|Gunnar Ries Amphibol/Commons edited by Toke of the Town.|
Don Willis wants to kill wolves. He also wants to be governor, but right now he’s all about killing him some wolves. So much so, that he’s made it a part of his gubernatorial campaign strategy. See, Wyomong has permitted wolf hunts in the past but this year a federal judge put the animals – a key component to the western ecosystem – on a protected list. That pisses off Willis, who (as previously noted) just wants wolves to die. Now Willis is saying the state should allow the hunt despite the federal protection because Colorado has legal weed.
The wolf tags have been issued, and hunters had already made plans to start their hunts,” he said. “The disruption to hunters, outfitters and the cost to Wyoming Game and Fish to refund hunting permits caused by a single black-robed judge who sits in Washington, D.C., and has probably never been in Wyoming is outrageous and should be defied by Wyoming.”
Yes, apparently you have to live in Wyoming to actually care about Wyoming’s wolf population. Wills is now calling on hunters to go ahead and disobey the federal order.
“Colorado did just that in the legalization of pot. It’s a federal crime to commercially grow pot, and the state of Colorado defied the federal laws and it all worked out fine,” he told the Billings Gazette — while carefully pointing out that he doesn’t think people should break federal law to use cannabis, nor was he endorsing cannabis use.
He also taunted the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, saying he doubted they would enforce the judge’s ruling because they normally side with Wyoming on such matters.
Current Wyoming Gov. Matt Mead agreed that the hunt should go on, but stopped short of advocating people disobey the federal protections on the animals – which are purely shot for trophy.
Wyoming has successfully negotiated against federal overreach, and when necessary we have gone to court,” he said in a release. “I do not advocate taking an extreme stand, doomed to failure, which undermines Wyoming’s interests instead of moving Wyoming forward.”
According to the FWS:
“The most recent data available (end of 2013) indicate that the NRM wolf population contains at least 1,691 wolves, at least 320 packs, and at least 78 breeding pairs. This population has exceeded its recovery goals since 2002. By every biological measure the NRM wolf population is recovered and remains secure under State management.
Long-term, the Service expects the entire NRM population to maintain a long-term average of around 1,000 wolves. These wolves represent a 400-mile southern range extension of a vast contiguous wolf population that numbers over 12,000 wolves in western Canada and about 65,000 wolves across all of Canada and Alaska.
The Service and our partners will monitor wolves in the region for at least 5 years to ensure that the population’s recovered status is not compromised, and if relisting is ever warranted, we will make prompt use of the Act’s emergency listing provisions.”