Tag Archives: endangered species

Action items for prairie dogs and wolves

(cross posted to Utah Legilsature Watch)

Utah Environmental Congress has issued these two action items

PRAIRIE DOG DAY RESOLUTION (House Joint Resolution 21 )


Speak Up for Wolves!

Help 12 year old Luke Zitting declare February 2nd Prairie Dog Day in Utah!

Join the Utah Environmental Congress, Humane Society of the United States, WildEarth Guardians, Luke Zitting, author of the Utah Prairie Dog Day Resolution, and other wildlife enthusiasts on Tuesday, February 2nd. We will deliver our signatures and Resolution on Capitol Hill:

8:30am in the Capitol Rotunda under the Dome

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Message to wild wolves: Watch your back.

(cross-posted to Utah Legislature Watch)

If one Utah legislator gets his way,  wild wolves will be in great danger if found anywhere in Utah.

State Sen. Allen Christensen has proposed a bill that would require state wildlife officials to capture or kill all wild wolves that wander into Utah – even those in areas where they’re protected by the federal Endangered Species Act.

Christensen, a Republican from North Ogden, said he worries that wolves from neighboring states could eventually decimate Utah’s elk and deer populations and hurt the livestock industry.

First, the deer population is declining due to changing climate and food resources, according to an October 2009 Deseret News article.  Second there are measures in place to compensate livestock owners for losses should any occur.  Rep. Christensen has no concrete evidence to back this proposal.  The proposal is based on "possible" losses.

There are currently no known wolf packs in Utah although a few loners occasionally wander into the state. A radio-collared wolf was captured in a coyote trap in north-central Utah in 2002. That prompted state officials to start a lengthy process to develop a management plan for others that might wander in.

The article in the Billings Gazette continues to point out that a survey of Utah residents found that plan favorable.

Rep. Christensen will fight tooth and nail, using private funders, to get his proposal passed.

Christensen said he’s willing to take his proposal as far as possible, including using it to assert state’s rights and fight it out in court."It’ll take a while to work its way through all the obstacles," Christensen said.

He said he hopes private funding – including from sportsmen and livestock groups – could be used to fight any challenge to the law.

Utah already has a management plan that allows wolves into the state, compensates livestock owners for losses and allows for them to be killed or relocated if they drive down game populations.

Christensen’s bill would take state policy further, though, with the hopes of eliminating any chance wolves could get a foothold anywhere in Utah.

Wolves were wiped out of Utah a century ago for good reason, he said.

"Their lifestyle isn’t compatible with ours. People say that’s a haughty attitude. I’m sorry, we’re here to stay," Christensen said.

This self-righteous attitude has led to a proposal for which there is no basis and therefore will be a waste of taxpayers resources to pursue in the upcoming legislation.

What Sarah Palin has done for animals in the wild

Thanks to Cliff over at One Utah for posting this:

It’s Open Season on Wolves now

Thanks to the recent loss of federal protection under the Endangered Species Act, wolves are now “fair game”.  A wolf captured in Utah 6 years ago and being tracked was killed in Wyoming, according to the article in today’s Salt Lake Tribune.

The wolf was not causing trouble, nor did it have a record of having caused trouble, and was one of three wolves shot, two of them near an elk feeding ground.

Born in 2000, the wolf was one of only two confirmed to live in Utah during the past 75 years. In 2002, it was caught in a trap near Morgan and taken back to Yellowstone National Park, where it rejoined the Druid Peak pack.
    The pack is perhaps the most famous of the wolves set free in the Northern Rocky Mountain gray wolf-recovery area, which in Utah includes a small area east of Interstates 84 and 15 and north of Interstate 80.
    The wolf delisting means the affected states – Wyoming, Montana, Idaho, Washington, Oregon and Utah – now manage the wolves.
    Camenzind said people knew the wolves had been hanging around the feeding ground. “On Friday, they went out and shot them,” he said.
    Wolf 253M “was a good wolf,” he said. “He covered thousands of miles and didn’t cause any trouble.”
    Wyoming’s wolf management plan considers wolves predators that can be killed for any reason across most of the state. Only a small area near Yellowstone is off-limits, though Cowboy State wildlife officials plan to allow restricted fall hunting in the remaining protected area for trophy animals.
    The Jackson Hole Conservation Alliance is one of several organizations that plan to file a lawsuit on April 28 against the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service over its delisting decision.