Archive for the ‘Sage Grouse’ Tag

HERE COMES TROUBLE   1 comment

Source  September 29, 2015

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The governors of Wyoming and Montana will head to Washington, D.C. this week (Tuesday, September 29th) to give their perspective on how to “improve” (ie. dismantle) the Endangered Species Act.

Please find several tweets to send off at the bottom of this post.

Western Governors’ Association Chairman and Wyoming Gov. Matt Mead will be joined by Governors Steve Bullock (Montana, WGA Vice Chair), Jack Dalrymple (North Dakota),Dennis Daugaard (South Dakota), and Gary Herbert (Utah) at a number of meetings with congressional leaders. Governors Mead and Bullock will appear at a briefing on the topic “Improving the Endangered Species Act : Perspectives from the Fish and Wildlife Service and State Governors.” In addition to the governors’ appearance and remarks on the ESA, (which is the focus of Gov. Mead’s Chairman’s Initiative), the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Director, Dan Ashe, also will be present and will make a statement.

  • Mead last month announced that the Western Governors’ Association will hold five forums around the West to collect information on how to improve the Endangered Species Act. The first will be held in Wyoming this fall. The act “touches the people and economies of Western states in a significant way,” Mead said last month in announcing the effort. “This initiative is intended to take a hard look…” Mead has focused much of his criticism of the ESA on how difficult it is to remove federal protections for a species once it is listed. He has said that since 1973, when the federal law was enacted, 2,280 species have been protected but only 30 have been taken off the list after being classified as recovered. The truth of the matter is, as Montana lawyer, Tim Preso of Earthjustice, states: “The proper measure of success of the Endangered Species Act is its track record of preventing species from going extinct”. He said he regards current calls for improving the law to be “Trojan horse efforts” to undermine key provisions.“The Endangered Species Act has been 99 percent effective at preventing extinctions, which is kind of amazing when you consider the huge amount of population expansion, and expanded human footprint on this continent since the Endangered Species Act was passed in 1973”.

Let us not forget that Wyoming’s wolf management plan classified the animals as unprotected predators that could be shot on sight in most areas, an approach that drew opposition from national environmental groups.

Bottom line, the Endangered Species Act works. The longer an animal or plant species is protected under the ESA, the more likely it is to recover. Today the ESA is under attack at a time when we can least afford to lose it.

The ESA safeguards ecological processes, such as predation, as well as maintaining biodiversity. Science tells us that the most effective way to mitigate climate change is by maintaining ecological resiliency. The ESA protects keystone species (such as the gray wolf and sea otter) which create more resilient ecosystems by increasing biodiversity.

  • Politicians should not be meddling in what should be science based decisions. Please reach out to the members of the Committee on Environment and Public Works – Subcommittee on Fisheries, Water, and Wildlife via twitter. Tell them that the ESA works, leave it alone!

Republicans:

Dan Sullivan (Chairman) Tweet#1 Tweet#2 Tweet#3 Tweet#4

John Barrasso Tweet#1 Tweet#2 Tweet#3 Tweet#4

Shelley Capito Tweet#1 Tweet#2 Tweet#3 Tweet#4

John Boozman Tweet#1 Tweet#2 Tweet#3 Tweet#4

Jeff Sessions Tweet#1 Tweet#2 Tweet#3 Tweet#4

Roger F. Wicker Tweet#1 Tweet#2 Tweet#3 Tweet#4

Deb Fischer Tweet#1 Tweet#2 Tweet#3 Tweet#4

Mike Rounds Tweet#1 Tweet#2 Tweet#3 Tweet#4

James M. Inhofe Tweet#1 Tweet#2 Tweet#3 Tweet#4

Democrats:

Sheldon Whitehouse (Ranking Member) Tweet#1 Tweet#2 Tweet#3 Tweet#4

Thomas R. Carper Tweet#1 Tweet#2 Tweet#3 Tweet#4

Benjamin L. Cardin Tweet#1 Tweet#2 Tweet#3 Tweet#4

Bernard Sanders Tweet#1 Tweet#2 Tweet#3 Tweet#4

Kirsten Gillibrand Tweet#1 Tweet#2 Tweet#3 Tweet#4

Cory A. Booker Tweet#1 Tweet#2 Tweet#3 Tweet#4

Edward Markey Tweet#1 Tweet#2 Tweet#3 Tweet#4

Barbara Boxer Tweet#1 Tweet#2 Tweet#3 Tweet#4

Thankyou, everyone, for your efforts here and support to protect the Endangered Species Act.

