Early today, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service announced that the time period allowed for the public to comment on their proposal to strip wolves of Endangered Species Act protections is being extended 45 days.
Additionally, they will be holding public, in-person hearings in 3 locations:
September 30, 2013, from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., in Washington, DC.
October 2, 2013, from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m in Sacramento, California.
October 4, 2013, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
This is welcome news, as the public comment process was twice plagued with technical issues that made submitting comments impossible for days on end. Further, the FWS came under recent scrutiny after the organization P.E.E.R. found that they had excluded 3 of the nation’s top wolf experts from the mandated peer review process. These scientists were banned because they had signed a letter along with 13 other scientists expressing their disagreement with the science of Secretary Jewell’s plan.
We hope that Interior Secretary Jewell and the FWS will take these additional 45 days to listen to the hundreds of thousands of people that have already spoken out against this plan in addition to the scientists referenced above.
We will be using these additional days and weeks to continue to organize against this unscientific plan, both online and in-person at the public hearings. The ESC has connected a one-of-a-kind network of scientists, legal experts, advocates, and others to build support for maintaining protections for wolves.