The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Suzanne Stone, (208)424-9385; (208)861-4655
Erin McCallum, (202)772-3217; (610)207-5209

Wolves Back in the Crosshairs After Salazar Decision to Remove Federal Protection in the Northern Rockies


Tomorrow, the rule
removing wolves in the Northern Rockies from the list of
endangered and threatened species is expected to be published in the Federal
Register. It will take effect on May 4, after which wolves throughout
Montana, and parts of
Oregon and
Washington will no longer receive
any protection under the Endangered Species Act.

The following is a
statement by Rodger
president for Defenders of Wildlife:

"We're on the eve of a tragic event in the history of the
conservation of endangered species. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar's decision to
adopt the Bush administration's plan to remove Endangered Species Act protection
for wolves in the Northern Rockies is a loss for the
wolves, a loss for their ecosystems and a loss for sound science serving as the
backbone of the Endangered Species Act.

"Wolves will once again be in the crosshairs to be needlessly
killed starting May 4. Under the inadequate federal delisting rule, as much as
two-thirds of the current Northern Rockies wolf
population can be killed. Defenders of Wildlife will not stand by and let this
go unchallenged.

"We turn now to the federal courts to save these wolves and
ensure the future of wolf restoration in the region. It is deeply disappointing
that Secretary Salazar missed a major opportunity to work with conservationists,
scientists, ranchers, hunters and other stakeholders to resolve the issues that
must be resolved to ensure that wolf recovery continues and the requirements of
the Endangered Species Act are met. Instead, he has forced us to return to the
courts to again challenge the same flawed plan that was rejected by the courts
just last summer."

The following is a
statement by Suzanne Stone, Northern Rockies Representative for Defenders of

"We look forward to celebrating the transfer of wolves to
state management but not until a federal delisting rule is developed that
ensures the future of wolves in the region. This plan ignores current science on
what wolves need to maintain a healthy population over the long term. It also
ignores the hundreds of thousands of citizens who have asked for a better plan."

Defenders of Wildlife is the premier U.S.-based national conservation organization dedicated to the protection and restoration of imperiled species and their habitats in North America.

(202) 682-9400