Ask Washington State decision makers to keep protections for gray wolves

Gray wolves have just begun to return to the state of Washington. Just over 200 animals live in the state according to the most recent count. Now is not the time to lower protections for this species.

The Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife  is seeking public input on a proposal1 to reclassify Washington’s gray wolves from the current Endangered status to Sensitive status–a needless move which could make it easier for the state to kill wolves and lower the consequences for poaching.

Under state law, WDFW must make any listing decisions based on the biological status of the species. The goals in the agency’s own recovery plan require that wolves be recovered in three areas of the state where there is suitable habitat. Yet, wolves have only rebounded in two of these areas.

Gray wolves have not yet recovered in Washington. The WDFW’s goals have not been met and wolves have not yet returned to portions of the state previously identified as suitable habitat. Importantly, the WDFW has not identified a need for or benefit of this lowering of protections and doing so could further weaken wolf recovery in the state.

Protecting wolves in Washington allows them to recover outside of the state. Gray wolves naturally disperse and find new habitat. Keeping existing populations safe is one of the best ways to help bring them back to their former homes.

WDFW is accepting public comments through May 6th Please submit your comment today opposing this unnecessary proposal to lower necessary protections. 

Thank you for your commitment to wildlife and wild places.

Sincerely,

John Rosapepe
Pacific Northwest Representative
Endangered Species Coalition

1. https://wdfw.wa.gov/newsroom/wdfw-opens-public-comment-period-rule-making-proposed-status-change-gray-wolf

 

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