Link: Susan Combs Appointed As Acting Secretary of Fish, Wildlife and Parks

“The other bills remove the protections for gray wolves in midwestern states and strip citizens of the ability to file court claims for the protection of certain species. Courts would also not be allowed to question the validity of the government’s decisions on delisting of species, including how they came to the conclusions based on ‘best available science.’”

The science is readily available to us. The benefit of top predators in an ecosystem (trophic cascades) is invaluable.

Wolf recovery has been successful in a number of areas (after we all but extirpated them from their former range in the 30’s) but that does not mean they will be able to withstand and recover from state imposed regulations and hunts given their current geographic range and the available genetic variation within that range.

Human vs. wildlife conflict should always be considered and addressed, specifically the impact they have on the livelihood of small town farmers – but the war on wolves by the current administration is really quite simple: Protections for wolves conflict with the interests and business of the agriculture, oil and gas industries. All of which require access to land that is currently, or has the potential to be, preserved for wolf recovery plans. When politicians have loyalty to these industries or stand to profit from them, we can’t possibly expect them to make decisions that serve the best interest of, or long term success of, an apex predator and the surrounding ecosystem.

My point? Mid-term elections are coming up. Wherever you live, do your research, get involved. If you care about the Endangered Species Act and the science behind it (facts -not fake news) then research that too. Make sure you vote for someone who supports the ESA and the tremendous work being done by organizations to protect our native flora and fauna and also by those that work to fight legislation that aim to strip protections for species.

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