The leaders of six of the nation’s most prominent conservation groups today called on the U.S. Department of the Interior to cancel plans by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to remove federal Endangered Species Act protections for wolves across nearly the entire lower-48 states, stating the plan would be disastrous for gray wolf recovery in the United States.
The letter, addressed Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell, is signed by the chief executives of the Center for Biological Diversity, Defenders of Wildlife, Earthjustice, Endangered Species Coalition, Natural Resources Defense Council and Sierra Club.
The letter urges Jewell to reverse course on the planned delisting because dropping federal protections at this point would be premature and notes that there are still few, if any, wolves in the vast majority of their former range, where scientists have determined much suitable habitat remains.
“Maintaining federal protections for wolves is essential for continued species recovery," the letter says, adding that the unwarranted assault on wolves in the northern Rocky Mountains after wolves in those states lost federal protections highlights the "increasingly hostile anti-wolf policies of states now charged with ensuring the survival of gray wolf populations.”
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is expected to announce any day its plans to remove federal protections for wolves across nearly the entire lower-48 states.