Great Lake wolves have shown a recovery in numbers. Scientists, who consider the Great Lakes wolves’ territory to include nine states, have established populations of about 3,700 animals total in just three — Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin. Even so, a federal judge’s recent order restored legal protection to gray wolves in the western Great Lakes region.
Now, however, the Obama administration, Michigan and Wisconsin have filed an appeal document with the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Washington, D.C.. And the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service filed notices earlier this month, although a spokeswoman said a final decision on whether to pursue the case would be made by the Department of Justice.
“The science clearly shows that wolves are recovered in the Great Lakes region, and we believe the Great Lakes states have clearly demonstrated their ability to effectively manage their wolf populations,” Fish and Wildlife Service spokeswoman Laury M. Parramore said.
Officials with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources said people who live near wolves, including in the state’s Upper Peninsula, should be able to use a variety of control methods.
“Continuing to use the Endangered Species Act to protect a recovered species not only undermines the integrity of the Act, it leaves farmers and others with no immediate recourse when their animals are being attacked and killed by wolves,” said Russ Mason, the DNR’s wildlife division chief.
Sadly, wolves are blamed for many animal and livestock deaths for which they are not responsible. Too often ranchers find it easier to lay blame there, in hopes of encouraging legal killing sprees such as the predator killing derby that BLM tried to run in Idaho.
When will states – and hunters – realize that “managing” their wolf population doesn’t equate to killing them? There are other measures that have proven successful in deterring wolves from approaching and taking livestock. And elk hunters continue to fail to recognize that wolves killing elk provide a natural selection for elk herds, helping to maintain the overall health of an elk herd.
There must be a balance struck between humans and wildlife – and marine life for that matter. Every species plays a vital role in the natural rhythm of every ecosystem. Remove or decimate any species and we upset that balance – and the consequences can seriously impact our own health and well-being.
Hunting for food is one thing. There are hunters who, after a kill, honor the spirit of those animals who die to give us food. But for those eager to show off their hunting skills – killing for the sake of glory or trophies – it’s time to recognize that blood lust won’t cut it in the 21st century. Time to work with Nature, not against it for your own pleasure and benefit.
Filed under: Wildlife | Tagged: BLM, ecosystems, Endangered Species Act, federal protection for wolves, gray wolves, Great Lake wolves, Great Lakes, Michigan Department of Natural Resources, Obama administration, predator killing derby, U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, western Great Lakes region, wildlife, wolf populations |