WildLife Wednesday: Fish and Wildlife Service Joins States, MUCC in Wolf Appeal

Drew YoungeDyke,  MUCC Field Manager Drew YoungeDyke,
MUCC Field Manager
Wolves are recovered in western Great Lakes states like Michigan. Don't believe me? Just ask pretty much everyone with a biology degree in an official position with the state conservation departments where wolves roam or the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. They've all joined MUCC and our partner conservation groups in a federal wolf appeal.
The only entities still supporting federal Endangered Species Act protection for recovered western Great Lakes wolves are avowed anti-hunting organizations like the Humane Society of the United States and a lone federal judge. And all this as Congress considers legislation to reinstate the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's rule de-listing wolves in the western Great Lakes.
Last week, the State of Michigan filed its notice of appeal to Judge Beryl Howell's December 2014 ruling reinstating Endangered Species Act protections for Michigan, Wisconsin and Minnesota wolves, even though they have far exceeded recovery goals in those states and have done so for a long time. For instance, wolves in the Upper Peninsula number over 600 as of their last minimum winter count, whereas the minimum recovery goal for the state is 200 wolves. They've exceeded that number for over a decade.
“Wolves in Michigan and the other western Great Lakes states are fully recovered from endangered species status, which is a great success story,” said Michigan Department of Natural Resources Wildlife Division Chief Russ Mason. “Continuing to use the Endangered Species Act to protect a recovered species not only undermines the integrity of the Act, it leaves farmers and others with no immediate recourse when their animals are being attacked and killed by wolves.”
The Scientific Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act takes effect at the end of this month! The Scientific Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act takes effect at the end of this month!
The State of Wisconsin also filed a notice of appeal, and just this week the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service filed its notice of appeal, as well. They now join a coalition of conservation groups in appealing the plainly illogical ruling.
That coalition includes Michigan United Conservation Clubs, U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance Foundation, the National Rifle Association, the Wisconsin Bear Hunters Association, Safari Club International, the Wisconsin Bowhunters Association, the Upper Peninsula Bear Houndsmen Association, the Michigan Hunting Dog Federation, and the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation.
A successful appeal could take years, though, and Upper Peninsula farmers and dog owners cannot wait that long. So at the same time, MUCC and many of the coalition groups are supporting federal legislation, HR 884, to reinstate the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's orders removing the recovered western Great Lakes wolf populations from Endangered Species Act protections, which are inappropriate for recovered species.
While the usual anti-hunting factions have tried to claim that this legislation goes against the agency's decisions, the exact opposite is true. This legislation reinstates the decisions of federal agency biologists within the Obama administration, which were arbitrarily overturned by a lone federal judge far from wolf country based on a misleading HSUS lawsuit. It is also co-sponsored by Michigan Representatives Benishek (MI-1), Huizinga (MI-2), and Walberg (MI-7), and similar legislation is co-sponsored by Representative Moolenar (MI-4).
You can bet that Congress will be hearing from the radical animal rights crowd, though, so it's important that they hear from you, too! Call your Senators and Representatives in Washington and tell them you support the biologists' decision to remove recovered wolves in Michigan from the endangered species list and uphold the integrity of the Endangered Species Act by using it only for actually endangered species!
Contact your Representative
Contact your Senators
At the end of this March, the Scientific Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act will take effect. This law makes sure that Michigan's professional biologists, acting through the Natural Resources Commission, can make scientific decisions about fish and wildlife including what management techniques, like hunting, can be used for which species, like wolves. We took care of business and beat HSUS here in Michigan. Now it's time to take care of business at the federal level!
You signed the petition. You called your state representatives and senators. You won. Now it's time to take action and call your U.S. Representatives and Senators and win again!

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