Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Wolves Under Attack in Lower 48

Urge U.S. Fish and Wildlife to Keep Existing Protections for Gray Wolves

Supported by: Defenders of Wildlife, Natural Resources Defense Council, Sierra Club, National Parks Conservation Association, Humane Society of the United States, Center for Biological Diversity, Animal Welfare Institute, Endangered Species Coalition, Cascadia Wildlands, Predator Defense, Western Environmental Law Center, Wolf Conservation Center, and others.

Dear Colleague,
Please join us in signing the attached letter to Director Ashe of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service requesting that the agency retain Endangered Species Act protections for gray wolves in areas where they have only just barely begun to recover, including the Pacific Northwest, California, southern Rocky Mountains and Northeast. In February, 2012, the Fish and Wildlife Service released a five year review for the wolf that recommended removing protections for gray wolves across most of the lower 48 states. The agency has since indicated that it will move forward with this action as soon as this March.
Retaining protections for wolves in the lower 48 will not impact the delisting decisions in the northern Rocky Mountains or western Great Lakes, where wolf recovery has seen considerable improvement and wolves have been removed from the endangered
list. Instead, it will retain protections for a small number of wolves on the West Coast and wolves that have slowly been moving back into historically occupied areas like the southern Rocky Mountains and Northeast.
Studies completed after the reintroduction of wolves to Yellowstone National Park have found that wolves are highly beneficial to ecosystems, benefitting a host of species from fish to songbirds to pronghorn antelope. Wolves have also been a boon to the local economy as a major tourist draw.
Much can still be done to recover these incredible animals in portions of their former range that remain suitable. Action by the Fish and Wildlife Service to remove protections for lower 48 wolves is premature and we urge you to join us in sending the attached letter. If you would like to sign the letter or have any questions please contact Megan DeBates in Rep. Peter DeFazio’s office at megan.debates@mail.house.gov (5- 6416).
Peter DeFazio Edward Markey Member of Congress Member of Congress

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