Second chance for wolves—The gray wolf populations of the western US have a possible reprieve from decimation by state wildlife managers. In 2011, Congress overrode the Endangered Species Act, and turned wolf management in the northern Rockies over to the states. As expected, Idaho, Montana and
Wyoming immediately began an all-out assault on this keystone predator. For example, the state of Idaho recently hired a huntertrapper to completely exterminate two wolf packs at the behest of trophy hunters.
Then in 2013, despite over a million public comments in opposition, the US Fish and Wildlife Service made a decision to remove most populations of gray wolves from the endangered species list. This allows the states to nearly eradicate wolves to benefit ranchers and elk hunters. This decision was highly
controversial, as such decisions are required by law to be based on the best available science. The service relied on one study, carried out by their own personnel, to justify its action.
Following an outcry by scientists, politicians and the public, the agency convened a panel to peer review the delisting decision. However, even this panel was tainted—made up of only prowolf control individuals. Again the Fish and Wildlife Service was forced to backpedal, replacing several panel members.
Finally, in February, 2013, the new review panel released its findings, and unanimously stated that the science used to delist wolves was questionable and not sufficient to justify the decision. As a result, the public comment period on removing Endangered Species Act has been reopened through March 27, allowing conservationists to speak out in favor of continued protection of the species.
What you can do—Write Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell and urge her to reconsider the entire proposal to delist gray wolves. Last year Sec. Jewell argued that she had no choice but to remove wolf protection, stating, “It’s about science and you do what the science says.” Tell her the science is wrong, and that she should heed her own words.
Department of the Interior
1849 C Street, NW
Washington, DC 20240
Comments on the delisting plan can be submitted to: Comments
Processing, Attn: FWS–HQ–ES–2013–0073; Division of Policy
and Directives Management; U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service;
4401 N. Fairfax Drive, MS 2042–PDM; Arlington, VA 22203; or
Also, the Endangered Species Coalition has more information and an easy to use form letter to Sec. Jewell at www.endangered.org