Last year the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) stirred up a serious controversy when it formally proposed removing federal protections for gray wolves throughout the U.S., but lawmakers and wolf advocates are continuing to speak up for wolves as time runs out.

Wolf advocates continue to raise concerns about what will happen if they lose federal protection in the lower 48. Officials said states could handle wolf management and would do so responsibly, but so far they’ve shown that if management is left to them, wolves will be right back where they started on the brink of extinction. Thousands of wolves have already been brutally slaughtered in the Northern Rockies and Great Lakes region after they lost federal protection and management was turned over to the states.

If they’re delisted now they will be left even more vulnerable than they already are and may never establish new territories in the Pacific Northwest, California, the southern Rocky Mountains and the Northeast, which is critical to their successful recovery. Yet, instead of doing its job, which is to ensure wolves are not subjected to out of control hunting policies, politics and intolerance or the persecution of very vocal ag groups and hunters, the FWS wants to turn its back on wolves as states continue to call for more to die.

Just last week Idaho passed a bill that would create a board to administer a fund to support killing an estimated 500 wolves who are already being gunned down and trapped. State leaders reportedly intend to reduce the state’s wolf population to 150 and 15 breeding pairs, which is just above the threshold that would get them relisted. The bill is expected to be signed by Governor Butch Otter, who has already made it publicly clear that he’s out for wolf blood.

That move came after the state drew the ire of conservationists for hosting a predator killing contest that targeted wolves and coyotes and for sending a hired assassin into the woods to shamelessly kill entire packs. What’s happened in states that are hostile to predators, and is continuing to happen, is further proof that they need continued protection.

Fortunately, wolves are not without heroes. Last week Peter DeFazio, ranking member of the House Natural Resources Committee, sent a letter that was co-signed by 73 members of Congress to Interior Secretary Sally Jewell urging her to direct the FWS to withdraw its flawed proposal.

The Endangered Species Act (ESA) requires decisions to list or delist a species to be made solely on the best available science, which the FWS has clearly not done. Even with the agency’s tampering with the process, last month a panel of independent scientists unanimously concluded that the proposal does not currently represent the ‘best available science.’

“Because it is not based on the best available science, the proposed role undermines decades of conservation work done to protect the gray wolf, and sets a bad precedent for future ESA delistings,” wrote DeFazio.

The panel rejected the government’s claim that there are two separate species of wolves and that the eastern wolf, not the gray wolf, is native to the Northeast. If the claim had held up, it would make it unnecessary to restore gray wolves in those areas, but the panel concluded that the idea was based on a study that was written by scientists on the government’s payroll and wasn’t widely accepted.

Because the process has been called out as flawed, wolf advocates believe the only conscionable thing for the FWS to do is to withdraw its proposal, but time to speak up on behalf of these iconic predators and get an official comment in to the FWS is running out.


 Please take a moment to submit one in support of continued federal protection for gray wolves throughout the U.S. at

Responses to "If You Don’t Speak Up for Wolves Now, Decades of Conservation Work Will Be Destroyed"

  1. Unknown says:

    Love wolves they should not be killed by any means they are beautiful family orientated creatures who love and protect their own they do not kill for the because they want to they only kill to feed themselves or to protect themselves and theirs, they are the original canine where all our domestic dogs come from they are magestic and should be preserved saved and kept safe Humans are the the killing machines of the earth not the animals all animal are precious.

  2. Anonymous says:

    STOP killing and endangering wolves!! They're innocent souls that deserve to live!

  3. Anonymous says:

    Will mankind never learn from all the animals gone extinct in just the last 50 yrs?We are the only animal species that could disappear from earth,and she would celebrate by flourishing!

  4. Anonymous says:

    The wolves were here before we were--with the Natives Americans who consider them their brothers and sisters! They hold them in high regard and they are one of their spirit guides - you are taking away our heritage!! The are so good for our eco systems and the balance of nature! They are not the top predators for livestock - proven fact! Read the science! They now have the knowledge to look at livestock and elk/deer kills and determine which predator killed it - I have two separate lists showing the differences in the way predators kill! That seems to be the reasoning behind this - the ranchers/farmers whining because the wolves are killing their livestock! Keep your livestock protected! Keep them off government lands to graze - graze them on your own land!! Then it's they attack family pets and people - a wolf will attack a dog, but that will normally happen when the so called hunters have killed a pack except for one wolf - who then becomes a "lone wolf". So this lone wolf cannot take down a deer or elk alone so may target a dog or cat for food! Is that wrong? Yes - but who caused it in the first place - the hunter or people who killed the pack! so that is man's fault also. Use scientific findings to protect them not the opinions of the hunters, the ranchers and farmers, who hate them just to hate them!

  5. Unknown says:

    Why don't you take that money that you received to destroy the wolf population and use it to HELP NATURE... Oregon is able to LIVE with NATURE, why can't the rest of you?

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