range and Uinta mountains to the Abajo Mountains where Mexican gray wolves once roamed.”
Delisting of the state, however, would end even that fragile progress.
Advocates urge Utahns who support the growth of wolves in the state to contact President Obama and “tell him not remove, and instead expand, endangered-species protection for wolves in the west.”
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This article was posted in City Weekly
Photo credit: Scott Denny