#AlexanderArchipelago Wolves


#Vote4Wilderness
#KeepWolvesListed
#AlexanderArchipelagoWolves
Reposted from the L.A. Times:

COALITIONS SUE FOREST SERVICE TO BLOCK ALASKA OLD-GROWTH TIMBER SALE



Tongass National Forest
The Tongass National Forest and Berners Bay, in background, in southeast Alaska. The Tongass is studded with 1,000-year-old trees. (Michael Penn / Juneau Empire)

By MARIA L. LA GANGA contact the reporter NationConservationEnvironmental ScienceHuntingEnvironmental PoliticsGreenpeaceU.S. Department of Justice

Environmental groups file three lawsuits to block sale of old-growth timber from Alaska's Tongass forest
The so-called Big Thorne timber sale would allow 6,000 acres of old-growth trees in Alaska to be harvested
Two coalitions of environmental groups have filed three separate suits against the U.S. Forest Service, hoping to stop what the organizations say is the largest sale of old-growth timber in nearly a generation in America's largest national forest.

Last week the Forest Service gave the final go-ahead for the so-called Big Thorne timber sale in Alaska's Tongass National Forest, a scenic expanse the size of Delaware studded with 1,000-year-old trees. Under the terms of the multiyear sale, about 6,000 acres of old-growth trees would be harvested.

We only have one mid-sized sawmill left in operation in southeast Alaska. All the other mills have been starved out of business for lack of timber supply.
- Owen Graham of the Alaska Forest Assn., a timber industry group
The Southeast Alaska Conservation Council is part of the coalition that filed suit Friday. The groups argue that the proposed Big Thorne timber sale "is taking a step backward toward the logging regime of old, where there is a high volume of old-growth forest slated to be cut," council spokesman Daven Hafey said.

In addition, Hafey said, the Tongass has a so-called 50% export rule, which means that up to half of the timber cut can be exported as unprocessed "round logs." The result is "removing the ability for locals to process that wood," he said. "The Big Thorne will export long-term jobs for short-term profit."

Avocates call the Tongass the largest intact old-growth temperate rain forest in the world. Although earlier logging practices clear-cut large swaths of the forest to produce pulp for making paper, that style of logging has been in transition. Only one mid-size mill and several mom-and-pop operations remain in the region.

The 17-million-acre national forest is in Alaska's panhandle, the southeast portion of the state abutting British Columbia. It includes Prince of Wales Island, crucial habitat for the Alexander Archipelago wolf, which is being considered for Endangered Species Act listing, and the Sitka blacktailed deer, a major food source for many Alaskans in the region.

In addition to economic concerns, coalition members said, the Big Thorne sale also threatens a crucial ecosystem that supports the wolf, the deer and subsistence hunters and depends on the remaining old-growth forest.

Officials in the Forest Service's Alaska regional office declined to comment on the lawsuit, one of two actions the first coalition filed Friday. Instead, the agency referred calls to the Justice Department in Washington. A department spokesman did not respond to a request for comment, nor did the owners of Viking Lumber Co., the remaining sizable mill in the region.

About 95% of the land in southeast Alaska is federally owned, said Owen Graham, executive director of the Alaska Forest Assn., a timber industry trade group. The Forest Service makes the resources on that land available for sale to private businesses. In this case, Graham said, the minimum bid for the Big Thorne sale is $6.5 million, which goes to the federal government.

cComments
Thanks so much for this piece. More than a million folks pass through the Tongass National Forest each year without knowing its name or its significance ecologically. This breeding ground for five species of salmon and the most efficient carbon sequestration system in North America feeds us and...
BOB0000039
AT 10:04 AM AUGUST 29, 2014

"We only have one mid-sized sawmill left in operation in southeast Alaska. All the other mills have been starved out of business for lack of timber supply," Graham said. "There just is no other significant source of timber than the Forest Service.... Our last sawmill doesn't have enough wood to last through until there's another sale. That's why we need it so badly."

The second lawsuit takes aim at the Forest Service's Tongass Land Management Plan, Hafey said, arguing that it fails to protect deer habitat and deer hunting in the national forest and goes against the agency's own analysis that the cumulative effects of high-volume timber sales hurt deer habitat and restrict deer hunting on public land.

The groups want a judge to rule that the Forest Service violated its mandate and to stop high-volume, export-oriented timber sales, Hafey said.

"Continuing a practice of clear-cutting thousands of acres of old-growth forests is a wasteful and unsustainable practice," said Holly Harris, an attorney for Earthjustice, a nonprofit environmental law firm representing the first coalition. "The Tongass is a national treasure. It is an economic powerhouse for southeast Alaska because of sustainable industries like fishing and tourism."

On Tuesday, a separate group of environmental organizations filed a third suit against the Forest Service seeking to stop the Big Thorne project.

This group, which includes Cascadia Wildlands and Greenpeace, said that the Alexander Archipelago wolf population on Prince of Wales Island had dropped sharply and that the federal agency ignored research by the foremost expert on the wolves in deciding to go forward with the sale.

"Without enough old-growth winter habitat in the forest for shelter, deer populations plummet during deep-snow winters," said Gabriel Scott, Cascadia Wildlands' Alaska legal director. "And without enough deer to go around, wolves and hunters are direct competitors.

"That never ends well for the wolf, or for hunters, because deer are the wolves' primary prey," Scott said. "Big Thorne bites hard into necessary winter habitat."

maria.laganga@latimes.com

Twitter: @marialaganga

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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#AlexanderArchipelagoWolves

Reposted from Cascadia Wild:

LAWSUIT TAKES ON DEVASTATING OLD-GROWTH LOGGING PROJECT IN TONGASS NATIONAL FOREST-SUIT FOLLOWS SCIENTIST'S WARNING THAT ALEXANDER ARCHIPELAGO WOLVES ARE THREATENED





For Immediate Release, August 26, 2014 :

Gabe Scott, Cascadia Wildlands, (907) 491-0856
Larry Edwards, Greenpeace, (907) 747-7557
David Beebe, GSACC, (907) 340-6888
Randi Spivak, Center for Biological Diversity, (310) 779-4894
Joel Hanson, The Boat Company, (907) 738-1033
Chris Winter, Crag Law Center, (503) 525-2725

Lawsuit Takes On Devastating Old-growth Logging Project in Tongass National Forest Suit Follows Scientist's Warning That Alexander Archipelago Wolves Are Threatened

PRINCE OF WALES ISLAND, Alaska— Five conservation groups filed a lawsuit today to stop the U.S. Forest Service’s Big Thorne timber project on Prince of Wales Island in southeast Alaska. Big Thorne is by far the largest aawolfU.S. Forest Service logging project on the Tongass National Forest since the region’s two pulp mills closed about 20 years ago.

