Target: Amy Atwood, Senior Attorney, Center for Biological Diversity
Goal: Thank conservationists for suspending wolf-killing program
The Idaho Department of Fish and Game has abandoned a professional wolf-killing program originally slated for this coming winter. Conservationists argued that the U.S. Forest Service violated the Wilderness Act by allowing the state wolf-killing program to exist in the largest forest wilderness in the lower 48 states, which is also a core habitat for gray wolves residing in the western Unites States. The U.S. Forest Service is responsible for managing and protecting the Frank Church Wilderness, which is where the wolf-killing program was set to take place.
While the program has been abandoned for now, the possibility that it will return in 2015 remains. A professional hunter-trapper hired by the Idaho Department of Fish and Game Wildlife killed nine wolves in the Frank Church Wilderness last winter. State officials in February announced plans to kill 60 percent of the wolves in the Middle Fork section of the wilderness over a period of several years in an effort to increase wilderness elk populations. Higher elk populations are highly sought after by commercial outfitters and recreational hunters.
It is ridiculous to eliminate one species to increase another with the end goal of hunting it down for commercial and personal gain. Allowing the hired killing of a species under the guise of wilderness protection is absurd; it is the exact opposite of protecting wildlife. A scheduled court hearing has been cancelled by conservationists since the Idaho Department of Fish and Game abandoned the wolf-killing program for 2014-2015. However, conservationists have renewed their call for the Forest Service to fulfill its duty by protecting the Frank Church Wilderness and all of its animal species.
Applaud the efforts of conservationists at the Center for Biological Diversity for preventing the slaughter of gray wolves in the Frank Church Wilderness.
Dear Ms. Atwood,
I am glad to hear that Idaho’s wolves will not be slaughtered as a result of the state’s ill-conceived wolf-killing plan. Even if only for one year, this will allow the wolf population to grow and thrive in its natural habitat for the time being. We hope that further action to protect the wolves from these horrific murders will soon be enacted by the government.
In the future, I hope that the public will gain awareness of the plights of animals that are unnecessarily hunted down and killed for commercial and personal gain. This news may draw attention to an issue that needs to be brought to light not only in Idaho, but in other areas of the country where similar plans are being enacted. Thank you for your tireless efforts to keep wolves and other species safe.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service via Flickr