Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Wolf delisting

The Rocky Mountains' wolves have been removed from the Endangered Species List, a decision which will not pass without controversy. There's no doubt that, by the standards established in 1995, wolf reintroduction has been a howling success. There are doubts that this can continue once Montana, Idaho, and especially Wyoming get to enact their own management plans. Keeping wolf populations to the rock-bottom minimum allowed by the Feds is not likely to sustain a healthy population. On the other hand, the wolves have demonstrated that they can replace heavy losses each year, if they're allowed the habitat to roam in. This will be interesting.


James Hanley said...

So does being delisted from the endangered species list mean they will still be listed as a threatened species?

All in all, I wouldn't predict disaster. I think the wolf has become such a symbol of Yellowstone that real overhunting would lead to a political outcry to great for the ranchers to prevail.

How's this for a compromise. Any rancher who grazes cattle on his own property can shoot wolves on his property. Any rancher who grazes on public lands (at least federal public lands) is not allowed to shoot wolves.

Scott Hanley said...

You know there isn't enough private land in the mountain states for that proposal to work. DOA.

I believe the wolves are off the list altogether. They can be relisted, but I'm not sure how efficiently that can be done. Ed Bangs says "We can always list them again," but if that required another trip through the whole procedure, I could imagine the bureaucracy being unable to respond quickly enough.

James Hanley said...

"You know there isn't enough private land in the mountain states for that proposal to work. DOA."

I know. I'm just making the point that the people who make their living off the public lands should be required to respect the public's property, and quit acting as if they own it.