The lawsuit asks the court to find, among other things, that the federal government failed to heed research by Dr. David K. Person, a former Alaska Fish and Game wildlife biologist and foremost expert on Alexander Archipelago wolves. A formal declaration by Person says that Big Thorne would “break the back” of the ecosystem dynamic between the wolves, deer and hunters on the island.

The geographically isolated Prince of Wales wolf population is known by state and federal biologists to have dropped sharply in recent years to a low but undetermined number. If the project proceeds, more than 6,000 acres of old-growth forest would be cut into nearly 150 million board feet of logs. This old-growth forest is a mix-aged group of trees, with the oldest approaching 1,000 years of age. What remains of it is increasingly important to wildlife.

“Prince of Wales Island is the most heavily logged part of southeast Alaska,” said David Beebe of the Greater SE Alaska Conservation Community (GSACC). “The Big Thorne project would add to the enduring impacts to wildlife from massive clearcuts and about 3,000 miles of logging roads on the island, created beginning in the 1950s.”

“Without enough old-growth winter habitat in the forest for shelter, deer populations plummet during deep-snow winters,” explained Gabriel Scott, Alaska legal director for Cascadia Wildlands in Cordova. “And without enough deer to go around, wolves and hunters are direct competitors. That never ends well for the wolf, or for hunters, because deer are the wolves’ primary prey. Big Thorne bites hard into necessary winter habitat.”

“The other Big Thorne shoe dropping on Archipelago wolves is more roads,” said Larry Edwards of Greenpeace. “With 3,000 miles of logging roads, a high road density, you get uncontrollable wolf poaching.” Big Thorne’s 46 miles of new roads would add to 580 miles in that project area already; another 37 miles would be reopened or reconstructed. “The Forest Service consistently circumvents its road density standard and guideline,” he said.

“Big Thorne is the antithesis of the ‘rapid transition’ out of Tongass old-growth logging the Forest Service promised over four years ago,” said the Center for Biological Diversity’s Randi Spivak. “Time’s up. It’s deeply irresponsible for the agency to proceed in the face of the need to end old-growth logging and of Dr. Person’s dire warning about continuing a failed land-management scheme that will devastate deer and wolf populations.”

The plaintiffs expressed outrage at the suppression of science the Forest Service and Parnell administration have committed with this project. Dr. Person first circulated his concerns within the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, where he worked at the time. The comments were buried by the agency and by higher-level state bureaucrats to implement Governor Parnell’s “one voice” policy, which suppresses troublesome science in order to maximize logging.

Dr. Person’s strongly held concerns were discovered through public records requests made by the plaintiff organizations. Then, after confronting the Forest Service with the material in comments on the Big Thorne draft environmental impact statement, the agency simply ignored its existence in the final statement and project decision.

“That gambit by the two governments backfired,” said Scott. “The project was put on hold for nearly a year while a formal declaration by Dr. Person about Big Thorne’s impacts to deer and wolves was reviewed. The declaration, prepared after Person quit ADF&G, was filed by the plaintiffs in an administrative appeal of the August 2013 Big Thorne decision.


A special six-person Wolf Task Force with personnel from the Forest Service, ADF&G and the federal Fish and Wildlife Service, reviewed the declaration. Opinion was evenly split, “unsurprisingly,” Scott said, given political pressure and the state’s one-voice policy. Breaking ranks was a Forest Service biologist who has done wolf research on the island. 

“Nonetheless, the Forest Service is again proceeding with the project rather than delve further into the ecology, revise the EIS, and reconsider the decision,” said Edwards. “We are suing to reverse that. And also to force revision of the Tongass forest plan into compliance with law that, if followed, would have avoided Prince of Wales’ ecological mess in the first place.”

“People from all continents and walks of life book passage on our educational cruises to see charismatic predators such as wolves in their natural habitat,” said Joel Hanson, conservation program director with plaintiff The Boat Company. “But with this timber sale, the Forest Service proves once and for all that it is blind to the wolf’s value as either a visitor attraction or vital component of a healthy coastal island ecosystem. It sees only trees, and pictures only the benefits of using forests as a commodity.”

“This case is the last line of defense,” said Chris Winter, at Crag Law Center who represents the conservation groups. “Otherwise, the Forest Service is going to log these species and the old-growth forests on Prince of Wales Island into oblivion.” Crag Law Center, in Portland, Oregon, is a public interest environmental law firm that works from Northern Alaska to Northern California.

#######
- See more at: http://www.cascwild.org/lawsuit-takes-on-devastating-old-growth-logging-project-in-tongass-national-forest-suit-follows-scientists-warning-that-alexander-archipelago-wolves-are-threatened/#sthash.tJQcIxAJ.dpuf


Big Thorne Complaint

Person Rebuttal


#Vote4Wilderness

June 22. 2014
STOP OLD-GROWTH CHOPPING SPREES BEFORE THE BIG TREES ARE GONE



A recent Forest Service logging plan is so extreme it could push Tongass wolves onto the Endangered Species List. 
Submit a public comment before June 23 telling the Forest Service to protect the Tongass’ big trees before they are gone – along with the forest inhabitants that rely on them.

Please leave a comment here, thank you!

Can you check  the date on your computer for me? I thought it might be 1950 because the Forest Service just announced one of the most antiquated and destructive Tongass old-growth logging proposals in decades – reminiscent of the timber boom that happened before we landed on the moon or started watching television in color!

The logging plan is massive enough to disrupt the balance between local residents, Sitka black-tailed deer and wolves on Prince of Wales Island (like the one pictured below), possibly adding the wolves to the Endangered Species List.



Please submit a public comment before June 23! Pressure the Forest Service to stop large-scale old-growth chopping sprees in the Tongass, before its biggest, most majestic trees and the creatures that rely on them, are gone. 

With your help, we can push the Forest Service to adopt a plan to keep the sensitive ecosystem of the Tongass National Forest intact. Instead of destroying these grand old giants, the Forest Service should support activities like fishing, recreation and tourism, protect wildlife, and boost the local economy. 

The Tongass is so much more valuable than timber alone. Tell the Forest Service you want it to immediately create a plan that allows all Americans, and our wildlife, to benefit from the forest.

Thank you!
Hilary Stamper

New Media Director 


_________________________________

June 11. 2014
#Vote4Wilderness

ALASKA: LAWSUIT FILED TO PROTECT RARE ALASKAN WOLF THREATENED BY OLD-GROWTH LOGGING OF TONGASS NATIONAL FOREST



http://keepwolveslisted.blogspot.com/p/keep-wolves-listed.html

Posted on June 11, 2014 by TWIN Observer
SITKA, Alaska— The Center for Biological Diversity, Greenpeace and The Boat Company sued the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service today for delaying Endangered Species Act protection for the Alexander Archipelago wolf, a rare subspecies of gray wolf found only in the old-growth forests of southeast Alaska.

