Gray Wolves are Back on the Endangered List

After 15 months, gray wolves are back on the endangered list. For some, this is a victory, for others, they don’t understand why. During the Trump administration, gray wolves were removed from the endangered species list. This caused an outrage with environmentalists and animal activists. On February 10th, US District Judge Jeffery S. White rules in favor of Human Society against the US Department of the Interior.

According to the Humane Society and other wildlife organizations, the US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) failed to take into consideration the impact this will have on the species across the states. Not only would the wolf population dwindle down but other species could end up on the rise. While the ruling is applied to most states it does not include Northern Rockies. Idaho and Montana gray wolves will remain unprotected. Hopefully the US Fish and Wildlife Service will make thing right and change this.

Wolves in Native Culture

For the Indigenous culture, wolves are a symbol of power. Some tribes believe that the world was created by a wolf spirit and that we are related to them. Yet, many people either fear them or find them a nuisance. In general, wolves can live up to 12 years but in the wild their lifespan is cut down drastically. In their short lives they live in a pack, usually full of relatives such as parents and siblings. If they are lucky, their pack can have a grandparent, cousin or uncle. Like us, they divide responsibilities, form bonds, and even fight over the last piece of meat.

Last year when gray wolves were removed from the endangered species list, more than 200 wolves were killed in 3 days in Wisconsin alone. Six Native American Ojibwe tribes sued the state of Wisconsin for this. In their lawsuit they claim that the state wolf-killing goes against their treaty rights. The Humane Society also confirmed that they killed double their state quota.

In the recent years, in the West Coast and in the Southern Rocky Mountains, wolves were vulnerable to being extinct. We can’t let this happen and have to understand and appreciate these majestic animals and how similar we are. Hunter Nation President and CEO Luke Hilgemann disagrees with the ruling. He argues that the Judge does not understand the threat gray wolves pose to farmers, ranchers and anyone. All I have to say is, has he tried any non lethal wolf control strategies?

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