Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

For Immediate Release

Contact

Alex Petersen, Conservation Advocate, (203) 313-7699, apetersen@environmentamerica.org
Josh Chetwynd, Communications Manager, (303) 573-5558, jchetwynd@publicinterestnetwork.org

Press Release

Trump Administration’s Decision to Strip Protections for Gray Wolves Threatens a Species Numbering Only 6,000 in the Continental U.S.

These wolves need space to roam, and now state boundaries will dictate whether a wolf might be shot or protected.
WASHINGTON -

The Trump administration finalized its decision to delist the gray wolf from protections under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). The largest canine native to North America, gray wolves were once common throughout more than two-thirds of the lower 48 states. But they were nearly wiped out in the mid-20th century due to habitat loss and deliberate eradication efforts. 

When the ESA was passed in 1973, gray wolves were among the first species to be listed. The law, which has successfully protected 98 percent of listed species from going extinct, has been critical to reintroduction efforts. In the 1990s, the wolves were brought back to Central Idaho and Yellowstone National Park. Today, roughly 6,000 wolves can be found in parts of Michigan, Wisconsin, Montana, Idaho and Wyoming.

With this delisting, states will be left to determine the future of these animals within their boundaries. Wolves were delisted in 2011 in Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan, where during a three-year window an estimated 1,500 were killed before protections were put back in place.

On March 15, 2019, when the delisting was initially proposed, more than 1.8 million public comments were submitted in opposition to the rule. 

Alex Petersen, Conservation Advocate for Environment America, issued the following statement: 

“The administration’s plan to delist gray wolves just doesn’t make sense. We do not live in a world where these important creature’s numbers have safely rebounded, meaning this decision puts them at serious risk. Wolves were nearly hunted to extinction, and, even today, with years of protections, their population still only sits at around 6,000 in the continental U.S. Let’s learn from history: Removing legal protections is a disaster for gray wolves.

“Instead of this wrong-headed move, we need a bold national plan, if not a continental one, to safeguard these wolves. Gray wolves need plenty of space to roam, and it just doesn’t make sense to create arbitrary boundaries for them. Do we really want to lose the hearty howl of the gray wolf on our watch?

“The planet is a fundamentally better place when we share it with iconic wildlife, including wolves, and we have a responsibility to preserve them. Congress should move to overturn this delisting.” 

###

With Environment America, you protect the places that all of us love and promote core environmental values, such as clean air to breathe, clean water to drink, and clean energy to power our lives. We’re a national network of 29 state environmental groups with members and supporters in every state. Together, we focus on timely, targeted action that wins tangible improvements in the quality of our environment and our lives.

Biden Decries 'Outrageous' Treatment of Haitians at Border—But Keeps Deporting Them

"I'm glad to see President Biden speak out about the mistreatment of Haitian asylum-seekers. But his administration's use of Title 42 to deny them the right to make an asylum claim is a much bigger issue."

Jessica Corbett ·


Global Peace Activists Warn of Dangers of US-Led Anti-China Pacts

"No to military alliances and preparation for catastrophic wars," anti-war campaigners from over a dozen nations write in a letter decrying the new AUKUS agreement. "Yes to peace, disarmament, justice, and the climate."

Brett Wilkins ·


PG&E Charged With 11 Felony Counts—Including Manslaughter—Over 2020 Zogg Fire

"PG&E has a history with a repeated pattern of causing wildfires that is not getting better," said Shasta County District Attorney Stephanie Bridgett. "It's only getting worse."

Brett Wilkins ·


'Hold My Pearls': Debbie Dingell Lets Marjorie Taylor Green Have It Over Abortion Rights

The Michigan Democrat engaged in a verbal altercation with the far-right Republican lawmaker from Georgia on the steps of the U.S. Capitol Building.

Jon Queally ·


Dems Who Opposed Pentagon Cuts Received Nearly 4x More Donations From Weapons Makers

The latest passage of the NDAA "is particularly strong evidence that Pentagon contractors' interests easily take precedence over national security and the public interest for too many members of Congress," said one critic.

Kenny Stancil ·

Support our work.

We are independent, non-profit, advertising-free and 100% reader supported.

Subscribe to our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values.
Direct to your inbox.

Subscribe to our Newsletter.


Common Dreams, Inc. Founded 1997. Registered 501(c3) Non-Profit | Privacy Policy
Common Dreams Logo