Over the past five years, BigGame Forever has been a leader in the effort to remove recovered wolves from endangered species protections and our hard work is paying off.
Two weeks ago, 26 leading wolf scientists sent a letter to the Secretary of the Department the Interior and the director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service urging the end of federal Endangered Species protective status for the gray wolf in the Great Lakes and Wyoming. The opinions shared in this letter align perfectly with the opinions of local and state governments, along with state wildlife agencies in areas where the wolf was introduced. To read entire article click here.
It’s important to remember that while wolves had been delisted in both the great lake states, as well as Wyoming, and those states had assumed management of wolves along with other wildlife, that is was lawsuits by radical environmental groups, that were ruled by judges outside of these state that stripped state management authority away and returned federal protection of wolves under the Endangered Species Act to these areas.
Federal protections are not necessary when populations have recovered. Wildlife officials estimate that in Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Michigan, population levels have recovered from about 750 animals in 1974 to over than 3,700 in 2014 because of the hard work conducted by states, sportsmen, conservationists, and ranchers. As sportsmen, we see firsthand the impact of unwillingness by some to recognize that the Endangered Species has done its job and wolf populations are sustainable. Our big game herds and ranching community in many areas have been decimated because wolf populations are not effectively managed. It is imperative that when populations have sufficiently recovered, federal protections be rolled back and management shift from federal agencies to the states.
Adrian Wydeven of the Timber Wolf Alliance agrees, “when wildlife species recover, the role of the federal government is to return management to the states.”
Your help along with the help of other sportsmen on this issue has been critical in getting to this point and will be valuable component of finishing the job. In the coming weeks and months we will contact you again, and ask for your help in ensuring that this delisting occurs. Stay tuned for further updates in the near future.
Big Game Forever
BigGame Forever (www.biggameforever.org) is a non-profit membership organization of conservation-minded sportsmen committed to protecting the future of our outdoor heritage. BigGame Forever allows hunters and fishermen from around the United States to speak with one united voice to promote the protection of abundant wild game and the right of sportsmen