Take Action Now. The future of America’s wolves is at stake right now. Wolf recovery is just beginning in the Pacific Northwest, yet the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service plans to strip Endangered Species Act (ESA) protections from nearly all wolves in the lower 48 states.
The country’s most reputable wildlife scientists strongly oppose the delisting and have publicly contested this strictly political move.
Contrary to requirements of the Endangered Species Act that listing decisions be governed by the best available science, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service presided over a process in which political and economic considerations were at the forefront.
According to documents obtained by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER) through a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit the federal government’s plan to remove the gray wolf from the protections of the Endangered Species Act was hammered out through political bargaining with affected states.
When wolves lose federal protections, they die. As seen from Idaho, Montana and Wyoming where wolves have been “delisted” and over 1,175 animals have been hunted, poisoned, trapped and ruthlessly persecuted with the same vicious attitude that nearly drove them extinct a century ago.
It also means that wolves — absent today from 95 percent of their historic habitat in the continental U.S.– are virtually guaranteed never to fully recover in places like Northeast California, most of the Rocky Mountains and the Pacific Northwest.
Wolves once roamed throughout California, which has extensive areas of suitable habitat. Our neighbors in Oregon currently have six established packs, approximately 46 wolves and Washington has nine packs with an estimated 51 animals. For the first time in 85 years one lone wolf Journey or OR-7 was recorded venturing into California and traversed over 4,500 miles only to return to Oregon earlier this year.
Early in 2012, EPIC petitioned to list the wolf under the California ESA. As of October 2012, the Gray Wolf was designated as a “candidate species” which garners full protections under California ESA. EPIC is now involved with the statewide stakeholder group working on a California Recovery Plan.
At EPIC, we advocate for wolves and prepare for their return by defending our national forests and wild areas from exploitation and destruction and by advocating for grazing reform to help native species such as Elk who receive competition from cattle grazing on our public lands. We will continue to participate in the statewide recovery plan and will keep our members and supporters aware of those efforts.
It is not too late:
90-day Public Comment is open. Tell the Secretary of the Interior, Sally Jewell, to abandon this misguided plan.
Science is clear that wolves have not yet fully recovered.