White House being petitioned to halt wolf hunts in the American west.

Wolf advocates, environmentalists, conservationists and wildlife organizations are petitioning the White House to halt the current slaughter of our nation’s wolves, pending a review of scientific data regarding actual wolf recovery and sustainability.

You can see the petition here: Halt wolf hunts pending 9th District Court of Appeals decision and scientific research to confirm wolf recovery data.

The beleaguered Northern Grey Wolf was recently removed from the Endangered Species list through a politically-motivated and unprecedented rider placed on a must-pass budget bill. It’s the first time in history a species has been removed from the Endangered Species list due political rather than scientific reasons. This dangerous move sets a scary precedent to use unsuspecting wildlife as scapegoats, political pawn and sacrificial lambs at the mercy of industry and special interest groups, such as The Cattleman’s Association and so-called ‘sportsmen’ and trophy hunters.

The wolf, a shy and elusive keystone predator, was proven to be an invaluable asset to healthy habitat and herd vitality when re-introduced to Yellowstone Park, restoring not just game herd vigor but aspen forests and all the other species which depend on them.

Despite the unqualified success of the Yellowstone project, various special interest groups such as the powerful livestock and hunting lobbies, are pressuring politicians and lawmakers to turn a blind eye to science-based rationale and keep pushing open-season on wolves, with a publicly-admitted goal of eliminating not just wolves, but eventually exterminating all predators from America, with the intent of artificially inflating ungulate herds for the sporting pleasure of rifle and bow hunters.

This is a surefire recipe for disaster.

Scientists realize now that predators such as wolves are not just critical for maintaining the health of our environment but have been instrumental in shaping trhe very wilderness itself.

Without predators and natural predator-prey dynamics, wilderness areas and National Parks become nothing more than glorified game-farms.

In addition, the Endangered Species Act – a very successful program credited with helping save everything from Whooping Cranes to California Condors to American Alligators to Bald Eagles from extinction – has been severely compromised by the fiasco of the budget wolf rider. Now, unless we can restore the Act, ANY species or place that is deemed ‘inconvenient’ by industry or special interests, can be exploited, destroyed and sacrificed.

These species and wild places belong to all of us, and powerful, well-monied lobbies should not have the right to steal any species or natural habitat from us or our children.

The wording of the petition to the White House read thus:

WE PETITION THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION TO:

Halt wolf hunts pending 9th District Court of Appeals decision and scientific research to confirm wolf recovery data.

Due to a 2011 budget rider (Sec. 1713), gray wolves lost federal protection under the ESA. It orders the Interior Secretary to reissue the final delisting rule published in 2009. Articles written by scientists in independent peer-reviewed journals criticized the 2009 rule for complying more with political expediency instead of best available science. This is regarded as a particularly egregious affront to the voice of the majority and to fair representation in our country. The rider circumvents the District Court’s ruling in Defenders of Wildlife, 729 F.Supp.2d 1207, and was designed to direct the outcome of a pending case without amending the underlying statute involved. We join the Union of Concerned Scientists in denouncing this action.

Please sign the petition and share it widely. Deadline is Oct. 27, 2011.

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