In August 2011 the groups filed a petition to protect the wolves, which are at risk of extinction because of the U.S. Forest Service’s unsustainable logging and road-building practices in the Tongass National Forest. The Fish and Wildlife Service in April made an initial finding that listing the Alexander Archipelago wolf may be warranted. But the agency is already a year and a half late in making its final decision on the listing, which was legally required 12 months after the petition was filed.

“The Forest Service is pumping out decisions on big Tongass timber sales as fast as it can, throughout wolf territory on the Tongass National Forest,” said Greenpeace forest campaigner Larry Edwards. “Decisions on five major timber projects are planned through next summer, on five of the region’s larger islands. That will be for about 10,000 acres of logging in old-growth forest, in places where wolf habitat has already been clobbered.”

Heavily reliant on old-growth forests, Alexander Archipelago wolves den in the root systems of very large trees and hunt mostly Sitka black-tailed deer, which are themselves dependent on high-quality, old-growth forests, especially for winter survival. A long history of clear-cut logging on the Tongass and private and state-owned lands has devastated much of the wolf’s habitat on the islands of southeast Alaska.

“As large carnivores disappear around the world, we still have a strong chance of saving this one-of-a-kind Alaska wolf,” said Rebecca Noblin, Alaska director at the Center. “We know exactly what the wolf needs: old-growth forest, plenty of deer, and refuge from humans. The Fish and Wildlife Service just needs to wake up and protect the wolves before it’s too late.”

Last year the Forest Service, in response to wolf issues in an appeal by the Center, Greenpeace and three allied organizations, temporarily halted its Big Thorne timber sale in the Tongass National Forest for further review. This was prompted by an expert declaration by preeminent Alexander Archipelago wolf biologist and former state of Alaska research biologist Dr. David Person that was part of the appeal. Person bluntly concluded that “the Big Thorne timber sale, if implemented, represents the final straw that will break the back of a sustainable wolf-deer predator-prey ecological community on Prince of Wales Island,” which is the third-largest island in the United States.

“Aside from clear ecological and ethical reasons for protecting the coastal wolf populations,” said The Boat Company’s Hunter McIntosh, “there are economic reasons too. Watchable wildlife in Southeast Alaska translates into real jobs and real revenues in the nature-based tourism sector of the visitor industry. If the wolf is allowed to disappear, a major attraction and source of inspiration and awe for thousands of would-be visitors would be gone.”

Since the 2011 petition to protect the wolves, the population on Prince of Wales has declined sharply. According to Person there were 45 to 50 wolves in the Big Thorne timber sale area in the mid-1990s. By 2010 the decline was obvious, and in 2013 he could find evidence of only six or seven wolves there, and estimated that population declined about 80 percent during the winter of 2012-2013 alone. Almost all the wolves were killed by people, both legally and illegally, and access via the island’s 3,000 miles of logging roads enables these unsustainable death rates. Wolves on other islands in southeast Alaska are facing state proposals for predator-control measures that will allow many more wolves to be killed in order to increase the number of deer available for people to hunt.

Source



____________________________________

UPDATED: June 6. 2014
Now we have two petition actions we can take to help save the home of the Alexander Archipelago Wolf in Alaska's Tongess Rain Forest. Please sign and share both, to help our Alaska Wolf Buddies and their home. 

REJECT A MASSIVE TIMBER SALE IN AMERICA'S RAINFOREST
Via Earthjustice
https://secure.earthjustice.org/site/Advocacy;jsessionid=09EF8BF69D376ABE93C1BC6AC3A8B008.app304b?cmd=display&page=UserAction&id=1577&utm_source=crm&autologin=true#start

WOLVES NEED TREES TOO
Via Center for Biological Diversity
http://action.biologicaldiversity.org/p/dia/action3/common/public/?action_KEY=15803


Here is our Tongass National Forest in Alaska, home of the rare Alexander Archipelago Wolf.
Let's help save our Alaska Forest and our Wolves that live there.
http://keepwolveslisted.blogspot.com/p/keep-wolves-listed.html













We can take action to protect the Tongass National Forest and her Archipelago Wolves here:
http://action.biologicaldiversity.org/p/dia/action3/common/public/?action_KEY=15803

WOLVES NEED TREES TOO
Alexander Archipelago wolf




For thousands of years, black wolves have roamed the snow-covered islands of southeast Alaska's Alexander Archipelago. But even in this remote stretch of more than 1,000 islands and glaciated peaks, Alexander Archipelago wolves have been no match for industrial logging, road building and overharvest.

Right now the Forest Service is about to close a deal on the Big Thorne timber sale, with logging planned for more than 6,000 acres of prime old-growth habitat for wolves, Sitka black-tailed deer, black bears, Queen Charlotte goshawks, flying squirrels, marten and other imperiled species. 

Alexander Archipelago wolves can't coexist indefinitely with clearcut logging: The wolf population is directly connected to the health of black-tailed deer, which in turn is directly tied to the health of the old-growth forests. And as road density increases, so do wolf kills -- both legal and illegal. In the Tongass National Forest logging roads provide access for wolf hunters and trappers, and road density on much of Prince of Wales Island is already beyond sustainable levels.

Dr. David Person, the preeminent Alexander Archipelago wolf biologist, has bluntly concluded that "the Big Thorne timber sale, if implemented, represents the final straw that will break the back of a sustainable wolf-deer predator-prey ecological community on Prince of Wales Island."
Take action below -- tell the Forest Service to drop Big Thorne now. 
http://action.biologicaldiversity.org/p/dia/action3/common/public/?action_KEY=15803

Photo credits:
Urgent need to save the Tongass National Forest; Act by May 30 ...
www.examiner.com
Page by Amy Lou Jenkins - TheTongass National Forest. needs protection. Significant portions of the Tongass National Forest have been heavily logged over the past century.

Victory in the Tongass National Forest | Use Celsias.com - reduce ...
www.celsias.com
Last week, conservationists won a big victory when a federal judge overturned the Forest Service's exclusion of the Tongass National Forest in Alaska from ...

Tongass National Forest - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
en.wikipedia.org

Black Bear Inn - Map & Directions | Ketchikan Alaska's Premier Bed and Breakfast Inn
www.stayinalaska.com
of downtown Ketchikan, in the Tongass National forest, midway between the Islands most popular attractions. It is just two and a half miles from Ward Lake and the areas finest hiking trails.

Tongass National Forest Guide, Facts & History – Alaska
famouswonders.com
Almost 17 million acres of land area makes up the Tongass National Forest making it the largest in the national forest system. The area is so large that it ...

Tongass wildlands get big win in court | Greenpeace
www.greenpeace.org

Last week brought a big legal victory for Greenpeace and other plaintiffs, in a judgment voiding the Forest Service's exemption of the Tongass National ...




