For Immediate Release
Hundreds to Rally in Nation's Capital for Continued Gray Wolf Protections
WASHINGTON - The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will hold a public hearing at 6.p.m. today at the Department of Interior’s headquarters to receive public feedback on its proposal to remove Endangered Species Act protections for gray wolves. Prior to the hearing, beginning at 3:45 p.m., a pro-wolf rally will be held across the street from the Department to show public support for continued protection of gray wolves. The two-hour public hearing will be held in the Department of Interior’s main auditorium.
“The American people overwhelmingly support continued protection for wolves. Many attending today’s hearing travelled great distances to tell the Fish and Wildlife Service to abandon the misguided proposal to prematurely remove protections for wolves,” said Brett Hartl, endangered species policy director with the Center for Biological Diversity.
“The Fish and Wildlife Service is walking away from recovery even though wolves occupy just a fraction of their former range and face continued persecution,” said Hartl, who will testify at the hearing and be available to the media.
The proposal, which will remove federal protections for wolves in 42 states, has been extensively criticized by the scientific community. These criticisms focus on the fact that wolves remain absent or have only just begun to recover across large areas of suitable habitat in the southern Rocky Mountains, Pacific Northwest, California and the Northeast.
“Large swaths of the American landscape would benefit from the presence of these top carnivores,” said Hartl. “Since wolves were reintroduced to Yellowstone National Park research has shown they benefit a host of other animals including foxes, beavers and songbirds, as well as regulating elk and deer populations and thereby improving streamside vegetation.”
Monday’s hearing is one of three public hearings being held to discuss the Service’s proposal — the other two are begin held in Sacramento on October 2nd and Albuquerque on October 4th. No hearings will be held in Colorado or New England, where some of the largest areas of suitable, unoccupied wolf habitat exists.
At the Center for Biological Diversity, we believe that the welfare of human beings is deeply linked to nature - to the existence in our world of a vast diversity of wild animals and plants. Because diversity has intrinsic value, and because its loss impoverishes society, we work to secure a future for all species, great and small, hovering on the brink of extinction. We do so through science, law, and creative media, with a focus on protecting the lands, waters, and climate that species need to survive.