Many people loathe trophy hunters. Hunters have sullied the word ‘conservation’ and wreaked horrible pain and suffering upon the animal kingdom. Moreover, these worthless planet-killers are hastening the man-driven Sixth Mass Extinction.
The Trump administration inflicted tremendous damage on Mother Earth, national monuments, old-growth-forests and our brethren and sistren, the animals. See The Gen Z Emergency for gory details.
Since 1933, wolves have been persecuted in the United States. Forty-seven years ago the Endangered Species Act saved the gray wolves in the lower 48 states from extinction.
Wolves are admirable four-legged ‘doctors’ that facilitate the storage of atmospheric carbon along with curating the wonderful wildland web and its almighty biodiversity. Wolves accomplish this by keeping populations of their prey (deer, sheep, caribou, moose) fit. They are master cardio personal trainers. The clients that cannot keep up are devoured.
The presence of these canine medicos, interestingly, also protects: streamside vegetation, tree roots, fungi, bacteria, microbes, soil fauna/flora, and megatons of stored carbon, from overgrazing by large herbivores.
Wolves are also waterkeepers that guard the health of riverbank soils. Those healthy soils are able to intercept man-made poisons preventing them from entering waterways. It’s nature’s perfect filtration and carbon storage system.
On November 3, 2020 (the day that Trump was resoundingly thrashed at the polls), the United States Fish & Wildlife Service disregarded the science and delisted the gray wolves as an endangered species. One million eight hundred thousand Americans submitted comments opposing this delisting. In addition, 86 members of Congress (House and Senate), 100 scientists, 230 businesses, 367 veterinary professionals and Dr Jane Goodall all wrote letters opposing the delisting plan.
On January 14, 2021, Earthjustice, The Humane Society of the United States, Center for Biological Diversity, Sierra Club, National Parks Conservation Association, Oregon Wild and Defenders of Wildlife filed a lawsuit challenging the Trump administration over the gray wolf delisting.
Six days later, President Joe Biden ordered a review of the Trump administration’s anti-wildlife policies, including the decision to strip the Endangered Species Act protection from the gray wolves.
Instead of honoring the Biden administration’s review order, on January 28, Gary Frazer, assistant director for ecological services, issued a letter in support of delisting the wolves.
In the meantime, a monied trophy hunting club from Kansas won the right in court, during breeding season (Feb 22-28), to snare, hound, steel-jaw leg trap and shoot (with military grade rifles) 200 Wisconsin gray wolves.
The loss of one breeding wolf can decimate a pack. With no denning, pupping or dispersing, the population quickly crashes.
By the way, wolves play a crucial role in fighting the man-made climate crisis. Not only do wolves keep populations of tree browsing moose in check, but also, they enable old-growth forests to inhale a vast amount of CO2, storing in the north country the equivalent annual emissions of 21.5 million automobiles.
Real men and women take cameras into the woods and wait patiently, sometimes for many days, to get that perfect wolf image. Then they share it on social media, allowing others to celebrate these glorious living masterpieces.
The continued destruction of the gray wolves is a scandalous tragedy. The fate of humanity is inextricably linked to that of the wolves. No wolves, no life. Without protection from the Endangered Species Act, the wolves in the lower 48 states are doomed.
Anyone who kills a defenseless animal in pursuit of ‘amusement’, is a sadistic, contemptible bastard.
Dr Reese Halter is an award-winning broadcaster, distinguished conservation biologist and author.
Dr Reese Halter’s latest book is now available!
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