We are working to stop the assaults on wolves across their range in the United States, including in Idaho, Montana, and Wisconsin where the states have initiated particularly ruthless killing plans for wolves.
In October 2020, the Trump Administration announced plans to remove federal protections for wolves in the Great Lakes and some other regions, with delisting in effect in January 2021. Wisconsin moved immediately to conduct a trapping and trophy hunting season, and within 48 hours, wolf hunters killed 223 wolves — nearly double the state-set quota. Wisconsin then put in motion plans for a fall-and-winter 2021-22 season as well, but we were ready for them. The Center for a Humane Economy and its allies sued in state court and blocked the entire hunting season. Meanwhile, Northern Rockies states stepped up their killing plans, with Idaho planning to kill 90 percent of its wolves and Montana as many as 80 percent of the wolves there, putting the closely studied and watched wolves of Yellowstone National Park in the crosshairs. The Center is an amicus party in a federal lawsuit to restore protections for wolves across their range but the potential relief should we prevail would not apply to the Northern Rockies population. We are one of many groups that joined a petition to seek emergency listing under the Endangered Species Act for that population and we’ve directly appealed to Interior leaders to take action.
We are building a major coalition of organizations, Indian tribes, and federal lawmakers to fight for wolves. The Center, AWA, AWF, and dozens of other partners submitted a detailed amicus brief, with more than a dozen partner organization, in the federal court case seeking delisting. We recruited the Sault St. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians, the largest tribe east of the Mississippi River, to join us, along with a dozen other organizations centered in the Great Lakes region. We have involved other groups in the Northern Rockies as we apply pressure there. We worked with the Sault tribe to secure a resolution from the National Congress of American Indians to support re-listing of wolves. We worked with Senators Cory Booker, D-N.J., and Gary Peters, D-Mich., signed by 19 other lawmakers to the Interior Secretary to demand action. House allies sent a similar letter.
The Business Case
Wolves pose no danger to people. The occasional killing of farm animals can be effectively managed through non-lethal mitigation measures and selective control, with ranchers made whole through compensation programs.
A recently released study pointed out that wolves control deer populations and reduce the frequency of deer-auto collisions, saving human lives and reducing the economic costs of these sad and costly collisions. In short, wolves are a boon to forestry companies, insurance companies and drivers, and even to the hunting community, since wolves are very effective in killing deer with Chronic Wasting Disease — an infectious brain-wasting disease that poses a threat to hunters who consume game meat.
Wolves in Yellowstone National Park are a draw for millions of tourists who trek to the park and spend money at the park but mainly in gateway communities. Killing the wolves of Yellowstone — as is happening in the winter of 2021-22, is going to reverberate with lost business in the rural gateway communities to the park.
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Actions to Take