 Independent news blog report on the briefing

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U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service sued over Mexican gray wolf recovery plan   Leave a comment

From:  L.A. Times by 

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Conservation organizations on Wednesday sued the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to force it to complete a long overdue, legally required recovery plan for the Mexican gray wolf, the lobo of Southwestern lore.

The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in Arizona, aims to enforce compliance with rules the agency adopted 38 years ago to guide recovery of the federally endangered species driven to near extinction by wolf extermination campaigns of the 19th and 20th centuries.

It asks the court to declare the agency in violation of the Endangered Species Act, and order it to “prepare and implement a scientifically based, legally valid” final recovery plan within a year of the court’s judgment.

The Mexican gray wolf was reintroduced into a small area of eastern Arizona and western New Mexico in 1998 as part of a strategy to reach a population of 100 wolves, including 18 breeding pairs, by 2006.

Today, the population stands at 83 wolves, and five breeding pairs. They are managed under restrictions that do not permit the mobile, clannish hunters to colonize new territory, increasing the likelihood of inbreeding, according to the lawsuit. The restrictions also allow excessive killing and removal of wolves that take livestock, the lawsuit says.

By the agency’s own assessment in a recent draft environmental impact report, the existing population is “considered small, genetically impoverished, and significantly below estimates of viability appearing in the scientific literature.”

Sherry Barrett, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Mexican gray wolf recovery coordinator, was unavailable for comment.

Plaintiffs including the Defenders of Wildlife, the Center for Biological Diversity, the Endangered Wolf Center, the Wolf Conservation Center and David R. Parsons, a biologist who served as the agency’s Mexican gray wolf recovery coordinator from 1990 to 1999, accuse the agency of yielding to political pressure from ranchers, hunting groups and state officials in Utah, Arizona and Colorado.

In a letter to former Interior Secretary Ken Salazar in late 2011, for instance, Utah Gov. Gary R. Herbert urged that Colorado and Utah be excluded from what he described as “the Mexican gray wolf equation,” on grounds that those states were not “within its core historic range.”

The agency, in 2013, published documents based on recent genetic research showing that the species scientists know as Canis lupus baileyi ranged as far north as Utah and Nebraska.

“Unfortunately, when confronted with views from various interest groups — particularly livestock industry organizations, state wildlife agencies and the less enlightened hunting organizations – the agency takes a head-in-the-sand approach,” Parsons said in an interview. “What seems to be driving things in this case are the politics surrounding the Mexican gray wolf.”

Since 1982, the agency has convened three different scientific teams to prepare a formal recovery plan for the Mexican gray wolf.

The most recent effort produced a draft recovery plan in 2012 that recommended establishing two additional Mexican gray wolf populations, one in the Grand Canyon and another in the southern Rocky Mountains of New Mexico. The overall goal was to create three self-sustaining sub populations totaling 750 wolves.

The plan also suggested several areas of suitable habitat for reintroduction efforts including land in Arizona, New Mexico, southern Utah and southern Colorado.

That plan, however, was never published, and the recovery team that produced it never reconvened to review the proposal’s viability, according to the lawsuit.

“The agency has caved in to demands of the anti-wolf states,” Noah Greenwald, endangered species director at the Center for Biological Diversity, said. “Meanwhile, decades after it decided to reintroduce it into the wilds, the Mexican gray wolf remains on the precipice of extinction.”

Louis.Sahagun@latimes.com

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