Thursday, February 15, 2007

Comment on Proposed Wolf Slaughter NOW!

It's depressing how badly things are going for the wolves. Right now they are struggling to stay warm, hunt, and stay alive through the winter, unaware of human plans to try and wipe them out. They certainly can do nothing to protect themselves from these threats they can't see, hear or understand - so it's up to the humans on the planet who care to try and stand up for them.

Don't sit by because you think it won't matter - you have nothing to lose by trying but a little time. Plus, remember that no meaningful change ever came about easily, in this country or anywhere else. If you are depressed about how things are going, kick yourself into action now, because time is of the essence. Idaho is now wanting to sell hunting tags for a mere $9.75 each. (If they could, they'd probably vote to go back to the old days of paying hunters to kill wolves).

That said, what can you do? First, if you want to, you can start by reading the official proposal to de-list the wolves as printed in the Federal Register, click here. You can also read the Idaho Fish and Game Departments commentary on Idaho wolf management here. For more information on Northern Rocky Mountain gray wolves, visit this Fish & Wildlife site.

1. There is a 90 day comment period to comment on the federal plan to de-list wolves. You can write, appear at a hearing, email or fax to comment. Let the federal government know where you stand, and why. Don't just say you love wolves. Talk about why you think the plan to de-list them, knowing there are plans to hunt them in both Idaho and Wyoming, is wrong. Whether you talk about the progress made that will be undone, the money spent that will be wasted, the prejudice of the locals now unchecked by the feds, other ways to balance the population, limits to be placed on numbers to be hunted, or other ideas, try to be specific. Comments that appear too passionate tend to get ignored more than those that are carefully and rationally presented and argued. Comments from the public are encouraged on this proposal to delist the northern Rocky Mountain population of wolves. (Since there is also a de-listing of great lakes wolves, reference Rocky Mountain wolves in your correspondence). Comments can be electronically mailed to NRMGrayWolf@fws.gov or mailed to U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Wolf Delisting, 585 Shepard Way, Helena, MT 59601, or faxed to 406-449-5339. Get your comments in by March 30th. (I count 60 days from the announcement as March 30, 2007, so I would get comments in by then just to be safe, though some articles are saying April 9th is the official deadline. Why risk it?).

2. Donate what you can to Defenders of Wildlife, or another charity of your choice which is actively working to protect the wolves in a meaningful way. (See yesterday's post on researching charities).

3. Write a letter to the editor or call your local radio talk show and express your views, encouraging others to participate...or send emails, letters, tell your friends, put it on your blog, etc. Just do what you can to get the word out about the problem and ask for others to help participate too. There need to be lots of public comments on the de-listing program before the deadline or the "pro-wolf folks" will be considered a tiny minority. Help people learn how to comment and about the comment deadline.

4. Attend a public meeting on the proposal and comment. The Boise meeting will be held March 6, at the Boise Convention Center on the Grove, 850 W. Front St., Boise. Public meetings will run from 3 to 5 p.m., including brief presentations on the proposal at 3 and 4 p.m. Fish and Wildlife officials will take formal public comments during public hearings from 6 to 8 p.m. in each location.Other meeting times and locations are listed here.

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