Gray wolf

Citing “inadequate regulatory mechanisms” in Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming, and a lack of minimum viable populations of wolves in all other western states, Wilderness Watch joined a coalition of 70 conservation, Indigenous, and animal welfare groups in filing a formal petition on July 29 with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to re-list the gray wolf as an endangered species throughout the American West under the Endangered Species Act. The re-listing petition comes in the wake of draconian new laws passed in Idaho and Montana to radically reduce wolf populations below biologically appropriate levels.

 

“Wolves remain completely absent from suitable habitats or perilously close to extinction in many western states, and the handful of states surrounding Yellowstone National Park are now driving the larger populations toward extinction — endangered species listing — by ramping up wolf killing and stripping away hunting and trapping regulations in Montana, Idaho, and Wyoming,” said Erik Molvar, a wildlife biologist and Executive Director of Western Watersheds Project.  “This petition gives Secretary Haaland and Interim Director Williams a legal and scientific blueprint for restoring federal protections and counteracting the irresponsible state policies in Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming.”

 

The listing petition highlights scientific findings of multiple threats facing wolves in the western United States, including unregulated hunting in several states, poaching, genetic problems associated with low population levels, fragmented habitats, and disease outbreaks that strike at random, potentially reducing populations below critical thresholds. It calls upon the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to protect wolves in the West as a Distinct Population Segment.

 

"The recent actions of Idaho and Montana show that both wolves and Wilderness are endangered," said George Nickas, executive director of Wilderness Watch. "The state legislators' and governors' hatred for wild things, their wont to control everything, and their efforts to destroy those things they can’t control is why the federal government absolutely must step forward and impose the will of the vast majority of Americans as expressed in the Endangered Species Act."

 

The groups’ petition comes in the wake of a groundswell of public recognition that wolves deserve to be listed under the Endangered Species Act, and that certain anti-conservation state governments are actively undermining wolf recovery in the lower 48 states. Over 120 Indigenous tribes and groups signed a wolf treaty calling for federal protection, and a documentary short film by the Global Indigenous Council was recently released, highlighting the cultural importance of wolves to Indigenous peoples. More than 400 scientists joined the call for federal wolf protections, recently bolstered by a letter from Members of Congress asking Secretary Haaland to step in and get the wolves back under the wing of Endangered Species Act protections.

 

The formal ESA petition requires the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to render a formal determination, called a “90-day finding,” determining whether substantial scientific and commercial information has been presented to support reinstating federal protections. This would be the first step on the road to restoring federal protections for this ecologically important, much-loved, oft-hated, and misunderstood species.

 

 

Photos: US Fish and Wildlife Service

 
 
 
 
North Fork Blackfoot River Scapegoat Wilderness Montana
August 06, 2021

Scapegoat Wilderness poisoning stopped

On July 22, 2021, Wilderness Watch and allies filed suit in the U.S. District Court for Montana asking for a preliminary injunction and/or temporary restraining order to halt the State of Montana’s North Fork Blackfoot Westslope Cutthroat Trout Project—a massive stream poisoning and fish stocking project in the Scapegoat Wilderness

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Gray wolf
July 29, 2021

Re-list wolves as “endangered” throughout the West

Citing “inadequate regulatory mechanisms” in Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming, and a lack of minimum viable populations of wolves in all other western states, Wilderness Watch joined a coalition of 70 conservation, Indigenous, and animal welfare groups in filing a formal petition on July 29 with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to re-list the gray wolf as an endangered species throughout the American West under the Endangered Species Act.
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Mt. Rainier
July 09, 2021

Don’t mar the Mt. Rainier Wilderness

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) is seeking approval from the National Park Service (NPS) to install 12 monitoring stations in Mount Rainier National Park in Washington for detecting lahars, a proposal that includes years of unwarranted helicopter incursions and unnecessary permanent structures that will mar this spectacular Wilderness.
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Gray wolf
June 25, 2021

Scrap a grazing plan for the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem

Wilderness Watch is urging the Forest Service to drop its proposal to issue permits for cattle grazing in three vacant allotments in the Gros Ventre Wilderness, plus an adjacent allotment located between the Gros Ventre and Bridger Wildernesses, all within the Bridger-Teton National Forest in Wyoming.
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Gray wolf
June 23, 2021

Montana/Idaho put on notice over extreme new hunting laws

In summer 2021, Wilderness Watch and several allies put the states of Montana and Idaho on notice of our intent to sue over their barbaric new wolf-killing laws that could not only kill up to 85 or (90 in the case of Idaho) percent of wolves in the state, but injure and kill other rare species such as grizzly bears and Canada lynx.
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Gray wolf
June 14, 2021

