In an unprecedented move, Democratic Senator John Tester along with Rep. Simpson have placed a rider in the budget bill that would remove wolves in the Northern Rockies from the endangered species act. As any reasonable person knows, this is a scientific issue, and should be managed by those with such expertise, and not congress.
Sad news. And if you don't think it's a big deal, think again. This is big picture stuff that goes far beyond jobs. We are a species too, as much as we've tried to separate ourselves from that in our lives. Setting aside habitat for rare and endangered species is actually setting aside habitat for us. Making sure there are places that haven't been polluted or developed is not just about wolves or grizzly bears. It's about our quality of life, and our land and water. The Endangered Species Act is the finest tool ever crafted to preserve the human race. Its usefulness in setting aside tracts of land for dwindling species to recover is its most important feature. Wolves didn't just lose today. We lost.
Obama and Reid have approved the language in the upcoming budget bill, and in effect have initiated the greatest single attack on the Endangered Species Act in its existence.
So what does this do? It reverts management of all wolves in Montana, Idaho, Washington and Oregon to state management, where they will become unwilling participants in "wolf derbies" and will in essence be slaughtered. While Idaho has habitat for well over a 1,000 wolves, the state only wants 100, and recently a resolution was passed that declared a "state of emergency" because of wolves (all 700 of them over 83,574 square miles). Needless to say, this was based in hysterics and zero science. It is possible once this is passed that state officials will be radio collaring a single wolf from each pack, and then tracking it to its den via helicopter or other means so they can then gas the pups and/or shoot them in the head.
Even worse, this bill sets a dangerous precedent where any radical congressman can hold any animal he/she doesn't like hostage in any bill that comes down the pike. Any sensible person realizes this is an insane way to manage our wildlife. In essence, this is one of the most damaging pieces of legislation ever put forth against the ESA, and it's being done by a democrat who is beholden to corporate ranching interests and a group of reactionary extremists. The wolf has become a venting symbol for unhappy rural westerners (usually white males) who see their lifestyle crumbling as gas prices skyrocket.
This is a desperate ploy by Senator Tester to ratchet up his poll numbers. I'm sorry, but REAL democrats don't do this. The ESA is a pillar of the democratic platform and one of our shining accomplishments. Attacking it makes our party weaker in the long run. And if Senator Tester loses, so be it. We don't attack our platform, period.
wolf rider text:
“SEC. 1713. Before the end of the 60-day period beginning on the date of enactment of this Act, the Secretary of the Interior shall reissue the final rule published on April 2, 2009 (74 Fed. Reg. 15123 et seq.) without regard to any other provision of statute or regulation that applies to issuance of such rule. Such reissuance (including this section) shall not be subject to judicial review and shall not abrogate or otherwise have any effect on the order and judgment issued by the United States District Court for the District of Wyoming in Case Numbers 09–CV–118J and 09–CV–138J on November 18, 2010.”
Please contact your reps and Senators, and also the democratic members of the Environment and Public Works Senate committee.
You can also read more about this issue here:
The rider bans citizens from challenging the wolf delisting decision while preserving anti-wolf litigation brought by the state of Wyoming and others.
The rider was approved by Democratic and Republican leadership. The budget bill is expected to be voted on Thursday.
One of the most vulnerable Democratic senators in the upcoming 2012 elections, Tester is running three points behind Republican Denny Rehberg, a strident opponent of wolf recovery. Tester is pushing to eliminate federal wolf protection to boost his sagging poll numbers.
Capital Switchboard Numbers – give the name of the Senator & you will be transferred to their office. You will then either speak to a staff member, or on the weekend – to voice mail.
When possible ask to speak to each Senator’s environmental aide. This will give you a better chance to get your message across because you will be talking to someone who is familiar with the issue.
Be polite but express your outrage over the game of chess Congress is playing with wolves’ lives. The delisting language must be stripped out of the final bill
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid
522 Hart Senate Office Bldg
Washington, DC 20510
Toll Free for Nevadans:
INDIVIDUAL LIST OF SENATORS:
Boxer, Barbara – (D – CA)
Senator Thomas R. Carper (D-Delaware)
Frank R. Lautenberg (D-NJ)
Cardin, Benjamin L. – (D – MD)
Senator Bernie Sanders (D-Vermont)
Phone (202) 224-5141
Gillibrand, Kirsten E. – (D – NY)
Fax (212) 688-7444
Senator Tom Udall (D-New Mexico)
Senator Jeff Merkley (D-Oregon)
Whitehouse, Sheldon – (D-RI)
PRESIDENT OBAMA – The Whitehouse
Comments: 202-456-1111 Switchboard: 202-456-1414 FAX: 202-456-2461
On a further note, Rep. Mike Simpson has also inserted language into the budget bill that prevents Obama from using any federal dollars for the BLM wildlands inventory. You can read about this here: