Endangered Species Act Protections Stripped From Gray Wolves
WASHINGTON— The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service finalized a rule today that removes protection from all gray wolves in the lower 48 states except for a small population of Mexican gray wolves in Arizona and New Mexico. The Service made its decision despite the fact that wolves are still functionally extinct in the vast majority of their former range across the continental United States.
“This is no ‘Mission Accomplished’ moment for wolf recovery,” said Kristen Boyles, an Earthjustice attorney. “Wolves are only starting to get a toehold in places like Northern California and the Pacific Northwest, and wolves need federal protection to explore habitat in the Southern Rockies and the Northeast. This delisting decision is what happens when bad science drives bad policy — and it’s illegal, so we will see them in court.”
“We should be putting much more effort into coexistence with wolves, working to ensure that populations in the lower 48 are thriving and are able to play out their ecological role balancing our natural systems, instead of stripping critical protections still needed for their full recovery,” said Bonnie Rice, Sierra Club senior campaign representative. “The science is clear that to protect our communities and prevent future pandemics, we need to be doing more to protect nature and wildlife, not less.”Read more.
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