New rule removes the gray wolf from the Endangered Species Act, halting wolf recovery
Today the Trump administration finalized a rule removing protections for all gray wolves in the lower-48 states except for a small population of Mexican gray wolves in Arizona and New Mexico. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service made its decision despite the fact that wolves are still functionally extinct in the vast majority of their former range across the continental U.S.
Sadly, on the verge of Wolf Awareness Week (which is next week), we received news that an Oregon wolf in the Wallowa Whitman National Forest was illegally killed. Poaching remains one of the biggest challenges for wolf recovery, and the culture by some hunting groups not to decry it leads to a culture of permissiveness. Until poaching of carnivores is universally condemned, getting justice will continue to be an uphill battle.
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It was only a few weeks ago that the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) began testing the waters for an expansion of black bear hunting season in the Wild Rogue River recreation corridor. The public responded forcefully and the agency announced today it was abandoning it’s plan, saying in a release:
“The concept was introduced to the public for feedback in late June and the comments received did not show strong support for the proposal at this time.”