Proposed legislation discards science and public review processWashington, D.C. (05/13/2011) -
Legislation (H.R. 1819) was introduced on May 10 by Rep. Candice Miller (R-MI) that would amend the Endangered Species Act to eliminate protections for gray wolves in portions of the Northern Rockies that were not included as part of the final delisting rule published last week and eliminate the public review process for the proposed delisting of wolves in the western Great Lakes. In addition, the proposed legislation would remove federal protections for wolves in New Mexico and Arizona once the wolf population hits an arbitrary number without addressing persistent threats to their survival.
The following is a statement from Rodger Schlickeisen, president of Defenders of Wildlife:
“The proposed legislation introduced by Rep. Miller and backed by extremist groups like Sportsmen for Fish and Wildlife and Big Game Forever shows what a dangerous path we are on. Congress made itself vulnerable to this type of outrageous action by stripping protections for Northern Rockies gray wolves as part of last month’s budget deal. Now it’s up to those who value our commitment to good stewardship of our nation’s imperiled wildlife to put a stop to this nonsense.
“Once again, some members of Congress are willing to put politics before science. Congress should not be deciding which species deserve protections and which ones do not. There are currently processes in place to determine whether to delist the western Great Lakes wolves, and a team of scientists are determining what constitutes recovery for the Mexican wolf. These decisions should be based on the best available science and determined by professional wildlife managers.
“This move comes less than a week after the Interior Department announced its plan to remove federal protections for wolves in the Northern Rockies and the western Great Lakes. Congress should uphold America’s commitment to protecting imperiled wildlife rather than trying to appease radical special interest groups that are working against the public interest.”
Contact(s):John Motsinger, 202-772-0288