ACTION ALERT: Oppose the War on Wolves Rider

We are calling on all advocates to OPPOSE the War on Wolves Rider, which undermines the Endangered Species Act and strips Gray Wolves of existing federal protections.

Write your senators TODAY and express your opposition to S. 1514

The “War On Wolves” Rider included in the new Senate Sportsmen’s Bill (S. 1514) would override a federal district court decision and remove existing Endangered Species Act protections for gray wolves in Michigan, Minnesota, and Wisconsin.

This rider would also codify a recent D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals decision that stripped Endangered Species Act protections for wolves in Wyoming. The plaintiffs in the Wyoming case did not appeal the court’s decision and wolves in Wyoming were returned to state management in late April. The Wyoming portion of this rider is effectively moot.

A D.C. Circuit appeals decision in the Great Lakes case is anticipated any day now, making the Great Lakes provision very poorly timed. This rider would also preclude judicial review of these legislative wolf delistings, thus undermining the rule of law and citizen court access.

In the 114th Congress, 25 Senators, 92 members of the House, and more than 150 organizations opposed this same wolf delisting rider and all the other anti-Endangered Species Act riders that were added to Fiscal Year 2016 appropriations bills. 70 scientists also wrote a letter last year urging that wolves in Great Lakes region and beyond remain protected under the Endangered Species Act until the legal requirements for delisting are met. And former U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Director Dan Ashe has also highlighted the damaging impacts that wolf delisting legislation would have if enacted.

Further, this same wolf delisting rider was highlighted in the a White House Statement of Administration Policy on the House Interior/EPA Appropriations Bill for FY 2017, H.R. 5538, which opposed sections that would “undermine the Endangered Species Act and limit the ability of the Fish and Wildlife Service to properly protect important species and habitats based on the best available science, including . . . certain gray wolf populations.”

The War on Wolves Rider would not only undermine wolf recovery, but also the Endangered Species Act itself.

The Endangered Species Act is one of our most effective and popular environmental laws, supported by 90 percent of Americans. No law has been more important in preventing the extinction of wildlife – the Act has prevented the extinction of more than 99 percent of the species under its care.

Unfortunately, a 2011 appropriations rider that legislatively delisted wolves in Idaho and Montana exposed wolves in that region to increasingly hostile state management practices, particularly in Idaho. More than 2,500 wolves have been killed in Idaho and Montana since the 2011 “wolf rider” was enacted. Further, since 2011 there has been an uptick in bills and riders that undermine or block Endangered Species Act protections for particular species, along with other types of proposals to weaken the Endangered Species Act. We must not allow further “death by a thousand cuts” erosion of this bedrock environmental law.

Write your senators TODAY and express your opposition to S. 1514

Your senators are back in the state over the July 4th recess. If possible, please visit them while they are home to let them know how you feel about S. 1514. Check your senator’s webpage for information about their district office hours and any town hall meetings they may be holding.

Thanks for taking action and speaking out.

Melissa Smith

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