The Day After Delisting
As you’ve heard by now, Oregon wildlife officials voted last night to strip state Endangered Species Act protections from Oregon's wolves. If you have read previous Wolf Pack emails on this process, you know that this decision was coming and exactly what we were expecting.
While this is certainly a blow for Oregon’s wolves (and for other wildlife), it is just the first stage of a much larger debate over how we protect and restore these iconic animals. In the days ahead, Oregon Wild will be looking both back at the flawed process that lead up to this vote, and forward to the upcoming revision of Oregon’s Wolf Plan, for opportunities to continue the fight for gray wolves. We have always worked to make sure that state and federal agencies obey the law, and we will continue to do just that.
Oregon’s wolves, and all Oregonians who treasure wildlife and wild places, owe a debt to the everyday citizens like you who poured hundreds of hours of volunteer work into research, training, lobbying, testifying, writing, and taking action on behalf of wolf recovery over the last year.
Wolves are smart, tenacious animals. Now their human defenders must be just as smart and tenacious. We need you now more than ever to channel that sadness, anger, and frustration into action! Many of you have asked us what you can do right now. Here are three suggestions:
1) File a comment with Governor Brown via website or by calling (503) 378-4582
2) Write a letter to the editor for your public newspaper. Here’s a brief on How to Write an Op-ed and a Letter to the Editor.
There are only 81 known wolves in Oregon.
The scientific process required by law to justify removing protections was rushed, though the Commission had been urged back in April to seek independent review. Supporting documents were not available to the public until after the Commission meeting had already started.
Half of the science reviewers were hand-picked from Idaho Fish and Game, an agency that does not have a good reputation for wildlife management or integrity.
The scientific feedback wildlife staff received is insufficient and does not meet the standard of “vigorous independent review." It is nothing more than some side notes on the original document, which were never taken into consideration or incorporated into the final report.
Governor Kate Brown’s recent appointments to the Wildlife Commission have been a disaster. Jason Atkinson hasn’t attended the last two Commissioner meetings, while Bruce Buckmaster has been openly hostile and disrespectful to wildlife advocates.
If you are in Oregon, sign up to join the Oregon Wild Ones, a local wildlife activist group. Get updates on action alerts, upcoming trainings, and ways that you can make a difference for Oregon's wolves. Email Stephanie@oregonwild.org to get signed up.
We really appreciate you, and the wolves do as well.