With nearly 4,000 wolves roaming the Great Lakes region, scientists and wildlife management professionals with more than 1,000 years of cumulative research on wolves overwhelmingly agree with the Sportsmen’s Alliance: wolves in the Great Lakes region are not endangered and should be removed from the protections of the Endangered Species Act with management returned to state biologists.
In a letter to Sally Jewell, Secretary of U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 26 scientists, many of whom originally lobbied for the wolf’s endangered status, attest that wolves in Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin should be considered recovered.
Consider these telling quotes from the letter:
- “For at least a decade, wolf populations have recovered in these states to the point where continued listing under the ESA is no longer necessary or beneficial to future wolf conservation.”
- “[Removing listed species] has become nearly impossible to achieve for wide-ranging or high profile species like gray wolves. Four efforts by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) and its cooperators to delist or down-list gray wolves in the western Great Lakes states have been foiled or reversed by litigation typically based on legal technicalities rather than biology.”
- “There are few, if any, areas in these or surrounding states where wolves could live on natural prey without exceeding socially tolerable levels of depredation on livestock and pets. We believe that failure to delist in the face of this kind of cooperative effort and biological success is detrimental to ecologically sound management and to continued progress in wolf recovery and management efforts in these states and elsewhere.”
- “There is no scientific evidence that wolf harvest systems established in Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan have or would reduce wolves’ ecological benefits in the areas where wolves have recovered.”
- “We believe that failure to delist wolves in these states is counterproductive to wolf conservation there and elsewhere where suitable habitat may exist. The integrity and effectiveness of the ESA is undercut if delisting does not happen once science-based recovery has been achieved … It is important to the overall ESA goal of maintaining biodiversity to focus available funds on species that are truly threatened or endangered.”
The letter entirely upholds what the Sportsmen’s Alliance has said all along, and what we’re fighting for in court.
The last point makes a very strong case itself as to why wolves should be removed from the protections of the Endangered Species Act, one which any rational animal lover should back: there is only so much cash and other resources to go around, and to continue to devote those assets to a recovered species such as the gray wolf only threatens the future of other species truly in peril.
Unfortunately, Wayne Pacelle, the high priest of the Humane Society of the United States, and other like-minded individuals leading fringe, radical groups bent on the manipulation of the Endangered Species Act and undermining scientific wildlife management are anything but rational.