The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has issued a proposed rule to strip Endangered Species Act (ESA) protections for gray wolves in the lower 48 states – a premature decision unsupported by science that will further threaten an already imperiled species. Federal protections for gray wolves brought the species back from the brink of extinction following decades of persecution. This rash decision to delist wolves from the list of endangered and threatened wildlife would allow states to open killing seasons on wolves, permitting special interest trophy hunters and trappers to senselessly kill wolves before the species has made a full recovery. As demonstrated in Idaho where wolves have already been stripped of federal ESA protections, once delisting occurs the species is open to a variety of killing activities – including predator derbies, contests and tournaments where those who kill the most or largest wolves are awarded prizes. This is after the federal government spent millions of taxpayer dollars reintroducing wolves into Yellowstone National Park after their populations were decimated from unlimited killing!
We need your help to keep federal protections in place for wolves so these iconic and vital animals are able to recover and return to their historic range.
Please submit comments TODAY in opposition to the proposed rule to delist wolves.
You can submit your comments using two methods:
For longer comments, please attach them in a Microsoft Word document.
Submit your comments by U.S. mail to:
Public Comments Processing, Attn: Docket No. FWS-HQ-ES-2018-0097
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Headquarters, MS: BPHC
5275 Leesburg Pike
Falls Church, VA 22041-3803
Your comments can simply state: “I am in opposition to the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service’s proposed rule to remove Endangered Species Act protections for gray wolves in the lower 48 states. I urge you to reconsider this proposed rule and to instead develop a national wolf recovery plan for wolves that reflects their intrinsic value and the myriad ecological, aesthetic, and economic benefits the species provides to our communities and ecosystems.”
For maximum impact, however, we encourage you to personalize your comments. Here are some talking points you may consider incorporating:
- Continuing Endangered Species Act protections for wolves is necessary for the species to fully recover. Federal protections saved gray wolves from extinction following decades of persecution – and the species is still recovering, currently occupying only a fraction of their historic range.
- The proposed rule would transfer authority over wolves to state wildlife management agencies, which historically have shown little interest in preserving or restoring wolves. These state agencies have catered to special interest groups who seek to kill wolves for trophies or entertainment, or on the misguided belief that killing wolves protects livestock or increases deer and elk populations.
- Wolves are vital to healthy ecosystems. Benefits wolves provide include increasing biodiversity by keeping large herbivores such as deer from overgrazing habitats and maintaining the health of prey animals such as deer by culling the sick members from the heard, including animals suffering from Chronic Wasting Disease.
- The best available, peer-reviewed science demonstrates that killing wolves will not protect livestock or increase populations of game species like deer or elk. Wildlife management decisions should be based on ethics and sound science, not fear and misunderstandings.
- The vast majority of Americans are wildlife watchers who prefer to view wolves in their natural habitat – preserved and treated with respect. Allowing wolves to return to their historic range and thrive will provide far more benefits to our economy than allowing a tiny minority of the population to extirpate these iconic animals from our landscape.
Learn more about wolves here.
Thank you for acting TODAY to protect wolves from extinction!
For Wild Nature,
Founder & Executive Director
Science Advisory Board Member