#VoteWilderness
Alaska #AlexanderArchipelago Wolves



Sign the two petitions below, tell USFWS to list them as endangered or threatened, in your own words, or send them one of our postcards. Just do something before it is too late by the 30th of May, 2014. Thank you.
http://keepwolveslisted.blogspot.com/p/keep-wolves-listed.html

Link for comments: 
https://www.federalregister.gov/articles/2014/03/31/2014-06791/endangered-and-threatened-wildlife-and-plants-90-day-finding-on-a-petition-to-list-the-alexander
Thank you Wolfwatcher
https://www.facebook.com/wolfwatcher.org?fref=photo

Please sign the two petitions below, and then leave a comment or send a postcard comment to ask USFWS to list our Alaska Alexander Archipelago Wolves and their Tongass Rainforest Home as endangered or threatened. Thank you!
http://keepwolveslisted.blogspot.com/p/keep-wolves-listed.html




SAVE WOLVES, OLD-GROWTH FORESTS AND OUR CLIMATE
http://action.biologicaldiversity.org/o/2167/p/dia/action3/common/public/?action_KEY=15432


A unique Alaskan wolf species is being driven extinct by the clearcutting of its old-growth forest home. These same forests trap enormous amounts of carbon, slowing down global warming.

The federal government is considering listing this wolf as an "endangered species" to save it from reckless logging and hunting. This will also help slow global warming.

Alaska is home to some of the last, best old-growth forest on Earth. By saving the forest we can save our climate too.


Please sign the petition below urging the government to protect the wolf and its old-growth forest home.




____________________________________



GIVE WOLVES ENDANGERED SPECIES PROTECTION
Posted by Matthew Fisher
Target: Daniel M. Ashe, Director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service



Goal: List the Alexander Archipelago wolf as an endangered species

The Alexander Archipelago wolf, native to Southeast Alaska, is in a vulnerable state. Loss of habitat and illegal hunting have severely reduced the wolves’ numbers: in one particular area, this loss is reported to be 80% over a one-year period. Petition the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to add the Alexander Archipelago wolf to the Endangered Species Act (ESA), and save this beautiful animal from declining into extinction.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) recently responded to a petition filed in 2011 by Greenpeace and the Center for Biological Diversity, stating that an ESA listing may be warranted for the Alexander Archipelago wolf. However, this is not set in stone. A 60-day public comment period will be held, after which a full review of the animal will take place and a decision made.

Now is the time to petition in order to pressure the FWS into giving the Alexander Archipelago wolf endangered status. This status would give the wolves increased protection, especially in regards to their habitat, and would actually have positive outcomes for several species, as the wolves’ range encompasses many more animals. Industrial-scale logging, one of the main factors in the loss of habitat for the wolves and their prey, would have to be restricted, bringing benefits to the entire ecosystem.

Petition the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to give this wolf its desperately needed endangered status, and save the lives of countless wolves and other animals in Southeast Alaska.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Mr. Ashe,

The recent statement from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service determining that the Alexander Archipelago wolf may be suitable for endangered species status is encouraging. I write to you urging that this endangered status be granted in order to protect their rapidly declining numbers.

Industrial-scale logging and illegal hunting have resulted in a steep decrease in the numbers of these wolves. In one particular area in the last year alone, this decline has been reported to be 80%. With a million acres of clearcuts and thousands of miles of logging roads, the ecosystem in the Tongrass National Forest has been severely upset, and this is one the main reasons for the crisis that the wolves face today.

Granting the wolves this status would not only benefit them, but also a host of other species in Southeast Alaska, who are dependent on forests which are being torn down.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]


____________________________________

Postcard Comments to send for Alaska's #AlexanderArchipelago Wolf



USFWS COMMENT SUBMISSION FORM
The Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) 

READ THE DOCKET HERE
The Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) Proposed Rule: Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants: Alexander Archipelago Wolf; 90-Day Finding on Petition to List as Threatened or Endangered

_______________________________________________


POSTCARD COMMENTS TO SEND :
 Tell USFWS to List Alaska #AlexanderArchipelago 
as Endangered or Threatened


1.



Copy the image above. 
You can either screen snap or right click download OR copy this link and paste in.
http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-lwV64b2YSck/UztJjyr8wxI/AAAAAAABbU8/FT0drkqbbFo/s1600/ALASKAWOLFCOMMENT1.jpg

Then go here, and paste that in under "attach file", add your name and send! :

http://www.regulations.gov/#!submitComment;D=FWS-R7-ES-2012-0093-0001

You've just submitted a comment to USFWS 

for listing Alaska #AlexanderArchipelago Wolf as Endangered or Threatened

Thank you so very much.
_________________________________________________

2.



Copy the image above. 
You can either screen snap or right click download OR copy this link and paste in.
http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-XNz7KwxczKA/UzthIsXk9zI/AAAAAAABbVY/vGvsMS-6iUY/s1600/ALASKAWOLFCOMMENT2.jpg

Then go here, and paste that in under "attach file", add your name and send! :

http://www.regulations.gov/#!submitComment;D=FWS-R7-ES-2012-0093-0001

You've just submitted a comment to USFWS 

for listing Alaska #AlexanderArchipelago Wolf as Endangered or Threatened

Thank you so very much.
_________________________________________________

3.





Copy the image above. 
You can either screen snap or right click download OR copy this link and paste in.
http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-AzQIigAkpVE/Uzv1B1h1AxI/AAAAAAABbWs/UOrSByJgITo/s1600/ALASKAWOLFCOMMENT3+(2).jpg

Then go here, and paste that in under "attach file", add your name and send! :

http://www.regulations.gov/#!submitComment;D=FWS-R7-ES-2012-0093-0001

You've just submitted a comment to USFWS 

for listing Alaska #AlexanderArchipelago Wolf as Endangered or Threatened

Thank you so very much.
_________________________________________________

4.




Copy the image above. 
You can either screen snap or right click download OR copy this link and paste in.
http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-omr1h4w9hos/Uz3AiZVKTJI/AAAAAAABbdg/DUdC6GDe4Ww/s1600/ALASKAWOLFCOMMENT4.jpg



Then go here, and paste that in under "attach file", add your name and send! :

http://www.regulations.gov/#!submitComment;D=FWS-R7-ES-2012-0093-0001

You've just submitted a comment to USFWS 

for listing Alaska #AlexanderArchipelago Wolf as Endangered or Threatened

Thank you so very much.

_________________________________________________


5.




