On March 15, 2019, the Fish and Wildlife Service published a rule proposing to prematurely remove gray wolves across the country from the Endangered Species Act. This is now the third attempt by the federal government to remove these critical protections; the previous two rejected for violating basic scientific and recovery standards. This is a crucial moment for wolves and the Endangered Species Act!
Federal protections have long held state wildlife agencies to higher protective standards for wolves, but the proposed rule will place the fate of the species completely in the hands of agencies largely beholden to hunting and agriculture interests. This will have lasting, negative impacts to wolf recovery. As an example in Oregon, removing protections will likely mean the death of OR-7’s Rogue Pack near Crater Lake!
Individual dispersing wolves from the Rocky Mountain population and newly established packs benefit from federal protections from prohibitions on hunting and trapping. Severing protections will greatly hinder if not altogether prevent the successful spread of wolves across vast wild areas of the West, jeopardizing ongoing recovery.
This attempt by the Fish and Wildlife Service is a failure. It marks the collapse of sound science and integrity in wildlife conservation beneath the weight of politics. But it is also an opportunity to demonstrate to this administration that the people of this country resoundingly support science, still expect recovery of imperiled wildlife, and desire comprehensive wolf recovery!
Below is a link to the comment portal, and we have also prepared language that you can copy and paste into the comment section if you desire. Please personalize your comments urging the US Fish and Wildlife Service to maintain wolf protections!
Take action now, and tell the US Fish and Wildlife Service that wolf delisting is premature because many areas critical to the species recovery are yet to be inhabited and federal protections are necessary to achieve comprehensive recovery!
Sample comment: Please maintain protections for gray wolves under the Endangered Species Act. I am concerned that absent these protections, ongoing wolf recovery will stagnate and the species will be limited to isolated populations. Continued federal protections are needed to ensure connectivity between populations and genetic diversity. Protections are also necessary to prevent the decimation of the species in states where wolves enjoy little-to-no state-level protection. I urge you to reject this proposal and maintain the current listing status of the gray wolf.
Image, top of page: 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).