Statement of Cascadia Wildlands:
We are exceedingly disappointed in the Obama Administration, Department of Interior and US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) for abandoning science and the intent of the Endangered Species Act in their draft delisting proposal of the gray wolf in the lower 48 states. The USFWS's pandering to the livestock lobby and involvement in political games will certainly impede or altogether block the wolf's continued recovery throughout the West.
This political maneuver by the USFWS not only threatens the gray wolf, but places in jeopardy any species that poses difficulty for a powerful DC lobby. The Endangered Species Act was a law built to uphold science and biology, but sadly the agency tasked with enforcing it has become a political tool.
For Cascadia Wildlands this additionally unsatisfactory as we watch our landmark settlement on wolf management in Oregon come to fruition—ready to serve as a shining model of what should be. Where are similar plans in place for California, Colorado, Nevada, Utah and Washington? As many renowned wolf biologists have already pointed out, this rule as it stands is a politically expedient “exit strategy” rather than a scientifically defensible recovery strategy. We expected better.