Copy the image above. 
You can either screen snap or right click download OR copy this link and paste in.
http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-fKiZEhOCduo/UzwmiKDlg2I/AAAAAAABbXs/5XmO6U9Hvd4/s1600/ALASKAWOLFCOMMENT5.jpg

Then go here, and paste that in under "attach file", add your name and send! :

http://www.regulations.gov/#!submitComment;D=FWS-R7-ES-2012-0093-0001

You've just submitted a comment to USFWS 

for listing Alaska #AlexanderArchipelago Wolf as Endangered or Threatened

Thank you so very much.
_________________________________________________

6.




Copy the image above. 
You can either screen snap or right click download OR copy this link and paste in.
http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-zHM2u8x_sa4/UzxEBpB_uMI/AAAAAAABbYs/8lOzjTMj7yo/s1600/ALASKAWOLFCOMMENT6+(1).jpg

Then go here, and paste that in under "attach file", add your name and send! :

http://www.regulations.gov/#!submitComment;D=FWS-R7-ES-2012-0093-0001

You've just submitted a comment to USFWS 

for listing Alaska #AlexanderArchipelago Wolf as Endangered or Threatened

Thank you so very much.
_________________________________________________

7.




Copy the image above. 
You can either screen snap or right click download OR copy this link and paste in.
http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-zyJga-oqvRk/UzymSyJo_YI/AAAAAAABbZ8/7PDMpUQefxs/s1600/ALASKAWOLFCOMMENT7+(1).jpg

Then go here, and paste that in under "attach file", add your name and send! :

http://www.regulations.gov/#!submitComment;D=FWS-R7-ES-2012-0093-0001

You've just submitted a comment to USFWS 

for listing Alaska #AlexanderArchipelago Wolf as Endangered or Threatened

Thank you so very much.
_________________________________________________

8.




Copy the image above. 
You can either screen snap or right click download OR copy this link and paste in.
http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-HvGcE_h0hEY/Uzy8rkk7X3I/AAAAAAABbac/g823oXWaQMo/s1600/ALASKAWOLFCOMMENT8+(1).jpg

Then go here, and paste that in under "attach file", add your name and send! :

http://www.regulations.gov/#!submitComment;D=FWS-R7-ES-2012-0093-0001

You've just submitted a comment to USFWS 

for listing Alaska #AlexanderArchipelago Wolf as Endangered or Threatened



Thank you so very much.
_________________________________________________

9.




Copy the image above. 
You can either screen snap or right click download OR copy this link and paste in.
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Then go here, and paste that in under "attach file", add your name and send! :

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22.




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ALEXANDER ARCHIPELAGO 
WOLF LISTING AS
"ENDANGERED OR THREATENED 
MAY BE WARRANTED" 
SAYS USFWS


By Mary Kauffman


March 29, 2014
Saturday PM
SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska

(SitNews) Ketchikan, Alaska - The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced Friday that Alaska's Alexander Archipelago wolves may need protection under the Endangered Species Act because of unsustainable logging in the Tongass National Forest and elsewhere in southeast Alaska. The agency will now conduct an in-depth status review of what conservationists call a "rare subspecies" of gray wolf, which lives only in the region's old-growth forests.

Friday's decision responds to a petition filed in August 2011 by the Center for Biological Diversity and Greenpeace. Following the status review and a public comment period, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will decide whether or not to list the species as threatened or endangered.

The U.S. Forest Service announced late Friday it will be responding to the 90-day finding by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on the petition to list the Alexander Archipelago wolf as threatened or endangered, as will be outlined in the proposed rule scheduled to appear in the Federal Register on Monday, March 31, 2014.

Tongass National Forest Supervisor Forrest Cole said, “The Forest Service will work collaboratively with U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service as they evaluate the status of the Alexander Archipelago wolf.”

The range of the Alexander Archipelago wolf includes the mainland of Southeast Alaska and islands south of Frederick Sound, excluding Coronation, Forrester, and smaller, more isolated islands that lack an adequate prey base. Admiralty, Baranof, and Chichagof islands north of Frederick sound do not support wolves despite having seemingly adequate prey populations. However, several wolf sightings on Admiralty Island have been reported in recent years according to the Forest Service.

While the Forest Service reports it has seen localized areas where wolves appear vulnerable to harvest associated with legal and illegal trapping on Prince of Wales Island, the wolf population across the island as a whole and across the forest appears to be stable. The Forest Service has formed a technical working group with management partners to take a closer look at the issue and determine which management actions, if any, should be taken to address concerns about wolf conservation. As a first step the Forest Service is working together with Alaska Department of Fish and Game and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to develop a reliable method of estimating wolf numbers, which can be very difficult due to the elusive nature of wolves and the extensive old-growth forest spanning a remote landscape.

Cole said, “The Forest Service remains committed to the conservation of wolf populations on the Tongass National Forest." He said, "The conservation strategy outlined in the 2008 Tongass National Forest Land Management Plan identifies management tools that are essential to maintaining viable wolf populations, such as  sustainable harvest, sufficient prey habitat, buffers to protect dens, and a system of old-growth reserves (OGRs)." The conservation strategy was designed through a collaborative effort with Alaska Department of Fish and Game and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, with intensive peer review said Cole.

"The Forest Service is committed to working collaboratively with agency partners, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Alaska Department of Fish and Game, to sustain populations of the Alexander Archipelago wolf throughout Southeast Alaska,” said Cole.

“Currently there are no reliable estimates of wolf numbers in Southeast Alaska," said Cole. "He said the Forest Service will be working together with Alaska Department of Fish and Game and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to develop a reliable method of estimating wolf numbers, which Cole said can be very difficult due to the elusive nature of wolves and the extensive old-growth forest spanning a remote landscape.

However over the years based on letters submitted to SitNews, not all in Southeast Alaska agree there is such an animal as the "rare" Alexander Archipelago Wolf. Some believe the wolf and domestic dogs have produced off-spring that are being identified as a "rare" subspecies of wolf.

But according to a 25-page declaration in 2013 regarding the Big Thorne Project submitted by wildlife biologist David K. Person, genetic and telemetry data indicate that the wolf population on the Prince of Wales Archipelago are isolated from all other wolves in Southeast Alaska and coastal British Columbia. Person is a wildlife scientist with 22 years of experience studying Alexander Archipelago wolves (Canis lupus ligoni) and Sitka black-tailed deer (Odocoileus hemionus sitkensis) in Southeast Alaska.

"The Alexander Archipelago wolf, one of Alaska's most fascinating species, needs the protection of the Endangered Species Act if it's to have any chance at survival," said Rebecca Noblin, Alaska director of the Center for Biological Diversity. "The Endangered Species Act is the strongest law in the world for protecting wildlife, and it can save these beautiful wolves from reckless logging and hunting."

Alexander Archipelago wolves den in the root systems of very large trees and hunt mostly Sitka black-tailed deer, which are themselves dependent on high-quality, old forests, especially for winter survival. A long history of clearcut logging on the Tongass and private and state-owned lands has devastated much of the wolf's habitat on the islands of southeast Alaska.

