Wolves lose protected status today


After spending millions of dollars in taxpayer money to restore gray wolves to the American wilderness, the once-officially-endangered species is now firmly in hunters' sights. As of today, the wolf has lost its federal protected status, and now individual states get to decide on the fate of the wolves within their borders.

Conservation groups are, of course, appealing the move, but without a reversal, hunting in Wyoming, Idaho and Montana could -- and will -- start soon.

Wolves in Wyoming are probably the most at risk, as the Associated Press reports:

"The animals will be a protected as a trophy species in the state's northwestern corner, and classified as a predator species in the rest of the state. People will be able to kill wolves at any time and for any reason in the predator area, which covers nearly 90 percent of the state."

In Montana, ranchers state-wide now have the right to shoot wolves found to be "harassing or attacking" livestock. Montana law previously only allowed wolf killing in the southern half of the state.

As for Idaho, the state plans to identify wolves as "big game," allowing licensed hunting. Full wolf-hunting rules are expected to be announced in May.

At least wolves in Oregon remain protected. Of course, there are no known breeding pairs of wolves in the state, so that's not much comfort.

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Comments

Sad news;let's hope the carnage isn't too horrible.
Cowardly hunters will rejoice.

This is the worst of the worst. Right up there with drilling in alaska-those poor bears don't have a chance!

Same goes for these wolves. How can Wyoming be so callous and cruel? I can't fathom it, can you?

Anyone can go on a shooting day wit friends, drink a bunch of High Life, and wipe out almost all of Wyoming's wolves. It's disgusting.
And Montana goes and changes it's rule at the gate!

If hunters really want to kill wolves, if these states really want their revenue increased by hunting, then they should only allow hand-to-paw combat.

If someone can stake out, jump, and strangle a wolf without using poisons or guns or any weapons, fine. Otherwise, there is no equality.

I hope that the FWS gets sued so hard that they have to start swaddling newborn wolf pups in cashmere and bottle feed them organic soymilk.

And donate miles of land for them to live in with a large water source.

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