Defenders of Wildlife
Defenders of Wildlife
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Feature Story

Strong Showing for Wolves

Wolf Pack, CorelOur efforts to keep federal protections in place for Northern Rockies wolves got a big boost last week as several public hearings took place in key Western states.

Defenders activists and other conservationists have already made a strong showing at meetings in Salt Lake City, Utah; Helena, Montana; even outnumbering wolf opponents in Cheyenne, Wyoming and Boise, Idaho. In fact, so many Defenders activists and other wolf supporters showed up to testify in Boise that officials extended the meeting by an hour! More meetings are scheduled this week in Spokane, Washington and Pendleton, Oregon.

Defenders, along with our conservation partners, scored another small victory last week as the Fish & Wildlife Service extended the public comment period an additional 30 days to May 9th. Thanks to your efforts, the public will have more time to weigh in on this important issue.

We’ll continue to do all we can to ensure that Northern Rockies wolves are protected -- and we’ll be sure to let you know what you can do to help along the way. Already, more than 34,000 of you have taken action to support our wolves. If you haven’t already, there's still time!

Tell the Fish & Wildlife Service to keep critical protections in place for Northern Rockies wolves. Help us generate 200,000 comments -- one of our most ambitious goals -- by the May 9th deadline!

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Action of the Month

Refuges on the Brink 

Black necked Stilts migrating (USFWS)For over a century, National Wildlife Refuges have been a haven for our most cherished creatures, providing essential habitat for hundreds of imperiled animals and critical stopovers for countless migratory birds. But these national treasures are on the verge of collapse. Severe budget cuts and funding shortfalls have seriously threatened these wild lands and the wildlife that lives there.

There is hope. With a simple stroke of the pen, your Representative can help make sure that the National Wildlife Refuge System will continue to thrive for future generations.

Take Action red

Take action now: Tell your Representative to act now to support these wildlife havens. 

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Feature Story

Incentives to Save

Kit Foxes (California Department of Fish & Game)Last year at around this time, Rep. Richard Pombo was using his power as Chairman of the House Resources Committee to push an anti-wildlife agenda and gut the Endangered Species Act. But just months after his defeat, a more wildlife-friendly Capitol Hill is moving forward on legislation that helps wildlife on the brink of extinction by giving incentives to private landowners for conservation.

Senators Mike Crapo (R-ID), Blanche Lincoln (D-AR), Charles Grassley (R-IA), and Max Baucus (D-MT) have introduced the bipartisan Endangered Species Recovery Act which provides financial incentives for private landowners to help save endangered plants and animals. The legislation would provide $400 million annually in new tax incentives for private landowners who take steps to help endangered or threatened species on the properties they own.

"Partnering with private landowners on wildlife conservation is absolutely critical," said Defenders of Wildlife president Rodger Schlickeisen.

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Defenders Updates

Delayed Decision
Bald EagleLast month, more than 15,000 of you gave the Fish & Wildlife Service an earful on their last-minute tinkering with protections for the bald eagle. Just days after our call to action, the Fish & Wildlife Service announced that the final decision on removing the bald eagle from the Endangered Species Act will be postponed until June. We can only hope that they will use the extra time to ensure that our national symbol will be adequately protected for future generations.

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We Deliver  
brown bear (USFWS) - small photoOver the last few weeks more than 31,000 of you spoke out, telling the Alaska Board of Game to protect the iconic McNeil River bears. In fact, thanks to activists like you, Defenders turned in more comments than any other group!

We delivered your comments -- and the Board got the message. Yesterday, in a surprise unanimous vote, the Board voted to protect the McNeil River bears, maintaining a hunting ban near this famous bear hang-out. Defenders staff and activists were on hand, making sure that these special bears had a voice before the Alaska Board.  

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Wildlife Hero

Ambassador for Wolves

Curt Mack, Gray Wolf Recovery Leader, Nez Perce TribeWhen gray wolves were reintroduced in Idaho in 1995, the Nez Perce tribe made history, becoming the first Native American tribe to lead efforts to recover an endangered species. As the first wolves were released back into the wild, tribal elders offered blessings, welcoming them back to their homeland.

To lead their recovery efforts, the Nez Perce tribe turned to Curt Mack.  An experienced biologist and avid outdoorsman, Curt understands wolves and their place in the wild -- but he also knows people. Over the last decade as wolf numbers increased in the state, Curt has worked hard to encourage co-existence with wolves.  He and his team work with ranchers, state and federal officials, and conservation groups like Defenders to reduce wolf/human conflicts and to ensure that these special animals continue to thrive in their historic range.  Curt  works with ranchers to reduce wolf-livestock conflicts and promote the use of non-lethal control methods. He also spends days in the air, conducting aerial monitoring missions to carefully track the movements, distribution and status of Idaho’s wolves.

As Idaho’s wolves continue to be at the center of an often contentious debate, it makes Curt and the Nez Perce Tribe’s role as ambassadors all the more critical.

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Defenders of Wildlife is a national, nonprofit membership organization dedicated to the protection of all native wild animals and plants in their natural communities.

Defenders can be contacted at: 1130 Seventeenth Street, NW, Washington, DC 20036