What Others Are Saying

Wolf recovery is one of the greatest endangered species success stories in U.S. history, and we aren’t the only ones who want to keep wolves protected to see it followed through. See what we and others have to say about the delisting proposal. 

"By walking off the job before the task is done, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is redefining what it means to recover imperiled species…and not in a good way. The agency has adopted a shrunken vision of what wolf conservation is all about, failing to stick with the program until full recovery is achieved. We didn’t take this easy way out in recovering the bald eagle or the American alligator, and we shouldn’t do it now for wolves."
- Jamie Rappaport Clark, President and CEO of Defenders of Wildlife
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“The extirpation of wolves and large carnivores from large portions of the landscape is a global phenomenon with broad ecological consequences…Given the importance of wolves and the fact that they have only just begun to recover in some regions and not at all in others, we hope you will reconsider the Service’s proposal to remove protections across most of the United States.”
This letter to Dan Ashe was signed by 16 leading scientists, including several responsible for the very research the USFWS is using to justify its delisting proposal.

"This is politics versus professional wildlife management," Clark said. "The service is saying, 'We're done. Game over. Whatever happens to wolves in the U.S. is a state thing.' They are declaring victory long before science would tell them to do so."
L.A. Times, “U.S. Plans To Drop Gray Wolves From Endangered List”

“In the first year or so after the removal of Endangered Species Act protections, this Distinct Population Segment (DPS) has been subjected to a level of human-caused mortality that is unprecedented in the history of the ESA. All told, “34% of the absolute minimum Northern Rocky Mountain DPS estimated wolf population was removed due to human-causes [sic]” in 2012 (USFWS 2013). If this level of mortality continues or even increases, particularly as states consider increasing quotas and season lengths, recent simulation modeling casts serious doubt on the long-term viability of the population (Creel and Rotella 2011).”
American Society of Mammalogists Letter to Director Ashe & Secretary Jewell

“The rebound of gray wolves in the western Great Lakes and northern Rocky Mountains has been a boon for local economies, wildlife enthusiasts, and the ecosystems of these areas that have benefitted from the return of this keystone predator…While there is much to be proud of, there remains considerable progress to be made towards wolf recovery in the lower 48 states. In particular, we are concerned that the same prejudice towards wolves that led to their extirpation across nearly the entire coterminous United States is still present today and, not only is threatening to undo the gains achieved in the northern Rocky Mountains and western Great Lakes, but will prevent their recovery in additional areas. We believe that federal protection continues to be necessary to ensure that wolf recovery is allowed to proceed in additional parts of the country.”
Congressional Letter to Director Dan Ashe, signed by 52 members of Congress 

“The historical range of the wolf is nearly the whole contiguous United States. There is suitable habitat all across the West still unoccupied by wolves, including the Pacific Northwest, Northern California and Colorado. A recovering wolf population isn’t static. It spreads as wolves rebound. The northern Rockies and the upper Midwest are proof of that. Can wolves recover suitable parts of their historical range without federal protection? The answer is almost certainly no.”
New York Times Editorial

 “By law, Endangered Species Act decisions are supposed to be governed by the best available science, not the best available deal,” said PEER Executive Director Jeff Ruch, pointing to a letter from the nation’s leading wolf researchers challenging the scientific basis for the de-listing plan. “The politics surrounding this predator’s legal status have been as fearsome as the reputation of the gray wolf itself."
ENS Newswire, “Public Employees Sue Over Political Deals Behind Wolf Delisting”

“The gray wolf delisting proposal represents a major retreat from the optimism and values which have been the hallmark of endangered species recovery in this country for the past 40 years. Instead, the proposal reflects a short-sighted, shrunken and much weaker vision of what our conservation goals should be. The Service has clearly decided to prematurely get out of the wolf conservation business rather than working to achieve full recovery of the species.”
Jamie Rappaport Clark, "Feds Ready To Throw In The Towel On Gray Wolf Recovery"

“I strongly urge you and your Department…to cancel the scientifically flawed delisting proposal developed by your predecessor and preserve opportunities for wolves to recover in additional parts of the United States.”
Letter from Congressman Grijalva to Secretary Jewell

“Maintaining federal protections for wolves is essential for continued species recovery, and the unwarranted assault on wolves that commenced in Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho after wolves in those states lost federal protections highlights the increasingly hostile anti‐wolf policies of states now charged with ensuring the survival of gray wolf populations.”
Letter from six major environmental nonprofits to Secretary Jewell

Listen: Interview with Don Barry, Executive Vice President of Defenders of Wildlife 


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