US Fish & Wildlife Services Reopens Comment Period on Wolf Proposal

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Following receipt of an independent scientific peer review (see link below), the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is reopening the comment period on its proposal to list the Mexican wolf as an endangered subspecies and remove the gray wolf from the Endangered Species List. The Service is making that report available for public review, and beginning Monday, February 10, interested stakeholders will have an additional 45 days to provide information that may be helpful to the Service in making a final determination on the proposal.

The independent scientific peer review was hosted and managed by the National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis (NCEAS), a highly respected interdisciplinary research center at the University of California – Santa Barbara. At the Service’s request, NCEAS sponsored and conducted a peer review of the science underlying the Service’s proposal.

IF YOU PREVIOUSLY SUBMITTED COMMENTS, YOU MUST SUBMIT COMMENTS AGAIN!

The peer review report is available online, along with instructions on how to provide comment and comprehensive links relating to the proposal, at www.fws.gov/home/wolfrecovery.

The Service intends that any final action resulting from this proposed rule will be based on the best available information. Comments and materials we receive, as well as some of the supporting documentation used in preparing this proposed rule, are available for public inspection at www.regulations.gov under the docket number FWS–HQ–ES–2013–0073.

The Service will post all comments on www.regulations.gov. This generally means the agency will post any personal information provided through the process. The Service is not able to accept email or faxes. Comments must be received by midnight on March 27.

The Federal Register publication of this notice will be available online Feb. 10 at www.fws.gov/policy/frsystem/default.cfm by clicking on the 2014 Proposed Rules under Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants.

The Service expects to make final determination on the proposal by the end of 2014.

The National Wolfwatcher Coalition Does Not Support Delisting

Talking Points

  • Please withdraw your proposal to strip Endangered Species Act (ESA) protection for gray wolves.

  • Delisting will open the door to rampant wolf killing, through aggressive hunting/trapping regulations and mark an end of further recovery for wolves. In Wyoming, Idaho and Montana, the delisting of those states’ wolf populations has led to the killing of more than 1,100 wolves.

  • Recovery is not done — removal of Endangered Species Act protections in the Northern Rockies and Great Lakes regions has exposed wolves to inconsistent and unwieldy state management. State programs seek to reduce wolf populations to levels just above the numerical quota to prevent federal relisting. Research shows these low population levels are not sustainable and will not provide the ecological benefits of a thriving population.

  • Wolves are loved by many for their close family ties, beauty and spirit. These intrinsic values must be seriously considered.

  • Scientists have identified suitable habitat for wolves in the southern Rocky Mountains, Pacific Northwest, Northeast and elsewhere. The people and ecosystems of these regions would benefit from wolves, who will not survive here if the pending decision is finalized. I strongly oppose the proposal to remove protections for wolves in these and other areas.

  • Since this proposal was announced, evidence has shown that the majority of Americans are opposed to this misguided plan. In fact, 16 of the nation’s top wildlife scientists sent you a letter expressing deep concern that their own field research was being distorted in order to justify this delisting proposal.

  • Delisting could also derail efforts to restore wolves to more of their historic range that has huge areas of suitable wolf habitat, including Colorado, the Pacific Northwest, Utah and California.

  • The threats that caused wolves to become endangered still exist today, policies governing wolf management in states where delisting has occurred are based on misinformation, fear and hatred not peer reviewed scientific data.

  • The ESA sets higher recovery standards than the ones that this delisting proposal is being based upon. I demand that you finish the job of wolf recovery — not just for the sake of wolves, but for all species protected under the ESA.

Here is the Independent scientific peer review report available for public review http://www.fws.gov/home/wolfrecovery/pdf/Final_Review_of_Proposed_rule_regarding_wolves2014.pdf

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