Trump’s war on wolves was just rubber-stamped — by those in charge of protecting wildlife. President Biden ordered the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to review the decision to strip wolves of protection. But within days the agency had doubled down on its plan to put wolves in the crosshairs.
One of Biden’s first executive orders was for all agencies to review Trump’s policies, in part to ensure the best science was used in decision-making. Scientists agree that wolves are not yet fully recovered — and still need the lifesaving power of the Endangered Species Act. But after just five days, the Service claimed Trump’s decision to strip away wolves’ protection was just fine. It didn’t even wait for a new Interior secretary to be confirmed to endanger these creatures.
Anti-wildlife sentiment in the agency has been abundantly clear this year. In the waning days of the Trump administration, the Service entered into a partnership with the National Rifle Association to develop “science-based strategies” relating to big game management. The NRA is not an entity the Fish and Wildlife Service should be partnering with to manage our country’s wildlife.
Knee-jerk hostility toward wolves is nothing new. It’s what we see in states like Wyoming and Idaho, where wolf hunting and trapping is rampant, and what we just saw in Wisconsin, where trophy hunters recently sued the state to force a wolf hunt this winter and 216 wolves, 20% of the state’s wolf population, were killed in just days.
Again and again, the Service has betrayed wolves by taking away their protection and letting them be gunned down. And each time it’s been forced to backtrack because the science is clear: Gray wolves across the lower 48 need protection.
Please tell the Fish and Wildlife Service to complete an honest, thorough review — not prejudiced and predetermined in outcome — of the science behind wolf recovery and the protections these creatures need to survive.
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