Protect grey wolves from Trump's extinction plan
A majestic American endangered species could soon go extinct if the Trump administration gets its way.
Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt, the former oil and gas lobbyist battling multiple ethics scandals, recently announced that the Trump administration would be stripping endangered species protections for grey wolf populations in the lower 48 states, where grey wolves still only number around 5,000.1
Like the bald eagle, the grey wolf recovery is one of the greatest successes under the Endangered Species Act, but if this extinction plan is enacted, it would be a death sentence for the grey wolf. We must build public support now to stop it.
Tell Sec. Bernhardt: Don't strip endangered species protections for the grey wolf.
More than 40 years ago, the grey wolf was hunted and killed to the brink of extinction, with fewer than 1,000 remaining in the continental United States. Thanks to the ESA enacted in 1975, the grey wolf is slowly recovering, yet the species is still functionally extinct in the vast majority of places they used to live. And where grey wolves have lost federal protections, in states like Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming, trophy hunters, trappers and others have killed nearly 3,500 wolves since 2011.2
This extinction proposal is another in a long line of attacks by Trump, Republican lawmakers and special interests on wildlife and the ESA. Last year, disgraced former Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke proposed a set of rules to severely undermine the ESA, threatening countless species, specifically targeting imperiled wildlife including Yellowstone grizzly bears, sage grouse and, now, grey wolves.3
By delisting the grey wolf, Bernhardt is providing a massive giveaway to the oil and gas industry he once lobbied for. Big Oil has spent years lobbying against ESA protections and sees grey wolves – as well as the entire ESA – as a huge barrier in its pursuit to exploit natural resources and increase profits.4 Removing protections for grey wolves and other endangered species would not only lead to their extinction, but would ultimately open up more public lands to drilling by the oil and gas industry.
The Department of the Interior's Fish and Wildlife Service will stop taking public input on delisting the grey wolf this summer, so we must build as much public support as possible now to protect this iconic American animal.
Thank you for speaking out.
- Jim Robbins, "Gray Wolves May Lose Endangered Status and Protections," The New York Times, March 6, 2019.
- James Levinson, "Trump administration proposes removing gray wolves as an endangered species," ABC News, March 8, 2019.
- Benjamin J. Hulac, "Trump seeks weaker protections, as 1 million species face extinction," Roll Call, May 6, 2019.
- Dan Spinelli, "This Is Why Lawmakers Want to Gut the Endangered Species Act," Mother Jones, July 25, 2018.