THE GUEST FOR MONDAY, JULY 18, 2011 IS JAMES WILLIAM GIBSON, ONE OF THE MOST THOUGHTFUL LOCAL ADVOCATES/THINKERS ON ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES. HIS MOST RECENT BOOK IS: “A REENCHANTED WORLD: THE QUEST FOR A NEW KINSHIP WITH NATURE.” ON THIS SHOW, HE IS DISCUSSING THE HUNTING OF WOLVES THAT WERE RE-INTRODUCED INTO THE AMERICAN WEST.
HERE ARE EXCERPTS FROM NOTES BILL GIBSON SENT TO US IN ADVANCE OF THE INTERVIEW:
"Idaho has declared a season running from Sept through March--no overall quota. They want to kill down the wolf population from 600-700 to 150. The director of Fish and Game says that if hunters do not kill enough--which is quite possible--then Idaho will conduct aerial hunts in the winter and spring. Many of the wolves wear collars with transmitters, making them easy to find. In winter, when there is snow, then even wolves without collars can be tracked by helicopter. It looks grim.
Montana has announced a quota of 220 out of 560 wolves in the state.
Wyoming is negotiating with the federal government to allow shoot-on-sight in most of the state, except for areas in the northwest adjacent to Yellowstone National Park. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has twice rejected this proposal; that's why wolves in Wyoming were never delisted. However, it now appears that the Obama administration will accept it. Wyoming's Congresswoman has attached language--a rider-- to the House budget bill for the Interior Department saying that this delisting is not subject to judicial review, just like the previous delisting rider."
"LAWSUITS CHALLENGING DELISTING:
"Several regional environmental groups, such as Alliance for the Wild Rockies and Western Watersheds Projects, have challenged the constitutionality of the Congressional rider delisting wolves. The case iS now before Judge Molloy in the federal court in Missoula, Montana. Briefs have been filed. Oral arguments are scheduled for July 26. The planitiffs argue that since the Congressional rider in the April budget bill did not actually change any of the language in the Endangered Species Act, then the delisting constitutes a violation of the separation powers
...Delisting is the result of a demonization campaign by a coalition of far-right factions... the demonization is at one level conscious--wolves are icons of an evil federal government, and at another level represents a very old kind of projection of human fears onto wolves and the association of wolves with Satan.
In the face of this campaign, the Democrats completely collapsed, both in the Rockies and nationally, effectively sacrificing the wolves and gutting the Endangered Species Act.
I do not think that several hundred wolves can be killed in the Rockies without generating a backlash from shame and anger. We will have to confront our moral failure to protect innocent animals that both serve important ecological functions in managing prey populations and create a greater sense of depth and meaning to the wilderness. After all, wolves are highly intelligent, they have families and show feelings towards one another. they are almost identical to our beloved dogs. In time, we will come to recognize that we're killing wild dogs, animals with whom we potentially could have much more varied relationships as totemic or symbolic kin."
HERE IS A LINK TO AN ARTICLE BY BILL GIBSON:
HERE IS SOME OTHER COVERAGE WITH DIFFERENT PERSPECTIVES ON THE ISSUE:
Federal funds run dry for predatory wolf control program
Wolves Kill 120 Sheep Near Dillon, Montana
THE INTERVIEW WITH BILL GIBSON IS CONDUCTED BY HOWARD BLUME AND PRODUCER LAURIE KAUFMAN.
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