The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) is currently accepting comments regarding their proposal to delist the gray wolf (Canis lupis) from the threatened and endangered species list in the U.S. They have provided an extension to the comment period, until Dec. 17th. This comes at a time when wolf recovery is still underway in many areas (including the Eastern United States).
Take Action: Submit your concerns to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
With the comment period extended, and no public hearings in the Eastern US scheduled to determine the future of our nation’s wolves, it is important for those worried about the delisting of the gray wolf to comment now. Both the number and quality of comments on wolf delisting matter. Click here to submit your comments before December 17, 2013.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is proposing to remove Endangered Species Act protection for gray wolves across the United States except the subspecies, the Mexican wolf (Canis lupus baileyi) .
This decision, now open for comment, could forever change the future of gray wolf conservation and ecology in the United States that help define our unique, New York forever wild wilderness.
The wolf species, Canis lupus, hasn’t recovered in most of the U.S.
Wolves were systematically hunted, poisoned, trapped, and otherwise ‘extirpated’ from most of the lower 48 states by the 20th Century. Except for a few north Central states like Minnesota and Michigan, wolves were killed off from their former wide range. It may be unrealistic that they will return to their original North American range, but the USFWS proposal on delisting would bring to an end any legal protections under the existing Endangered Species Act. Wolves now face anti-wolf conservation and ecology politics, aggressive and lethal control, unsustainable hunting, intolerance and other threats across the entire country and haven’t returned to our remaining suitable wilderness habitat in their historic range of the North East.
Our Atlantic Chapter Wilderness and Wildlife Committee wants this radical proposal of the USFWS to be withdrawn and revised to include a conservation plan under the Endangered Species Act that includes protections for the Eastern Wolf. We don’t want eastern wolves to forever be prevented from recovering in suitable eastern habitats, where, with planning, study and monitoring they could play important roles in the north-eastern forest ecology including our ‘forever wild’ Adirondack Wilderness. By delisting wolves now, USFWS would be turning their backs on what could be one of the best wildlife ecology conservation stories in U.S. history.
In the North East, the USFWS is adopting a controversial and new idea: Defining the Eastern Wolf out of existence by creating a new, unprotected species. The existing Eastern Wolf, Canis lupus lycaon species will no longer be regarded as extirpated from New York State by the federal government. The USFW proposal proposes that New York State has been occupied by an altogether different species and unprotected, new species that will be named Canis lycaon. This radical USFWS proposal runs counter to our history, biology and law.
We hold that to designate a new species, Canis lycaon, while lacking both species review and federal protection, is unwarranted, unscientific and irresponsible. It violates the existing protections of the Endangered Species Act and, therefore, is illegal. From an ecological perspective, it will forever change the nature of New York’s forever wild wilderness.
We encourage you to study the issue and submit comments on wolf recovery before the December 17, 2013 deadline.
Please send your wilderness and wildlife conservation ideas and/or a copy of your USFWS submitted comments on delisting the wolf for our information to: firstname.lastname@example.org
If you would like to join our effort, we welcome your interest in New York’s Wilderness and Wildlife. Please contact us if you are interested in joining our efforts!