Friends of the Wisconsin Wolf & Wildlife attended a public hearing to oppose the Trump administration’s decision to remove gray wolves from the endangered species list across the lower 48 states.
Members of the public were able to testify on behalf of wolves to Senator Ron Johnson, the UWFWS Midwest Director, WI DNR staff, as well as representatives from Congressman Duffy’s office, Senator Baldwin and other state politicians. We stressed the need for continued federal safeguards to ensure the gray wolf population reaches full recovery before losing its endangered status.
Our main talking points argued that:
The proposed delisting rule would transfer authority over wolves to state wildlife management agencies, which historically have shown little interest in preserving or restoring wolves. These state agencies have catered to special interest groups who seek to kill wolves for trophies or entertainment, or on the misguided belief that killing wolves protects livestock or increases deer and elk populations.
Ultimately, if Wisconsin wolves lose ESA protections, two-thirds of the population will die at the hands of trophy hunters. The last time federal protections were prematurely stripped from wolves in the Great Lakes Region, state agencies opened up brutal hunting and trapping seasons and more than 1,500 wolves were killed in just three years.
FOTWW organizer and northern Wisconsin resident, Britt Ricci said delisting will make wolves targets of trophy hunters who will greatly reduce the population. She asked panelists,
Was the intention to spend decades of money to restore our endangered wolf population only to allow a small percentage of hunters and trappers take them back to the brink of extinction?
Charles Wooley, acting USFWS regional director for the Midwest responded that hunting wouldn’t go unabated — there would be a monitoring program in place. “We have full faith and trust” in the Wisconsin DNR to manage the program.”
View Friends of the Wisconsin Wolf & Wildlife’s full testimony here:
We only have ONE WEEK LEFT to submit your official public comments on the Trump Administration’s ill-conceived proposed rule to strip Endangered Species Act (ESA) protections for gray wolves in the lower 48 states. The deadline to submit comments to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is 11:59 pm ET / 8:59 pm PT on Tuesday, May 14th. If you haven’t already done so, please speak up to ensure continued protections for gray wolves! CLICK HERE to submit your official public comment TODAY.
To learn more about how to submit your thoughts on delisting to the USFWS, review our webinar where we help you prepare your official public comments:
Over the next week leading up to the comment deadline, we are organizing actions that you can take as an individual to keep wolves protected. We continue to advocate for species that are put at risk by trophy hunting and anti-environmental special interests. This is only possible with your financial support.