[Note: this is satire] A group of Arizona landowners announced today that they will petition the US Fish and Wildlife Service (USF&W) for permission to release a pack of wolves in New York’s Central Park.
“There is convincing evidence that wolves once lived on Manhattan Island prior to European settlement,” said Clem Lobo, a spokesman for the Arizona landowners.
The petition requests that the Interior Department issue a rule authorizing the release of wolves in and around Central Park, an area unoccupied by wolves but part of their historic range.
“Since the Endangered Species Act sort of mandates the federal government restore critters to their former habitat, we think Central Park needs its wolf population back,” Lobo added.
Missing from the landscape for more than 30 years, the howl of the Mexican gray wolf (Canis lupus baileyi), can once again be heard in the mountains of the southwestern United States. The Mexican wolf, like many species protected by the Endangered Species Act, is getting a second chance to play its role in nature through an ambitious recovery program led by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
The Arizona wolf release program has been very unpopular with area ranchers, for obvious reasons.
“Eastern environmentalists are always trying to remake the West in their own fantasy image,” noted Lobo, “like the nutty scheme to dynamite Glen Canyon Dam so endangered fish can be restored to the Colorado River. So we thought it only fair that the restoration of the endangered wolf population should be brought right to folks living in Manhattan.”
The Central Park Wolf Release Program would be financed by People to Keep Easterners Out Of The West.
“Actually, we think US taxpayers ought to fund the wolf release program in Central Park they way they fund all these schemes to repopulate our part of the country with wolves and jaguars and whatever,” added Lobo, “but obviously the federal government’s endangered species program is aimed at ranchers in the West and not people who live at 59th and Park Avenue.”
Lobo proposes to initially release 12 wolves in the New York City park.
New Yorkers were obviously upset about the proposed release of a wolf pack in Central Park.
“The park is already dangerous enough, without political opponents and vicious man-eating beasts roaming about,” complained a spokesman for the New York City Mayor’s office.
Other New Yorkers thought the release of the wolves would improve the park. ” If those wolves eat a few muggers and drug dealers, the park might actually be safer at night,” commented Sam Strapani, a cab driver we found at the south end of the park.
If the wolf release program is successful, announced Lobo, plans are being made to restore Manhattan Island to its pre-European settlement habitat.
“This would require leveling all the buildings on the island,” noted Lobo, “which would greatly improve the habitat for all kinds of plants and animals like squirrels.”
Interestingly, Lobo’s proposal to release the wolves and remove human use of the island is exactly consistent with how the federal Endangered Species Act is being implemented in the West noted Joe Sam, a biologist from the General Delivery University.
“It is being argued virtually every day in law suits from various environmental groups that the human occupation of the West is in conflict with hundreds of endangered plants and animals, and that the federal government must restore the endangered species and kick people off the western public lands,” added Sam.
“The Endangered Species Act is also being used by various environmental groups to block virtually every kinds of human land use in the West like renewable solar energy projects, natural gas pipeline construction, homebuilding, mining, and road construction, “ said Sam.
“The proposal to put wolves in Central Park is just a way to make the point that while most people think saving endangered critters is wonderful, they have no clue how that law is really being used in the war between environmentalists and western residents,” noted Sam.
Lobo added that if the Central Park wolf release is successful, his group plans to release wolves in Washington D.C.’s Rock Creek Park.
“I’d love residents of eastern cities to hear the howl of wolves at night,” said Lobo.
And this from the Center for Biological Diversity:
FAYETTEVILLE, Ga.— Conservation groups today filed a scientific petition seeking the reintroduction of the critically endangered Florida panther into southern Georgia and northern Florida as a crucial step in the species’ recovery. The petition requests that the Interior Department issue a rule authorizing the release of panthers in and around the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge, an area unoccupied by Florida panthers but part of their historic range. Reintroduction of Florida panthers into suitable habitat within the species’ historic range is called for in the Interior Department’s 2008 Florida panther recovery plan.
“For the Florida panther to have any chance at long-term survival it needs more than one population in South Florida,” said Michael Robinson of the Center for Biological Diversity, the primary author of the petition. “Reintroduction of Florida panthers will aid their recovery and help restore the natural balance in some of the ecosystems in which panthers lived for thousands of years.”
Florida panthers used to live throughout the Southeast, but currently the only breeding population consists of 100 to 120 animals in South Florida that are distributed across less than 5 percent of the species’ historic range. The recovery plan calls for protecting remaining occupied habitat and establishing two new populations of at least 240 animals each through reintroduction.