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Tell Biden to restore protections for wolves

Supporters Spoke up in this Action
Delivery to President Biden

Action Ended On

February 10, 2022

What Happens Next

Thank you to all who took action!

What was at Stake

In February of 2021, hunters in Wisconsin slaughtered 218 gray wolves in just three days. The hunt resulted in more than 100 more wolves killed than the state-set quota — essentially overruling the decision by local tribes to conserve the wolf population by not using their share of the hunting permits. Please join us in calling on the Biden administration to reverse the previous administration’s decision to needlessly endanger wolves across the country – and to prevent the slaughter of more wolves.

This is happening because the Trump administration delisted the gray wolf in late 2020, stripping vital Endangered Species Act protections and allowing states to declare open season for wolf hunting. As a result, the February 2021 Wisconsin wolf hunt may have reduced the state’s wolf population by a third, according to leading scientists. And with the upcoming hunts scheduled it may only get worse.

The Trump administration made its decision against the conclusions of scientists who say wolves are still functionally extinct in the vast majority of the places they once inhabited and need continued federal protections in order to recover. The slaughter in Wisconsin echoes recent devastation in other regions where wolf management has been turned over to states hostile to the species’ recovery. In Idaho, Wyoming, and Montana — which also don’t have federal protections for wolves — more than 3,500 wolves have been killed since 2011, and things are likely to get worse given a rash of new anti-wolf laws in Idaho and Montana. 

We are pushing back against that slaughter with challenges to the states’ persecution of wolves, but wolves should be shielded by national protections rather than subjected to the vagaries of hostile state laws. We must demand that the Biden administration restore federal ESA protections for the gray wolf.

Wolves are crucial to the health of the ecosystems they occupy. They sit at the top of the food chain and make sure that populations of their prey (and their prey’s prey) remain at healthy levels. When wolves were driven to near extinction, negative side effects cascaded down the food chain, upsetting delicate ecological balances. In the midst of a biodiversity crisis, wolves are a necessary keystone species whose presence helps the entire ecosystem. 

It doesn’t have to be this way. The Biden administration must take responsibility for protecting wolves by reviewing and reversing the Trump administration’s actions. 1.8 million people spoke out against removing the wolf’s protections — and we need to rally that kind of support once more to reinstate the protections wolves need. Please join us in urging the Biden administration to restore Endangered Species Act protections for wolves.

Two wolves in the winter forest.
Kjekol / Getty Images

Two wolves in the winter forest.

Your Actions Matter

Your messages make a difference, even if we have leaders who don't want to listen. Here's why.

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You level the playing field.

Elected officials pay attention when they see that we are paying attention.

They may be hearing from industry lobbyists left and right, but hearing the stories of their constituents — that’s your power.

Our legislators serve at the pleasure of the people who gave them their job — you. When you contact your elected official, you’re putting a face and a name on an issue. Whether or not you voted for them, they work for you, for the duration of their term.

Make sure your elected officials know whose community and whose values they represent. (Find your local, state, and federal elected officials.)

Your action is with us in court.

If a federal agency finalizes a harmful action, the record of public comments provides a basis for bringing them into court.

Throughout each of the public comment periods we alert you to, Earthjustice’s attorneys are researching and writing in-depth, technical comments to submit — detailing how the regulation could and should be stronger to protect the environment, our communities, and our planet.

We need you to join us — your specific experiences, knowledge, and voice are crucial to add to the Administrative Record through the comment periods.

Lawsuits we file that challenge weak or harmful federal regulations rely on what was submitted during the comment period. The court can only look at documents that are in the Administrative Record — including the public comments — to decide if the agency did something improper.

Your actions aid our litigation. Taking action and submitting comments during a comment period is substantively important.

It’s the law.

Federal agencies must pause what they’re doing and ask for — and consider — your comment.

Many of us may have never heard of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and the Administrative Procedure Act (APA), but laws like these require our government to ask the public to weigh in before agencies adopt or change regulations.

Regulations essentially describe how federal agencies will carry out laws — including decisions that could undermine science, or weaken safeguards on public health.

Public comments are collected at various points throughout the federal government’s rulemaking process, including when a regulation is proposed and finalized. (Learn more about the rulemaking process.) These comments become part of the official, legal public record — the “Administrative Record.”

When the public responds with a huge outpouring of support for environmental protections, these individual messages collectively undercut politicians' attempts to claim otherwise.

What this means is each of us can take a role in shaping the rules our government creates — and ensuring those rules are fair and effective.