OR-11, a male pup born to the Walla Walla pack later dispersed and became the breeding male of the Mt. Emily pack (photo by ODFW).

DeFazio Letter Requests Immediate Protections for Gray Wolves

July 1, 2021 — Earlier this week, Rep. Peter DeFazio sent a letter to Secretary of the Interior, Deb Haaland and Principal Deputy Director of the USFWS, Martha Williams urging emergency reinstatement of Endangered Species Act (ESA) protections for Northern Rocky Mountain gray wolves. With Idaho and Montana recently passing laws that will allow devastating wolf culling, DeFazio’s letter is encouraging. We anxiously await a response and action.

Download Rep. DeFazio’s letter.

Excerpts from the letter:

I write to request that you expeditiously reinstate Endangered Species Act (ESA) protections for gray wolves in the Northern Rockies, using your emergency listing powers as authorized under the ESA. The relisting is urgently needed before the region’s wolf population is decimated, undoing the decades of work toward wolf recovery in the Northern Rockies and beyond that brought these iconic animals back from near extinction.


Killing wolves negates the key role they play in ecosystems. Wolves take out sick, old and inferior elk and deer, while hunters do not. It is also worth noting that-25 years after their return to Yellowstone National Park-the gray wolves that some feared would wipe out elk have instead proved to be more of a stabilizing force. Their presence deters elk and deer from passive grazing, which has helped stop stream erosion and degradation of fish habitat. It has also helped tree stands and vegetation recover. These are just a few of the services provided by these vital apex predators.

What You Can Do:

Contact Deb Haaland, Secretary of the Interior.
Call her at (202) 208-3100, email her via feedback@ios.doi.gov, or use the online form at the bottom of this page.

Contact Martha Williams, Principal Deputy Director of USFWS.
Call her at (800) 344-9453 or write her via www.fws.gov/duspit/contactus.htm.