Grazing doesn't belong in Table Mountain and Alta Toquima

Wilderness Watch is urging the Forest Service to drop its plan to issue permits for cattle grazing in four allotments in the Table Mountain and Alta Toquima Wildernesses in Nevada that haven’t been grazed for nearly 30 years. The Monitor-Toquima Range Vacant Grazing Allotment Project includes year-round grazing in two livestock grazing allotments.
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Central Yukon Management Plan needs much improvement

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Poison has no place in the Absaroka-Beartooth Wilderness

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Drop Trump-era Forest Service grazing plan

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Treat the Wenaha-Tucannon like the Wilderness it is

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Massive Burn Proposed for the Mission Mountains Wilderness

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We're Suing to Stop Cruel Hunting Practices on National Preserves in Alaska

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Good News for Brown Bears in the Kenai Refuge

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Don't Trammel the Palisades Wilderness Study Area

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Litigation on National Park Service e-bike rule will proceed

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Protect Joshua Tree Wilderness in climbing plan

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Protect Wilderness in Whitebark Pine Listing

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President Biden Suspends Arctic Drilling Leases

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Victory: Air Force drops Gila overflights plan!

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Alpine Lakes Wilderness Threatened by Thirsty Chelan County

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Destructive Grazing Threatens Gila and Blue Range Wildernesses

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Herbicides and Burning Six Wildernesses in Arizona

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WW Sues to End the Killing of Grizzly Bears at Bait Stations

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Izembek Road Quashed Again

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WW Objects to Wilderness Helicopter Invasion in Arizona

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Helicopter Net-Gun Capture Stopped in Wasatch Wildernesses

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Allow Natural Recovery of Grizzlies in the North Cascades

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Degrading the Wave at Paria Canyon-Vermillion Cliffs

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Ambler Road Threatens Gates of the Arctic Wilderness

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WW Stops Wilderness “Chainsaw Massacre” in Colorado

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Keep Grazing Allotments Closed in Absaroka-Beartooth Wilderness

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E-Bike rules threaten public lands, wildlife, and Wilderness

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Massive Strip Mine Threatens One of the East's largest Wildernesses

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National Environmental Policy Act on the line

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Keep the Promise of a Wild Cumberland Island

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BLM's "Loony" Action


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Time to Close Airstrips in River of No Return Wilderness

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Seismic Exploration Threatens Arctic Refuge

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WW appeals livestock grazing permit renewals in Colorado

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Leave the Cascades and Olympic Wildernesses Be

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Keep Cows out of the Hoover Wilderness

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No Permanent Firebreaks in the Ventana Wilderness

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Wilderness Community Unites to Keep Bike Ban in Wilderness

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Proposed BLM grazing regs threaten Wilderness across the West

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Wilderness and Mining Don't Mix

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WW Sues to Stop Motorboat Abuse in Boundary Waters


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Restore Wilderness in Olympic National Park

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Sulfide Mines Threaten Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness

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BLM Seeking to Commercialize Wildernesses in New Mexico

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WW Challenges Increased Grazing in Little Jacks Creek Wilderness

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Commercial Spaceport Threatens Cumberland Island Wilderness

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Remove Pemigewasset Wilderness Bridge

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Wilderness Watch Opposes Human Meddling in Boundary Waters

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Let the Pine Valley Mountain Wilderness Be

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Visitor Permit System Coming to Central Cascades Wildernesses

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Commercial Use Threatens Pasayten and Lake Chelan-Sawtooth Wildernesses

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Victory for River of No Return Wilderness and its Wildlife

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BLM Drops Owyhee Canyonlands Wilderness Juniper Project

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Kootznoowoo Wilderness Spared an Airport

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WW Urges a Wilder Yosemite and Mt. Rainer Wilderness

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Park Service Should Protect Nation’s Largest Wilderness

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When the Cure is Worse than the Disease

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Victory for six Owyhee Wildernesses in Idaho!

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It’s Time to Remove Domestic Sheep in the High Uintas Wilderness

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Congress Allows Unethical Killing in Wildlife Refuges in Alaska

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Military Drops Plans to Land Helicopters in the Alpine Lakes Wilderness

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Another Building Boom in the Olympics

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Forest Service Proposes Logging and Burning Wildernesses in Arizona

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Supersonic jet flights threaten Owyhee Wildernesses and wildlife

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Wilderness Watch Votes for Nature's Way

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Contact Us

Wilderness Watch
P.O. Box 9175
Missoula, MT 59807
P: 406-542-2048
E: wild@wildernesswatch.org

Minneapolis, MN Office
2833 43rd Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN 55406

P: 612-201-9266

Moscow, ID Office
P.O. Box 9765
Moscow, ID 83843

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