I feel that if wolves, now off the endangered list, is only going to cause wolves to be placed back on the edge, than why change anything?
>> http://travel.usatoday.com/destinations ... w/592004/1Since being placed under federal protection nearly four decades ago,the resurgence of the American wolf population has been a howling success. Just over 6,000 of the animals now roam portions of 10 U.S. states outside Alaska,and they are stars of a growing wildlife tourism industry from Yellowstone National Park to Minnesota's Boundary Waters.
Last week,the Obama administration declared that wolves in Michigan,Minnesota, Wisconsin and portions of adjoining states have recovered from widespread extermination and will be removed from the endangered species list. Coupled with an earlier move that lifted protections in five western states,the administration's decision " puts the gray wolf at a historical crossroads —one that could test both its reputation for resilience and the tolerance of ranchers and hunters who bemoan its attacks on livestock and big game," particularly elk and deer,notes the Associated Press.
After the Department of Interior took wolves off the Endangered Species List in May, Idaho wildlife officials announced a plan,taking effect this month,that would rely on snare and leg-hold trapping and helicopter-borne sharpshooters to kill as many as 75 wolves in mountainous terrain near the Montana border.
Montana's Department of Fish,Wildlife and Parks,meanwhile,has extended its wolf hunting season past a Dec. 31 deadline. Just 105 wolves have been taken so far,the New York Times reported earlier this month,and officials wanted hunters to harvest 220.
And starting Jan. 27,barring another court reversal,the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will let farmers,hunters and pet owners in Michigan's Upper Peninsula kill wolves that threaten livestock and dogs,the Detroit Free-Press reports.
Since the late 1980s,more than 5,000 wolves have been killed legally,according to an AP review of state and federal records. Hundreds more have been killed illegally over the past two decades in the Northern Rockies alone.
Biologists are confident that neither legal hunts nor poaching will push wolves back to the brink of extinction,the AP reports. And what hunters and ranchers see as a threat,increasing numbers of tourists are appreciating as a mythic symbol of the wild.
Despite their elusiveness,wolves have become "a powerful economic generator for tourism" in communities near Yellowstone National Park,says Kurt Repanshek of National Parks Traveler. A 2006 study projected that Yellowstone tourists who come to watch wolves spend $35 million a year on those trips.
The animals are stars elsewhere,as well: In Ely,Minn.,the International Wolf Center offers everything from fuzzy wolf slippers (now on sale) to a "Track the Pack" winter study trip through northern Minnesota,while Oregon Wild launched a recent contest to to suggest names for "OR-7," a two-year-old male wolf roaming the Cascade Mountains near Crater Lake National Park. The group hosted two of its own wolf-themed excursions last summer.
And just east of San Diego in the historic mountain town of Julian,the California Wolf Center invites visitors to view highly-endangered Mexican gray wolves,as well as a pack of Alaskan gray wolves.