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Tuesday, September 8, 2009



Reposted with thanks by:

From: Wolf

U.S. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar Under Fire

U.S. Interiors Ken Salazar under fire again for failing to protect endangered wildlife

The conservation group WildEarth Guardians has filed a law suit to force Ken Salazar, Secretary of Interior, to protect an endangered species of juguarundi cat that is struggling to survive amid habitat lose and development along the South Texas-Mexico boarder. The groups law suit says the government has failed to develop a recovery plan, as required by the Endangered Species Act, and the two species of juguarundi are slipping closer to extinction.

The Wild Cat Conservation group describes the juguarundi as the strangest looking of all the small cats, with slender, elongated bodies, small flattened heads, and a long tail more reminiscent of an otter or weasel than a cat. The short, smooth, unmarked coat shows three distinct colour phases: black, brownish grey, and a reddish brown phase known as the eyra. The ears are short and rounded, and this is one of the few cat species not to have a contrasting colour on the backs of the ears. Their eyes are small, set closely together, and are light amber or brownish in colour. The legs are short and slender, and the tail is long and tapered.

As Secretary of Interior, Ken Salazars appointment has been controversial from the beginning. His record on environmental and wildlife preservation efforts, have been questioned by many conservationist.... groups. Salazar was praised for voiding oil and gas drilling leases on public land in Utah, but he was also criticized for what some biologists believe to be the premature delisting of gray wolves previously protected under the ESA.

For a Secretary of Interior to manage public landswithout also managing its wild inhabitants, is not altruistic or unbiased. The Secretary cannot pick and chose which environmental laws to follow and which ones they will sweep under the rug, as did Gale Norton, when she was appointed Secretary of Interior by George W. Bush.

Ken Salazar once practiced as an environmental attorney prior to becoming Attorney General of Colorado. During his AG days, with considerable influence, while Norton was in office, Salazar threatened to sue the US Fish and Wildlife Service if they recommended the black-tailed prairie dog for protection as a threatened species under the ESA. A short time later, the effort to get protection for prairie dogs was withdrawn by the USFWS--as a result of questionable new data.

As a rancher, landowner, and member of the Cattlemens Association, Salazar comes from the old school generation, which believes prairie dogs are nothing but worthless pests and wolves are only seen as vicious animals that prey on cows and sheep. We need an Interior Secretary, who can make wildlife management decisions based on science, not politics, or personal bias. President Obama repealed the damage Bush did to the ESA, which opened the door for Salazar to do the right thing for wildlife; yet he continues to delay doing so.

The juguarundi situation is another prime example of Salazars propensity to prioritize land management issues as they relate to oil, gas, and coal--over species management, in the development of recovery plans and the enactment of those plans; to move highly endangered creatures from the brink of extinction.

ESA protection and management plans for polar bears and wolves are high profile examples of Salazars selective agenda. In a controversial decision announced in May, Salazar made the decision NOT to rescind the special rule that Bush had put in place utilizing a provision in the ESA. The rule would not take into consideration the devastating climate effects on polar bears habitat in managing the survival of the species. This decision was extremely controversial given the fact that polar bears habitat was melting out from under them and continues to do so today.

Salazar also came under fire from environmental groups for delisting gray wolves in several states earlier this year, based on bogus science, influenced by ranchers and special interest groups, like the Farm Bureau and the Cattlemens Association.

President Obama made the promise in his campaign that U.S. wildlife and climate policies would be made and managed based on sound science and not politics. Its unfortunate that conservation groups still have to file law suits to force the administration,.... specifically Ken Salazars Interior Department—to hold them accountable for wildlife management decisions.

Polar bears, wolves, rare cats, and the top 40 most endangered species recently published by WildEarth Guardians—are the ones who will pay the price for government complacency.

To Comment On This Article, Here Is The Link To It:

- There seriously needs to be an immediate push to get this guy fired from his position as the Interior Secretary.


From: Wolf

Salazar's Legacy: Killing Northern Rockies Wolves

Salazar's legacy: historical first state-....sanctioned hunt of Northern Rockies gray wolves

Defenders of Wildlife is leading a powerhouse coalition to stop a historical first state-....sanctioned hunt of Idahos previously endangered gray wolves in the United States. Hunting started on September 1, in the Sawtooth and Lolo regions of Idaho and will start in Montana on Septempter 15--unless the court stops the action.

The state's object is to reduce the current wolf population by half. This is a species that was removed prematurely from ESA protection, under authority by Interior Secretary, Ken Salazar. The Secretary is considered by many conservations, to have a personal bias, due to the fact that he is also a landowner, rancher, and member of the Cattlemen's association.

Salazar's record on wildlife management has been very controversial.

Defenders and 12 other conservation groups (see list at bottom) are still awaiting a decision by the U.S. District Court in Montana on the groups motion for a preliminary injunction. If granted, federal protection would be restored to the regional wolf population until the court reaches a final decision in the plaintiffs pending legal challenge to the delisting.

The 220 wolves slated to be killed in this years wolf hunt in Idaho are over and above the 150 or more wolves already killed each year in the state by other means of lethal control, natural deaths and the 35 wolves allowed to be killed by the Nez Perce tribe. All these actions combined threaten the recovery of the still tenuous regional wolf population in the Northern Rockies.

The following is a statement by Rodger Schlickeisen, president of Defenders of Wildlife:

The heavy-handed wolf hunt beginning today in Idaho, together with the hunt planned for September 15th by Montana, puts the recovery of the Northern Rockies population of wolves at risk and demonstrates precisely the kind of irresponsible state management that should have precluded taking the wolf off the endangered species list at this point in time.

We hope that the court will stop this ill-timed and politically motivated hunt before it is too late for hundreds of Idahos wolves.

The following is a statement by Suzanne Stone, Northern Rockies representative for Defenders of Wildlife:

Todays hunt undermines decades of tremendous support, time and investment from the American public, federal, tribal and state wildlife agencies, and threatens one of the most successful wildlife restorations in history.

While we have consistently encouraged all of the states in the region and the federal government to adopt scientifically sound wildlife conservation and management policies that are in the best interests of wolves and people, Idahos plan does not adhere to that standard and places the recovery of the Northern Rockies gray wolf in serious jeopardy. This level of mismanagement and population reduction would never be accepted for elk or deer and should not be attempted for any native wildlife, including wolves.

Idaho hosts the core of the regions wolf population, with approximately 1,000 wolves. By wiping out 220 wolves, the state is taking the first step toward crippling the regional wolf population by isolating wolves into disconnected subgroups incapable of genetic or ecological sustainability..... This puts the wolves at risk for genetic inbreeding and disease outbreaks and reduces the important ecological niche that wolves fill on the land.

Idahos wildlife agency has stated that its intent is to reduce the population to only 518 wolves, while the Idaho state legislatures official policy is that all wolves be removed by whatever means necessary.

In the history of the Endangered Species Act, no other endangered species has ever been delisted at such a low population level and then immediately hunted to even lower unsustainable levels. This clearly is not responsible wolf management.

Defenders of Wildlife is represented in this litigation by Earthjustice, along with plaintiffs Natural Resources Defense Council, Sierra Club, Center for Biological Diversity, The Humane Society of the United States, Jackson Hole Conservation Alliance, Friends of the Clearwater, Alliance for the Wild Rockies, Oregon Wild, Cascadia Wildlands Project, Western Watersheds Project, Wildlands Project, and Hells Canyon Preservation Council.

To Comment On This Article, Here Is The Link To It:

- Ken Salazar seriously needs to be fired from his position as The Interior Secretary.


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