At any moment, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar is expected to strip Endangered Species Act protections from Wyoming's wolves, the last federally protected packs in the Rocky Mountains. The move will open up 80 percent of the state to wolf killing. Wyoming's kill-at-will policy for most of its wolf territory will promote the quick extermination of 170 wolves -- and then many more as each year's pups are wiped out to permanently keep the population down.
Wolf killing is already rampant in Montana and Idaho, where wolves lost protection in early 2011. Salazar is poised to push the plan through, even though the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service rejected a similar plan from Wyoming last fall.
Read an editorial about this critical battle for the region's last federally protected wolves in the Los Angeles Times.