On Monday September 30th, we gathered along with several of our member organizations and hundreds of supporters for a rally outside the Department of Interior prior to heading inside to make our voices heard against Secretary Jewell’s plan to delist wolves.
At the rally outside, Representative Peter DeFazio (D-OR) spoke in support of protecting wolves under the Endangered Species Act until they’d sufficiently recovered. In his impassioned address, Representative DeFazio noted the beneficial impacts wolves have, not just on their environments but on the economies in neighboring cities and towns.
Once inside the hearing, wolf supporters from around the country who had come to Washington made their voices heard. Speaking in the allotted 3 minute allowances, nearly everyone that offered spoken testimony was there to oppose the proposed delisting. People of all ages spoke about why protecting wolves is important to them.
Endangered Species Coalition Executive Director, Leda Huta (pictured above at the rally) spoke at the rally before the hearing, and spoke on the record at the hearing in the Department of Interior. Part of her statement is below:
Americans continue to support wolves in overwhelming numbers. Polls consistently show support for endangered species, including wolves specifically. Eighty-four percent of Americans polled support the Endangered Species Act, and eighty-seven percent of Americans believe that the gray wolf is a vital part of America’s wilderness and natural heritage. Polls also show that ninety-two percent of Americans favor science over politics when making wildlife decisions.
However, today, our members are disheartened to see the complete disregard for the science surrounding the wolf. The grey wolf ranged throughout the United States. Wolf scientists said it best when referring to the delisting rule in their May letter to FWS: “We do not believe that the rule reflects the conclusions of our work or the best available science concerning the recovery of wolves, or is in accordance with the fundamental purpose of the Endangered Species Act.” We are also deeply concerned about the effort made by FWS to exclude these scientists.
The Endangered Species Coalition has gathered more than 50,000 comments and petition signatures calling for the continued protections of wolves in the lower 48. Together, our member groups have already gathered more than 500,000 comments and petition signatures. The support for wolves comes from individuals from across the country.
These Americans rely on the FWS to set the record straight when wildlife opponents make outrageous claims about wolves. These Americans expect the FWS to uphold the best science. And these Americans depend on the FWS to be the advocate and the voice of wildlife. Please do not disappoint them by sending science and wolves back into the shadows.
The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service had scheduled additional hearings in Albuquerque, NM and Sacramento, CA but those are on hold pending resolution of the government shutdown. Check back here for details about rescheduld hearings and take action at standforwolves.org.