Never cry wolf

There has been a tremendous outpouring of support from a variety of conservation organizations over the recent decision by Interior Secretary Ken Salazar announcing the delisting of the gray wolf from the Endangered Species Act (ESA).

The decision by the US Fish and Wildlife Service to remove gray wolves from protection by the Endangered Species Act was applauded by Safari Club International (SCI), U.S. Sportsmen's Alliance Foundation and the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, as well as ranchers throughout the Rockies.

In a press release announcing the move, SCI President Merle Shepard hailed the announcement, saying "This decision is the right one and we commend Secretary Salazar for reaching it so quickly. Delisting the gray wolf came about as a result of years of effort involving the states, tribes, landowners, academic researchers, sportsmen and other conservation groups, the Canadian government and many other partners. All of these stakeholders can breathe a sigh of relief today that our years of effort have not gone down the drain."

The decision to remove gray wolves from the list of threatened and endangered species in the western Great Lakes and the northern Rocky Mountain states of Idaho and Montana and parts of Washington, Oregon and Utah was based on a extensive review of the best available science.

However, wolves in the state of Wyoming will remain under protection of the Act as the delisting decision now faces intense lobbying and threats of lawsuits by leading anti-hunting groups including the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS).

The late Paul Perzoldt, founder of the National Outdoor Leadership School and the first Outward Bound program in the US, grew up a cowboy on a ranch in Lander, Wyoming. Paul, recognized as one of the foremost outdoor educators in the nation, also developed the Wilderness Education Association which now has programs at Paul Smiths College and North Country Community College.

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