Sunday, February 9, 2014

Scientists Reject Plan to Delist Wolves


*Delisting of the gray wolf is still being considered; if you want to make your voice heard in an unofficial way, hand-write a letter and mail it to: 
                                               Department of the Interior
1849 C Street, N.W.
Washington DC 20240

In June, the Obama administration officially proposed removing gray wolves from the federal Endangered Species List EVERYWHERE IN THE UNITED STATES. That means that they wouldn't be federally protected.

The government claimed that this proposal was in line with "the best available science" on the issue. A panel of highly qualified scientists was commissioned to review the proposal. Well, they have, and they have REJECTED the proposal, saying it goes AGAINST the best available science. Please read about their conclusions here:
As a result of this, the public comment period on the delisting is REOPENING for 45 days, starting February 10th and ending March 27th. **NOW CLOSED**
Here's where to submit your comment:!submitComment;D=FWS-HQ-ES-2013-0073-43030
Also, please copy your letter and email it to: 
Every comment counts! Here's what you might want your letter to include. Feel free to use the exact words, but read through first (I encourage you to try to use your own reasons in addition)! Remember to be RESPECTFUL, use proper grammar and spelling, and try not to base your whole argument on emotion - use scientific references! Talk about personal experiences with wolves and why they are important to YOU and young people across the nation. Remember that there is a 5000 CHARACTER LIMIT! (If you have any questions or want to run your letter by me, comment on this post or email at!) Thank you! 
Please comment "done" on this post when you've sent the letter so we can get an idea of how many people are writing! If you're willing, paste your whole letter - we'd love to hear what you're saying!

Here's what you could include in your comments:

 I oppose the proposal to remove gray wolves from the federal Endangered Species List.
     Wolves are still extinct in most of the states across the nation, yet if this proposal were to go through, wolves would be considered NOT endangered in those states. In the states of Washington and Oregon, only about 50-100 wolves exist, yet these would also be considered a not-endangered - "recovered" - population. Under the Endangered Species Act, species cannot be taken off the endangered species list unless they are recovered - which gray wolves are not! If wolves are removed from the endangered species list, then each state will manage their own wolves. States have a proven history of killing as many wolves as possible, often using inhumane and unscientific methods.There are still many habitats in the U.S. where wolves have the potential to thrive, but have yet to move into those areas; removing protection in places where wolves have yet to recover - specifically the Pacific Northwest, California, the Northeast, and the southern Rocky Mountains - is not scientifically justified. Wolves have sustainable populations in Wyoming, Idaho, Montana, Wisconsin, Michigan, and Minnesota; federal protection has already been removed in those areas. The only thing that will be accomplished under this proposal is removing federal protection in states that don't yet have a recovered wolf population. The decision to remove a species from the Endangered Species List is supposed to be based on the best available science (as you claim this proposal is), but the panel of highly qualified scientists you commissioned  to review your proposal have rejected it as NOT reflecting the best available science on this issue. They state that, despite what you say in your proposal, the wolves in the Pacific Northwest may be in fact a Distinct Population Segment (DPS) in need of continued federal protection. Another one of the main reasons behind your proposal is your assertion that gray wolves, Canis Lupus, never occupied the eastern United States; instead, that a new and entirely seperate species, Canis Lycaon, occupied that region. The panel of geneticists and taxonomists reject that assertion as inconclusive and NOT a reason to strip protection for gray wolves across the whole United States. 
 The scientists whose work is referenced in your proposal also voiced their strong disagreements (and I quote): "“Based on a careful review of the rule, 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 to conserve endangered species and the ecosystems upon which they depend.” Please base your decision on the actual best available science, not the best available politics.
     Many young people care deeply about this issue. I am a member of a group called Kids4Wolves. We work to educate ourselves, our peers, and adults about the truth of wolves - both the good and the not so good (but solvable). We also work to get other young people involved in the process, to keep the policy makers honest when they make these decisions. After all, my generation will have to be the ones to live with the benefits or consequences of whatever your generation decides today. Young people in the United States are perhaps the group to be most effected by your decision.  I implore you to reconsider your proposal to remove federal protection for gray wolves across the whole United States.
Thank you.

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