MWC Collects Nearly 400 Northeast Wolf Recovery Petition Signatures at the 2012 Common Ground Fair

Maine Wolf Coalition Booth

MWC’s booth at the 2012 Common Ground Fair

The Maine Wolf Coalition was established during the 1994 Common Ground Fair held in Windsor, Maine. That year we built a wolf display and collected our first memberships. This year marks our 19th consecutive year as a fair participant. Once again our efforts were very successful as hundreds of fairgoers stopped to look at our booth and many stopped to chat or ask questions about northeast wolf recovery. Meredith Kellogg donated three t-shirts and several small vials of wolf fur from Indiana’s Wolf Park to help generate donations which once again exceeded our fair expenses. Thank you, Meredith for doing a great job!

During the fair, we solicited signatures for a petition which was signed by nearly 400 supporters of continued protection for wolves in the northeast and development of a Northeast Wolf Recovery Plan. We thank everyone who showed their support for wolves by signing the petition. It reads as follows, “We, the undersigned support wolf recovery in the northeast United States and hereby request that the U.S. Department of Interior/U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service develop and implement a Northeast Wolf Recovery Plan and provide Endangered Species Act protection for all wolves in the northeast U.S.”

On May 5, 2011, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service published a proposed rule to remove the gray wolf from ESA protection in all or portions of 29 eastern states including all of New England. The Service argued, based solely on two wolf carcasses collected in the 19th century, that the eastern wolf is the only wolf that is native to the eastern United States. If enacted, the rule would effectively remove ESA protection for all wolves in the northeast. We recently brought to the Service’s attention several historical references to wolves including potential evidence that there once were two different wolf species that lived in this region, one larger than the other.  (Click here to read more). We know that much of the northeast was formerly occupied by moose and caribou, both of which would have been too large for the smaller eastern wolf to prey upon. Only the gray wolf could have successfully occupied the northern portions and higher elevations of New York, Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine.

On September 26, 2012, we sent the petition signatures and a cover letter to Secretary of Interior Kenneth Salazar. Click here to read the letter.

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