Grey wolves have been taken off the federal protection plan for endangered animals in Montana, Wyoming, Idaho, Washington, Oregon, and Utah now. There are ~270 wolves living outside of Yellowstone in Wyoming (Wyoming’s wolves just recently lost their protection – wolves in the other states lost theirs last year) and many conservationists fear that by removing their protection they will be hunted mercilessly and all the efforts will have gone to waste. This is a pretty big deal because 1) we all know that wolves are important predator species 2) everyone loves how majestic they are 3) THIS IS THE FIRST TIME CONGRESS HAS VOTED TO REMOVE A SPECIES FEDERAL PROTECTION, BY-PASSING THE SCIENCE BASED REQUIREMENTS THAT HAVE BEEN ESTABLISHED BY THE ENDANGERED SPECIES ACT SINCE THE ’70s!!
It takes years for a species to become classed as endangered, generally losing more ground as time passes, and only a handful of species have ever been removed from the list as a result of a come back. Wolves weren’t removed.
You can read more about it here. I’m aware that this is an animal issue, but I think that at its heart this is a conservation issue. An upsetting one. Wolves were no longer convenient to protect, but what happens when it’s not just wolves that aren’t convenient, but entire coast lines? Entire rain forests? ANDDDDD they’re wolves! If we can say no to this then how are we going to say yes to this, the 100 most endangered animals for 2012 or this, our prairies or our wetlands.
A little much, I know.. but this is something that can set a precedent for legislation to come and that is what I find most upsetting.