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Lobos Of The Southwest
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Press Release: DeFazio-Markey Urge Continued Protections for Gray Wolf

Bipartisan group of 52 members press U.S. Fish and Wildlife to protect gray wolf

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Contact: DeFazio: Jen Gilbreath—(202) 225-6416


WASHINGTON, DC,   March 5, 2013 — Today, Representatives Peter DeFazio (D-OR) and Ranking Member of the House Natural Resources Committee Ed Markey (D-MA) sent a bipartisan letter to U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) urging them to continue protections for the gray wolf under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). USFWS is currently conducting a status review that may remove essential ESA protections for gray wolves in areas where the population has only begun to recover, including the Pacific Northwest, California, southern Rocky Mountains and Northeast.

The letter was co-signed by 52 Democrats and Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives.

“Gray wolves have only just begun to return to portions of the Pacific Northwest, California, southern Rocky Mountains and Northeast and continue to need protection in these areas if they are to truly recover.  It is our hope that Fish and Wildlife will retain Endangered Species Act protections for wolves in these areas. A blanket national delisting of the gray wolf would be premature and would not be grounded in peer-reviewed science,” the letter states.

The full letter to USFWS can be found HERE.

BACKGROUND

In February, 2012, the Fish and Wildlife Service released a five year review for the wolf that recommended removing protections for gray wolves across most of the lower 48 states.  The agency has since indicated that it will move forward with this action as soon as this month.

Retaining protections for wolves in the lower 48 will not impact the delisting decisions in the northern Rocky Mountains or western Great Lakes, where wolf recovery has seen considerable improvement and wolves have been removed from the endangered list.  Instead, it will retain protections for a small number of wolves on the West Coast and wolves that have slowly been moving back into historically occupied areas like the southern Rocky Mountains and Northeast.

Studies completed after the reintroduction of wolves to Yellowstone National Park have found that wolves are highly beneficial to ecosystems, benefitting a host of species from fish to songbirds to pronghorn antelope.  Wolves have also been a boon to the local economy as a major tourist draw.

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Please contact your representatives in Congress.

If they signed this letter, thank them for doing so and ask them to continue to show strong support for wolf recovery. If they did not sign the letter, tell them politely that you agree with the letter’s signers that a blanket national delisting of the gray wolf is premature and unscientific. Urge them to join their colleagues in influencing the US Fish and Wildlife Service to retain Endangered Species Act protections for wolves in the lower 48 states.

Contacts for members of congress can be found here.

Signers:

CA = 13 (Waxman, Miller, Eshoo, Sanchez, Lee, Farr, Sherman, Capps, Napolitano, Honda, Schiff, McNerney, Chu)
OR = 2 (Defazio and Blumenauer)
PN = 1 (Fitzpatrick)
MA = 5 (Markey, Tierney, McGovern, Tsongas, Keating)
MI = 3 (Levin, Conyers Jr., Peters)
CN = 2 (DeLauro, Himes)
MD = 3 (Van Hollen, Cummings, Sarbanes)
AZ = 3 (Grijalva, Sinema, Barber)
VA = 1 (Moran)
TX = 1 (Doggett)
CO = 2 (DeGette, Polis)
WA = 1 (McDermott)
MO = 1 (Clay)
RI = 2 (Langevin, Cicilline)
MN = 2 (McCollum, Ellison)
IL = 2 (Schakowsky, Schneider)
VT = 1 (Welch)
NY = 3 (Tonko, Israel, Meng)
FL = 1 (Deutch)
NH = 1 (Shea-Porter)
NJ = 1 (Payne Jr.)
Guam = 1 (Bordallo)

Photo credit: Scott Denny



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