"This gray wolf subspecies exists only in southeast Alaska, and its principle population has declined sharply in the last few years," said Larry Edwards, Sitka-based Greenpeace forest campaigner and long-time resident of the region. "Endangered Species Act protection is necessary to protect the wolves, not least because of the Forest Service's own admission that its so-called transition out of old-growth logging in the Tongass will take decades. The negative impacts on these wolves are very long-term and have accumulated over the past 60 years of industrial logging."

Quoting a news release from Greenpeace and the Center for Biological Diversity, logging on the Tongass brings new roads, making wolves vulnerable to hunting and trapping. As many as half the wolves killed on the Tongass are killed illegally, and hunting and trapping are occurring at unsustainable levels in many areas. Despite scientific evidence showing that Alexander Archipelago wolf populations will not survive in areas with high road density, the Forest Service continues to build new logging roads in the Tongass. Road density is particularly an urgent concern on heavily fragmented Prince of Wales Island and neighboring islands, home to an important population of the wolves.

In 2013 the Alaska Board of Game authorized killing 80 percent to 100 percent of the wolves in two areas of the Tongass because habitat loss has reduced deer numbers so that human hunters and wolves are competing for deer - putting yet more pressure on the wolf population according to Greenpeace and the Center for Biological Diversity.

The Fish and Wildlife Service considered listing the wolf under the Endangered Species Act in the mid-1990s but then chose not to do so, citing new protective standards set out in the Forest Service's 1997 Tongass Forest Plan. Unfortunately, said Edwards and Noblin, as outlined in the conservation groups' 2011 petition, the Forest Service has not adequately implemented those standards.

Friday's U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service 90-day finding on the Alexander Archipelago wolf determined that protecting this wolf as threatened or endangered "may be warranted" under three of the five "factors" specified in the Endangered Species Act: (1) present or threatened destruction of habitat; (2) overutilization (e.g. from hunting and trapping); and (3) the inadequacy of existing regulatory mechanisms.

The 2008 Tongass National Forest Land Management Plan incorporates, in cooperation with Alaska Department of Fish and Game and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, a forest-wide program specifically intended to assist in maintaining long-term, sustainable wolf populations. This program includes multiple factors that influence wolf population conservation:

Travel management planning (road access) and hunting/trapping regulatory planning to assist in managing sustainable harvest of wolves; Habitat conservation measures intended to provide sufficient habitat capability for deer, the primary prey of wolves in Southeast Alaska; and, Buffers and other project design measures intended to protect denning wolves. In addition, the Forest Plan includes a network of old-growth reserves (OGRs) that was designed to maintain a functional and interconnected old-growth ecosystem.

The needs of wolves were a primary consideration in the design of the old-growth reserves (OGR) network.

According to the Forest Service, the conservation strategy in the 2008 Tongass National Forest Land Management Plan outlines robust protections designed to withstand environmental contingencies like climate change. The monitoring program in the Forest Plan is designed to be flexible enough to respond to emerging issues and areas of high uncertainty, such as climate change.

The Fish & Wildlife Service is requesting information to consider for the status review on or before 60 days after publication which is March 31, 2014. Comments may be submitted by one of the following methods to the Fish and Wildlife Service:

(1) Electronically:

Go to the Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov
In the Search box, enter FWS–R7–ES–2012–0093, which is the docket number for this action. Then click on the Search button. You may submit information for the status review by clicking on “Comment Now!.”

(2) By hard copy:

Submit by U.S. mail or hand-delivery to:

Public Comments
Processing, Attn: FWS–R7–ES–2012–0093; Division of Policy and Directives
Management; U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; 4401 N. Fairfax Drive, MS 2042–PDM;
Arlington, VA 22203.

E-mail or faxes will NOT be accepted.

All comments received wil be posted on http://www.regulations.gov



On the Web:

Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior: Announcing a 90-day finding on a petition to list the Alexander Archipelago wolf (Canis lupus ligoni) as a threatened or endangered species. Finding that the petition presents substantial scientific or commercial information indicating that listing the Alexander Archipelago wolf may be warranted....
Released March 28, 2014 - Publication Date: 03/31/2014
Download the 11-page FWS Announcement to Review

Dr. Person's 25-page 2013 Declaration for the Big Thorne Appeal

Download the 103- page petition to list the Alexander Archipelago Wolf as Threatened or Endangered Under the US Endagngered Species Act
Filed in August 2011 by the Center for Biological Diversity and Greenpeace.

E-mail your news & photos to editor@sitnews.us

Contact the Editor
SitNews ©2014
Stories In The News
Ketchikan, Alaska


_______________________________________




MASSIVE OLD-GROWTH LOGGING IN THE TONGASS FORCES ESA REVIEW FOR LOCAL WOLF



Agency to investigate whether it must list the Alexander Archipelago Wolf for ESA protections


MARCH 28, 2014

WASHINGTON, D.C. —  The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced today that it will undertake a scientific inquiry to determine whether the Alexander Archipelago Wolf must be listed for protection under the Endangered Species Act. After more than two years of in-depth scientific review following the filing of a petition to list by the Center for Biological Diversity and Greenpeace, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service concluded there is “substantial scientific or commercial information” indicating that the listing may be warranted. In the next step of the process, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will make the ultimate determination whether to list the wolves.

 The Tongass National Forest is the ‘crown jewel’ of our forest system, but it has suffered as a result of the decades of unsustainable clear-cutting of old-growth trees. Stopping industrial-scale old-growth logging and preserving wildlife habitat is essential for those wanting to experience the majesty of the country’s most iconic rainforest, as well as those pursuing the Tongass’ unparalleled hunting and fishing opportunities. Today’s announcement should spur the Forest Service to make choices that prevent the destruction of this ancient forest.

 Forest Service leaders, including Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, have announced they want to end industrial-scale old-growth logging on the Tongass. Today’s announcement highlights the urgency of hastening Forest Service efforts to modernize the Tongass Forest Plan in a way that memorializes a rapid transition out of massive old-growth logging, and enhances and restores key wildlife habitat. By reforming management to ensure a healthy, functioning forest, the Forest Service can support our vibrant fishery and tourism sectors and the customary and traditional use of forest resources, particularly deer hunting and salmon fishing.

 Regrettably, last summer the Forest Service approved the “Big Thorne” timber project on north central Prince of Wales Island, which is the largest, most aggressive timber sale on the Tongass in 20 years. It would log almost entirely remnant old-growth stands that are vital to the fate of deer and wolf populations in the area as well as many other species. Fortunately, citizen appeals of the Big Thorne project persuaded the agency to put it on hold while a task force re-examines the environmental consequences, including the impacts to the Alexander Archipelago Wolf. 

