In today’s Missoulian, the Montana FWP intends to take public comment until July to reconsider doubling the quota for wolves killed. The current quota in the wolf hunt’s first year was 75; FWP is considering increasing the quota to either 150, 186, or 216 animals to be killed in 2010. The Montana and Idaho wolf hunts are considered a temporary win in the battle, but the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will ultimately lose the war.
The decision by Judge Molloy on September 8, 2009 to deny a preliminary injunction by environmental groups gave a nod that ultimately the issue of delisting the wolves in Montana and Idaho but not Wyoming violates the Endangered Species Act.
Judge Molloy determined that the political lines used by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to delist the Montana and Idaho populations, but not the Wyoming wolves was arbitrary and capricious, repair iphone. I agree. I disagree that the wolf populations would not suffer irreparable harm without the injunction Molloy ultimately denied. The environmental groups argued they would be harmed by not hearing the call of the wolf in the wild; I would add to that. I am harmed by the wolf hunts; the wolf is a cultural and religious resource to me, a traditionalist Ojibwe. The wolf hunts destroy and infringe my religious practices, and the object of my worship. This destroys my ability to freely worship–the wolf is one of my gods.
The delisting and subsequent hunting are the parsing of the law down to the text; contrary to the spirit of the Endangered Species Act. This law was enacted for a reason; and it should be followed.
When we are dealing with a species that was reintroduced, meaning we had wiped them out the first time–we must err on the side of caution. Molloy writes,
Here,the Service has notably taken the past position that DPS boundaries cannot besubdivided. See, e.g., 68 Fed. Reg. 15804, 15825 (Apr. 1, 2003) (“Delisting can occur only when a species (or subspecies or DPS) is recovered . . . .”). The changeof statutory interpretation in the 2009 delisting merits little deference.
I am opposed to the wolf hunts because the decision was a political decision, ignoring established case law that the federal agency had leaned on non-subdivision of the DPS boundaries–meaning they would not parse out specific geographic locations in making a delisting decision, and delist on that criteria. The decision by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife service to delist the wolf, and supported by Sec. Salazar; was premature and not consistent with the spirit of the law–and how their own agency applied this law. Rather, the decision to delist the gray wolf was made by attempting to use an impermissible new standard; and to deviate from the agency’s customary approach.
As with the bison management in Yellowstone, the wildlife of our region have been negatively impacted by human contact; this is true with the affliction of brucellosis in our bison and elk. This is a cattle born disease, it is not a naturally occurring phenomena–it came from somewhere. When weighing out these considerations; for too long, we have only based these decisions on the criteria of the cultural standard of mainstream society. It is time to move toward a standard of fairness. What about my culture, we are aboriginal people to this land?
In Montana, the state fails in its constitutional commitment; the wolf hunts violate the cultural integrity of native people–a constitutional guarantee. This is not a far stretch of the law–the wolf hunts are contrary to our expectation of a healthy environment, and it is a cultural/scientifc resource to native people.
I fail to see where the federal government takes into account the cultural-environmental, religious customs of this continent’s first inhabitants. To many of us, the wolf is the source of spiritual belief, it is interwoven in our cultural religious traditions, it is a part of our ceremonies and belief system.
Contrary to the views of the conservative right; we Native Americans are not a vanishing people. We have survived and our cultures thrive–our tribal belief systems are a part of the mosiac of contemporary life. We native people would hate to see a future without wolves, for me–life would not be worth living. Maheegun is my Keeper.