On May 21, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) announced a delay in its draft plan for delisting wolves across most of the United States. However, this scientifically indefensible plan could still move forward at any time.
The draft plan to delist wolves has been delayed, not stopped. Please help keep the pressure on to keep protections for gray wolves nation-wide.
While the draft proposal will exempt the small population of ~76 Mexican gray wolves in the Blue Range and will take the long needed step of relisting Mexican wolves as an endangered subspecies, this will still negatively impact recovery options for lobos. Additional protected populations in the Grand Canyon and elsewhere, places where gray wolves would no longer receive protections under the draft plan, are essential to the recovery of these critically endangered animals who remain at the brink of extinction in the wild.
Still-recovering wolf populations across the U.S. will be left to be managed by states with often competing interests if Endangered Species Act protections are removed.
Thousands have called and written letters in support of keeping Endangered Species protections for wolves, including letters from prominent biologists, the American Society of Mammalogists, and Arizona Representative Raul Grijalva.
You can find contact info for your members of Congress https://www.govtrack.us/congress/members.
Please also call Secretary Jewell at the Interior Department: (202) 208-3100 or send her an email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or on the Department of Interior’s website.
Letter Writing Tips & Talking Points
Below are a few suggestions for ensuring your message gets through clearly-your letter will be most effective if you focus on a few key points, so don’t try to use all of these.
Talk about your personal connection to wolves and why the issue is important to you. If you’re a grandmother wanting your grandchildren to have the opportunity to hear wolves in the wild, or a hunter who recognizes that wolves make game herds healthier, or a businessperson who knows that wolves have brought millions in ecotourism dollars to Yellowstone, say so.
Point out that the scientists whose research is referenced in the draft rule to remove the gray wolves’ protections have stated in a recent letter that the science does not support the delisting.
Express your support for relisting Mexican wolves as an endangered subspecies and point out that delisting gray wolves throughout the U.S. is counter to protecting Mexican wolves. Fewer than 80 Mexican gray wolves exist in the wild. New populations of these wolves are desperately needed for them to thrive. But the draft plan would leave gray wolves unprotected in places where this endangered subspecies could and should live. This will make protection of Mexican gray wolves much more difficult should they expand into Utah or Colorado and make it unlikely that any wolves will be able to naturally reestablish a presence in the Southern Rockies, a region with excellent suitable habitat where wolves were once found.
Stress that the majority of Arizona and New Mexico residents support wolves and understand their importance. Polling done by Research and Polling, Inc. found 77 percent of Arizona respondents and 69% of NM respondents support the reintroduction of Mexican gray wolves. The poll also showed strong majority support for giving wolves greater protection under the Endangered Species Act.
Describe the ecological benefits of wolves to entire ecosystems and all wildlife. Wildlife biologists believe that Mexican wolves will improve the overall health of the Southwest and its rivers and streams — just as the return of gray wolves to Yellowstone has helped restore balance to its lands and waters. Science has repeatedly demonstrated that wolves are keystone carnivores who help to keep wildlife like elk and deer healthy and bring balance to the lands they inhabit.
Thank you for taking action today for wolves!
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Photos courtesy of Wolf Haven International