 Today’s announcement underscores the need to cancel Big Thorne and other large old-growth sales, and switch to sustainable forest management that ensures future fishing, hunting, and tourism on the Tongass.



Quotes from conservation groups:



“The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service took a hard look at the science and reached a decision that demonstrates why continued large-scale old growth logging on the Tongass is not sustainable. It should convince the Forest Service that destruction of this ancient forest is a thing of the past. Continuing massive old growth sales, like Big Thorne, means there won’t be enough deer in the future for both wolves and humans,” said Holly Harris, Staff Attorney with Earthjustice. “The Forest Service must recognize continued large-scale industrial old growth logging hurts Southeast Alaskans and compromises the environmental and economic viability of the Tongass.”



“Today’s announcement opens the door to a new chapter on the Tongass that safeguards its integrity over the long term and spurs development of a truly sustainable forest industry that enhances the economic vitality of Southeast Alaska at the same time as maintaining and strengthening the old-growth forest that supports our way of life. We can’t afford any more short-sighted decisions like the Big Thorne timber sale that aggravate the cumulative loss of crucial old-growth deer habitat on Prince of Wales Island,” said Buck Lindekugel, Southeast Alaska Conservation Council’s grassroots attorney.



“We commend the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s science-based decision to consider listing the Alexander Archipelago wolf,” said Kristen Miller, Government Affairs Director, Alaska Wilderness League. “We hope that U.S. FWS’s finding will inform the U.S. Forest Service’s Alexander Archipelago wolf task force, which is currently analyzing the environmental consequences and impact to the wolf from the mammoth and controversial ‘Big Thorne’ timber sale. 



Today’s announcement underscores the threat that continued cutting of old-growth trees poses in the Tongass National Forest, and the need to work toward implementing a transition plan that ensures a sustainable future for the Tongass.”



“Today’s announcement is a very positive development for anyone who cares about the extraordinary natural values of the Tongass,” said Niel Lawrence, Forestry Director for the Natural Resources Defense Council. “You could be a fisherman, hunter, guide, tour operator, or just someone who wants to live in or visit a beautiful and vibrant natural forest,” he continued. “This is powerful evidence that old growth logging is not sustainable and needs to change. It should rapidly move the Forest Service to an overdue new day, where destruction of the ancient forest is a thing of the past.”



“This ruling is an alarm bell indicating that the shortsighted way the Forest Service is managing the Tongass has real consequences for wildlife like the Alexander Archipelago Wolf,” said Jim Adams, Policy Director with Audubon Alaska. “It is past time for the Forest Service and Southeast Alaska to move beyond industrial-scale, old-growth clearcutting to management that supports healthy salmon watersheds and the fishing and tourism industries.”



“In the face of destructive old-growth logging plans, this announcement is welcome news for wildlife and the people of southeast Alaska,” said Dan Ritzman, Alaska Regional Director of the Sierra Club’s Our Wild America Campaign. “The endangered species protections being considered for the Archipelago Wolf would not only secure a future for wolves, but also the world class salmon streams and recreation economy that depend on a healthy forest.”



CONTACT:

Holly Harris, Earthjustice, (907) 500-7133

Kristen Miller, Alaska Wilderness League, (202) 544-5205

Jim Adams, Audubon Alaska, (907) 276-7034

Niel Lawrence, NRDC, (360) 534-9900

Dan Ritzman, Sierra Club, (206) 378-0114

Buck Lindekugel, Southeast Alaska Conservation Council,( 907) 586-6942




_____________________________________


RARE ALASKA WOLF MAY GET ENDANGERED SPECIES ACT PROTECTION




By Louis Sahagun
March 28, 2014, 4:21 p.m.

Federal authorities announced Friday that the geographically isolated Alexander Archipelago wolf of southeast Alaska’s Tongass National Forest may need protection under the Endangered Species Act to survive the impact of logging, hunting and trapping in its old-growth habitat.

Populations of the rare subspecies of gray wolf are in steep decline in portions of the heavily logged region, where they den in the root systems of western hemlock and Sitka spruce and hunt black-tailed deer, which also rely on the ancient trees to shield them from harsh winters.

The wolf, which scientists know as Canis lupus ligoni, relies on the deer for 90% of its diet during the winter months.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is expected to determine within a year whether protecting the wolf as endangered or threatened is warranted.

The decision comes in response to a petition filed in 2011 by Greenpeace and the Center for Biological Diversity, which states that continued logging in the Tongass is destroying habitat and bringing new roads into the area, making the wolves -- and their prey -- increasingly vulnerable.

“The Alexander Archipelago wolf, one of Alaska’s most fascinating species, needs the protection of the Endangered Species Act if it’s to have any chance of survival,” Rebecca Noblin, Alaska director of the center, said in a prepared statement.

The Fish and Wildlife Service considered listing the wolf as an endangered species in the 1990s, but scrapped the idea after the U.S. Forest Service adopted new protective standards in its 1997 Tongass Forest Plan.

The environmental groups’ 2011 petition, however, argues that the Forest Service’s implementation of that plan and of a 2008 amended version is inadequate.

“Time is running out for this remarkable wolf,” Larry Edwards, a spokesman for Greenpeace, said in an interview. “The main population exists on Prince of Wales Island -- the third-largest island in the United States -- which is already crisscrossed by 3,000 miles of logging roads.”

“Yet another large logging operation on the island -- the largest in the Tongass in 20 years -- is temporarily on hold because of wolf issues,” he added. “The bottom line: The wolf can’t afford further intrusion of roads, or further loss of habitat for its prey.”

A recent study by David K. Person, a wildlife scientist and expert on wolves and deer in southeast Alaska, says that continued old-growth logging on the island “will likely be the collapse of a sustainable and resilient predator-prey ecological community.”

“That community includes deer, wolves, black bears and people,” the study says. “Because of pressures to sustain subsistence deer hunting as habitat is lost, there will be immense public and political pressure to kill wolves and bears.”


_____________________________________


AK: 
FISH AND WILDLIFE 
TO REVIEW SOUTHEAST ALASKA WOLVES



Posted on March 29, 2014 by TWIN Observer By Joe Viechnicki, KFSK – Petersburg 

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will review whether or not Southeast Alaska wolves should be listed for protection under the Endangered Species Act. The federal agency this month announced what’s called a “positive 90-day finding” on a petition to list the Alexander Archipelago wolf. 

Steve Brockmann is Southeast Alaska coordinator for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. “We determined that there was substantial information presented, enough to make us think we probably should do a real status review,” Brockmann said Friday. He said the status review will look at the best available information on wolf populations. 

The timing of when the review happens also depends on funding granted by Congress which limits the number of petitions the agency can review each year. “Recently that has been several years before we get that funding so we do have an opportunity here to well really take advantage of the time lag to get some conservation in place so we don’t have to list the wolf,” Brockmann said. “Honestly the Fish and Wildlife Service would prefer to leave management of the wolf with the state of Alaska where it belongs. We do have a responsibility to list it if it needs to be listed. We intend to work with our partners with the state and the Forest Service to make sure we don’t have to do that when the time comes.” 

