Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Good News (for some ....)

Judge Restores Protection for Wolves

July 18, 2008, 5:19 pmJudge rules gray wolf be returned to federal protection A federal judge in Montana has ruled that gray wolves in Idaho, Montana and Wyoming be returned to federal protection under the Endangered Species Act.Judge Donald Molloy of Montana ruled Friday the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service acted in an arbitrary and capricious manner when it removed wolves in the Northern Rockies Region from the endangered species list in March.He agreed with arguments made by environmental and animal rights groups that wolf populations in Yellowstone National Park do not yet interbreed with wolves in Idaho and western Montana to an extent that ensures genetic diversity. He also ruled the agency approved Wyoming's state wolf management plan last year despite previously saying the basic tenants of that plan that allow wolves to be killed without regulation in 90 percent of the state, was inadequate to protect wolves. Lastly, Molloy ruled the groups proved that wolves were likely to be harmed by public hunting seasons planned in each state this fall.Molloy granted a preliminary injunction reversing the delisting of wolves while the entire case is being heard and also said the plaintiffs were likely to succeed in a majority of their claims.The ruling is a setback for the Fish and Wildlife Service that has said wolves are biologically recovered and decided earlier this year that adequate state regulations were in place to keep the wolves from becoming imperiled. There are estimated to be about 2,000 wolves in the three states and about 800 in Idaho.

Noted Photographer Tom Vezo Dies

Tom Vezo, a widely known and admired professional wildlife photographer, died Friday, July 18th while hiking with a friend in the Rincon Mountains near his Arizona home. Tom was 61 and is survived by his wife Dorothy and 2 stepdaughters.

Tom is widely known for his superb bird photography but has amassed an impressive photo collection of over 40,000 images featuring a wide variety of subjects and has been widely published in both the US and Europe.

He has been an ardent supporter of the preservation of the Madera Canyon near his home in Green Valley, Arizona. His wife, Dorothy, has asked that memorial contributions be made to the Defenders of Madera Canyon.

To find out more about Tom and his lifetime of excellent photographic work, visit his website.

He will be missed.