Regional News

Rep. Newhouse Leads 36 Members to Urge National Delisting of Gray Wolf Under Endangered Species Act

Apr 29, 2015

Today, Rep. Dan Newhouse (R-WA) led 36 Members in a letter to U.S. Department of the Interior Secretary Sally Jewell and Director of U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Dan Ashe urging the Administration to move forward with the implementation of its proposed rule, published on June 13, 2013, to delist the gray wolf (Canis lupus) nationally from the “List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife” under the Endangered Species Act (ESA).

“We write to you in strong support of the proposed rule by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) and the Department of Interior (DOI) to delist the gray wolf (Canis lupus) nationally, though we are very concerned with the lack of progress USFWS and DOI have made on this important issue,” the Members wrote.  “We urge you to move forward with the implementation of the gray wolf delisting effort proposed by USFWS and ask that you deny any request seeking to rescind or modify the proposed rule.”

The Members continued in the letter:

“Federal environmental and species management policies must be based on the best available science. In addition to scientific data showing significant increases to the number of wolves nationally, the proposed rule also recognizes a number of significant changes in scientists' understanding of the taxonomy and historic habitat in the 37 years since the gray wolf was first listed as endangered.

“The failure by USFWS to fully delist the gray wolf has also led to decreased ‘social tolerance’ and has hurt the ability of many states to maintain this critically-important facet of successful wolf recovery.  This complex issue includes various considerations – from social to economic and political – and a state’s ability to manage their gray wolf population relies on the input and buy-in of a variety of stakeholders, who can be disenfranchised by the failure to remove problem wolves (lethally or through other means).”

Last week, Rep. Newhouse introduced legislation co-sponsored by Rep. Greg Walden (R-OR) and Rep. Chris Stewart (R-UT) that would specifically delist the gray wolf in Washington, Oregon, and Utah and return management authority for the species back to the individual states. The Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife Service sent a letter supporting the legislation’s goal to delist the gray wolf in the state.

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