The petition to list the wolves was submitted in August of 2011 by two groups, the Center for Biological Diversity and Greenpeace. “Well we’re thrilled to finally have the finding. It’s come over two years late but we knew there was a strong case for pursuing a listing and we’re glad to see that the agency’s decided that our petition had merit,” said Larry Edwards, a forest campaigner with Greenpeace in Sitka. The groups argue that the region’s wolf populations are declining and are vulnerable to hunting and trapping pressure along with loss of habitat from logging on the 17-million acre Tongass National Forest. In particular, they cite past and future logging on Prince of Wales Island and say wolves on POW are in danger of extinction. State and federal managers closed hunting and trapping seasons in late March on Prince of Wales Island because hunters and trappers had reached a target number of wolves on the island. 

That’s a concern for Edwards. “We have some great concerns with how the harvest cap was set for that. We think it was set way too high and the illegal take of wolves wasn’t adequately taken into account. So there’s some significant management problems both in terms of logging and I think how Fish and Game has been managing as well.” 

The groups also say two intensive management programs authorized by the state’s Board of Game last year for areas near Ketchikan and Petersburg will put further pressure on wolf numbers. 

Doug Vincent-Lang is director for the Alaska Department of Fish and Game’s Division of Wildlife Conservation. He said Fish and Game believes the department has sustainably managed wolves in the region. “We’re confident that any potential conservation concerns can be adequately addressed through existing mechanisms, including state regulatory mechanisms that are out there. Given that we don’t believe that wolves in Alaska are at risk now or threatened with the risk of extinction in the foreseeable future and as such we don’t believe that there’s a justification for a 90-day positive finding for wolves in Southeast Alaska and we’re disappointed with the service’s decision.” 

The intensive management programs could mean state sponsored trapping of wolves in the two areas of Southeast, designed to improve the numbers of wolves’ main prey, deer. Vincent-Lang noted the two intensive management programs have not been implemented yet. “Part of the reason is that we’re collecting additional information, both on deer and wolf in those two small areas where the board had approved intensive management programs for the Department to conduct once we had that baseline information. We’ve invested a significant amount of money in the next 3-4 years to inform the development of a status review, which this 90-day finding kicks off in terms of looking at wolf abundance, wolf distribution and wolf genetic structure in Southeast Alaska.” 

The finding kicks off a 60-day public comment period beginning March 31st. Fish and Wildlife will seek input and information on Southeast wolves. At a later date, the federal agency then begins a 12-month status review which leading to a decision on whether the animals should be listed as threatened or endangered. The agency determined a listing was not warranted for a prior petition submitted during the 1990s. 

Source This entry was posted in Northwest US, Wolves in the News by TWIN Observer. Bookmark the permalink. http://www.alaskapublic.org/2014/03/28/fish-and-wildlife-to-review-southeast-alaska-wolves/

_____________________________________


Rare Alaskan Wolf Closer to Endangered Species Act Protection



Alexander Archipelago Wolf Threatened by Logging in Tongass National Forest
28 Mar 2014

ANCHORAGE, Alaska--(ENEWSPF)--March 28, 2014.  The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced today that Alaska’s Alexander Archipelago wolves may need protection under the Endangered Species Act because of unsustainable logging in the Tongass National Forest and elsewhere in southeast Alaska. The agency will now conduct an in-depth status review of this rare subspecies of gray wolf, which lives only in the region’s old-growth forests.

Today’s decision responds to a scientific petition filed in August 2011 by the Center for Biological Diversity and Greenpeace. Following the status review and a public comment period, the agency will decide whether or not to list the species as threatened or endangered.

“The Alexander Archipelago wolf, one of Alaska’s most fascinating species, needs the protection of the Endangered Species Act if it’s to have any chance at survival,” said Rebecca Noblin, Alaska director of the Center. “The Endangered Species Act is the strongest law in the world for protecting wildlife, and it can save these beautiful wolves from reckless logging and hunting.”

Alexander Archipelago wolves den in the root systems of very large trees and hunt mostly Sitka black-tailed deer, which are themselves dependent on high-quality, old forests, especially for winter survival. A long history of clearcut logging on the Tongass and private and state-owned lands has devastated much of the wolf’s habitat on the islands of southeast Alaska.

“This gray wolf subspecies exists only in southeast Alaska, and its principle population has declined sharply in the last few years,” said Larry Edwards, Greenpeace forest campaigner and long-time resident of the region. “Endangered Species Act protection is necessary to protect the wolves, not least because of the Forest Service’s own admission that its so-called transition out of old-growth logging in the Tongass will take decades. The negative impacts on these wolves are very long-term and have accumulated over the past 60 years of industrial logging.”

Logging on the Tongass brings new roads, making wolves vulnerable to hunting and trapping. As many as half the wolves killed on the Tongass are killed illegally, and hunting and trapping are occurring at unsustainable levels in many areas. Despite scientific evidence showing that Alexander Archipelago wolf populations will not survive in areas with high road density, the Forest Service continues to build new logging roads in the Tongass. Road density is particularly an urgent concern on heavily fragmented Prince of Wales Island and neighboring islands, home to an important population of the wolves.

In 2013 the Alaska Board of Game authorized killing 80 percent to 100 percent of the wolves in two areas of the Tongass because habitat loss has reduced deer numbers so that human hunters and wolves are competing for deer — putting yet more pressure on the wolf population.

The Fish and Wildlife Service considered listing the wolf under the Endangered Species Act in the mid-1990s but then chose not to do so, citing new protective standards set out in the Forest Service’s 1997 Tongass Forest Plan. Unfortunately, as outlined in the conservation groups’ 2011 petition, the Forest Service has not adequately implemented those standards.

Today’s U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service 90-day finding on the Alexander Archipelago wolf determined that protecting this wolf as threatened or endangered “may be warranted” under three of the five factors specified in the Endangered Species Act: (1) present or threatened destruction of habitat; (2) overutilization (e.g., from hunting and trapping); and (3) the inadequacy of existing regulatory mechanisms.

The finding can be viewed at:

Our August 2011 petition to list the Alexander Archipelago wolf is at:

A recent declaration by Dr. David Person, the foremost Alexander Archipelago wolf researcher, concerning the wolf population on Prince of Wales Island is at: 

The Center for Biological Diversity is a national, nonprofit conservation organization with more than 675,000 members and online activists dedicated to the protection of endangered species and wild places.

Greenpeace is the leading independent campaigning organization that uses peaceful protest and creative communication to expose global environmental problems and to promote solutions that are essential to a green and peaceful future.


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