End Aerial Gunning of Montana-Idaho Wolves
The Sage Creek Pack wolves should not have had to die. Until challenged by the Center for Biological Diversity and allies last year, the Sheep Experiment Station had never analyzed the effects of its grazing and associated "predator control" on wildlife.
If the Agriculture Department had complied with the law before our lawsuit, and if the Fish and Wildlife Service had followed its own wolf recovery program, which called for genetic exchange between wolf populations, either the sheep would have been gone in the first place or the wolves would not have paid the ultimate price.
Losing the Sage Creek Pack in the region between Yellowstone and central Idaho illustrates why Yellowstone-area wolves are, to a large extent, genetically isolated -- isolation that threatens the long-term viability of wolves in the national park and that led to wolves regaining Endangered Species Act protections last year after the Center and our allies sued. We are now in court once more seeking the same remedy after the Fish and Wildlife Service again removed wolves from the endangered species list this year.
Our separate suit against the Department of Agriculture led to a settlement agreement whereby the sheep station is finally beginning the process of documenting what the American public loses due to its grazing activities -- and what the alternatives are to those losses. Please tell Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack that protecting wolves and other wildlife by closing the sheep station should be an option -- and the preferred option -- in the environmental impact statement that his department is preparing.
And tell him, in the meantime, to stop gunning down wolves.