(cross posted to Utah Legilsature Watch)
Utah Environmental Congress has issued these two action items
PRAIRIE DOG DAY RESOLUTION (House Joint Resolution 21 )
Speak Up for Wolves!
Help 12 year old Luke Zitting declare February 2nd Prairie Dog Day in Utah!
Join the Utah Environmental Congress, Humane Society of the United States, WildEarth Guardians, Luke Zitting, author of the Utah Prairie Dog Day Resolution, and other wildlife enthusiasts on Tuesday, February 2nd. We will deliver our signatures and Resolution on Capitol Hill:
8:30am in the Capitol Rotunda under the Dome
Sign the petition through the Humane Society’s website:
We believe it’s time to give Punxsutawney Phil’s western cousins their due by making February 2 a day to celebrate another furry, burrowing critter: the prairie dog of the Great Plains.
Our aim is to complement the eastern version of Groundhog Day with our own Western counterpart.
Sadly, when a prairie dog sees a shadow, it is often that of a looming bulldozer about to plow over her town, an exterminator ready to poison her and her colony mates, or a shooter aiming a lethal shot.
It is time to shed a positive light on these amazing animals and educate the public about the vital role prairie dogs play on the prairie.
Nine different wildlife species depend on prairie dog populations for survival. “Prairie dogs area critical component to healthy North American Grasslands,” said Dr. Jane Goodall, DBE and Founder of the Jane Goodall Institute.
Let’s give Prairie Dogs their Day. Help declare February 2nd– Prairie Dog Day in Utah!
Let’s create a western counterpart to Groundhog Day and declare February 2nd Prairie Dog Day!
Prairie dogs are long overdue some attention on Groundhog Day. For the past several years, wildlife enthusiasts have been working together to declare February 2nd, Prairie Dog Day in the West. The declaration does not create any policy changes, but does help spread the word about the plight of the prairie dogs.
Celebrating Prairie Dog Day would raise awareness of a burrowing animal that is native to Utah.
Utah prairie dogs have declined by 90% and are listed under the Endangered Species Act as a threatened species.
Let’s take this day to promote the positive role the prairie dog plays in our ecosystem and share with others the alternatives to lethal control that we have for prairie dog management.
Speak Up for Wolves!
The organization Sportsmen for Fish and Wildlife has a bill before the Utah legislature that would require the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources to prevent viable wolf packs from becoming established in the Utah portion of the Rocky Mountain gray wolf recovery area. This would mean capturing and returning any that should venture into Utah or killing them. The aim of the bill is to prevent wolves from ever so much as getting a toenail-hold in Utah.
This egregious bill, identified as S.B. 36 first substitute, would supplant the Utah Wolf Management Plan, which would at least tolerate up to two breeding pairs producing at least two surviving offspring for two consecutive years. This plan is really lame, but it is better than killing wolves to ensure that there are none at all. Furthermore, it was created through a public process that began with and ended with the Utah legislature – a process that involved 13 representatives of a diverse group of stakeholders, including ranchers and sportsmen, working for a year and a half. Even then, the ranching and hunting interests on the working group violated the mutually agreed-upon protocols in order to ensure that the resulting plan is really weak. Not satisfied with that, now they want to lord over the rest of us to ensure that there are never any wild wolves in Utah. At bottom this is a moral issue: We must stand up for wolves and wild nature and for ourselves. Here’s what you can do:
f you are a Utah resident, go to the following web-site and click on ‘Senate’ and ‘House’ to find your senator and your representative, then contact each and let him or her know in no ambiguous terms that you want this bill to fail. This will be particularly important for those of you who live in the Republican-dominated rural parts of the state: http://www.le.state.ut.us/
If you live outside of Utah and you want to exert influence on this, you might contact the Utah Office of Tourism and express your displeasure over this bill and tell them that, if it passes, it will make you less interested in vacationing and recreating in Utah: http://travel.utah.gov/contactus.html
If you would like to be added to the Utah Wolf Forum list serve to receive periodic updates on this and other wolf-related issues, contact firstname.lastname@example.org and state your request. It is our policy that you also briefly state your reason.