There is one fundamentally important point that must be widely understood and accepted if the world’s wildlife is to be preserved. In addition to the cold, practical reasons for preserving species, we must learn to appreciate wildlife for its intrinsic value, to respect its right to exist, and to have humane concern for the survival of entire species.

In North America, the historic importance of wild animals has been sustained by laws rooted in the premise that wildlife cannot be owned by people but instead is held in trust by government for the benefit of all citizens and future generations.

For the Public Trust Doctrine to be an effective wildlife conservation tool, the public must understand that wild animals, regardless of whose property they are on, belong to everyone. Furthermore, the government, as trustee, must be legally accountable for preserving wildlife for the benefit of present and future generations…in essence, preventing its endangerment.

In future decades, will governments preserve biodiversity for future generations? Will wildlife remain wild? The answers to these questions will depend significantly upon people’s awareness of their shared responsibility to be a voice for it.

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Federal wildlife officials want to hear from you about the fate of the endangered red wolf. The USFWS is crafting a revised recovery plan for the red wolf, a process that has been complicated by opposition from some landowners, court cases to stop those landowners from killing the wolves, support from scientists, and conflicting messages from federal officials themselves.

TODAY is the last day that the agency is accepting public input. As of June 13th, the US Fish & Wildlife Service has received more than 2,100 comments. Red wolves need many more voices to save them from the brink of extinction. Please follow this link to see how you can add your voice.

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The Interior Dept. ordered a review of federal rules that prevent hunters from killing bears and wolves using techniques many people consider extreme: killing bear cubs and sows with cubs, baiting grizzlies with rotting meat, trapping and snaring bears, and killing wolves while they are raising pups among other controversial methods in Alaska’s national parks and the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge.

Why? Alaska wants to kill predators to increase moose and caribou populations for the benefit of hunters. More…

“Alaska’s national parks and wildlife refuges are required by federal law to be managed not as private game reserves but to protect natural diversity, including natural predator-prey dynamics,” said Rick Steiner, a retired University of Alaska professor and PEER board member, pointing out that lethal control on park boundaries are devastating in-park wolf populations. “The State of Alaska’s unethical predator control practices have no place in modern society, and certainly not on Alaska’s magnificent national parks and refuges.”

The Interior is pressing forward despite a recent study by scientists for the state game department showing that predator control has little effect on the growth or decline of herds on which they prey. “We detected no convincing support for decreased wolf predation during control,” the study said. “We also detected no support for increased caribou survival during nonlethal or lethal wolf control.” [Read the study here]

What say you? Is it ethical to kill one species to promote the hunting of another on national park and refuge land?

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