For Immediate Release,
May 14, 2019
WASHINGTON— A coalition of organizations submitted nearly 900,000 comments today opposing the Trump administration’s proposal to end Endangered Species Act protections for gray wolves in nearly all the lower 48 states. This is the largest number of comments ever received by the federal government on an Endangered Species Act issue in the law’s 45-year history.
Today’s letters of opposition include 35,000 hand-written comments, detailed letters from wolf scientists and transcripts of community hearings where individuals testified against the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s plan to remove wolf protections.
“This overwhelming opposition shows that the Trump administration’s anti-wildlife agenda is out of touch with the values of most Americans,” said Collette Adkins, carnivore conservation director at the Center for Biological Diversity. “The science and law are clear that wolves still need protections, and the American people are with us in this fight. We don’t want imperiled wolves to be shot and trapped.”
Today, on the last day of the public comment period, the Trump administration formally announced a 60-day extension for comments. The Service also explained that it would hold one or more public hearings but has not yet announced any details.
“With nearly a million comments submitted and more to come, the Service can’t deny the broad public support for continuing wolf protections,” said Adkins. “We’ll show up in force at any public hearings and demand that the Trump administration scrap its disastrous wolf-delisting proposal.”
In March the Service announced plans to strip gray wolves of Endangered Species Act protection. The proposal would remove federal protections for all gray wolves in the contiguous United States, except Mexican gray wolves. If finalized, the plan will allow trophy hunting and trapping of wolves in some areas and essentially end wolf recovery in the lower 48 states.