WASHINGTON— A new national poll released today by the Center for Biological Diversity shows the majority of Americans oppose the Trump administration’s proposal to end Endangered Species Act protections for gray wolves in nearly all the lower 48 states.
“With such widespread public support for wolves, the Trump administration should scrap its wrong-headed plan to remove these critical protections,” said Stephanie Kurose, an endangered species policy specialist at the Center. “Wolves are still too vulnerable to lose federal safeguards. This poll shows that Americans don’t want to see these imperiled animals trapped or gunned down for sport.”
The poll, done by Public Policy Polling, surveyed 555 registered voters in early May.
The majority of responders, 63 percent, oppose Trump’s plan to allow more wolves to be trapped and poisoned. And 61 percent think wolves are an important part of America’s natural heritage. Just 29 percent support Trump’s proposal to remove federal wolf protections.
“Wolves are essential to maintaining healthy natural systems, and it’s clear the majority of Americans want these amazing animals to recover fully,” said Kurose. “After being relentlessly persecuted, they should be allowed to return to the places they once called home.”
In March, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife 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 hamper wolf recovery in the lower 48 states.
Last week, a coalition of organizations submitted nearly 1 million comments opposing the proposal to remove wolf protections. 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. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service extended the formal public comment period on the delisting proposal until July 15.