After more than a decade of conservation efforts and millions of federal dollars, wolves are finally returning to the northern Rockies. Now, the Bush administration plans to remove wolves from the Endangered Species List and allow the states of Wyoming, Idaho, and Montana to wipe out nearly 80 percent of all the wolves remaining in the Northern Rockies! The Wyoming Plan allows anyone to kill any wolf that wanders outside a small area in the northwest corner of the state. The plan would even target animals that live for most of the year in Yellowstone National Park but only wander out in the winter in search of food.
Tell Congress to oppose the Bush administration’s plans and make sure wolves are protected in the northern Rockies!
I am writing to express my deep opposition to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s plan to remove gray wolves from the federal Endangered Species List. The federal action would allow the states of Wyoming, Idaho, and Montana to kill 1200 of the 1500 wolves remaining in the northern Rockies and push the species back towards extinction.
The Wyoming Plan allows anyone to kill any wolf that wanders outside a small area in the northwest corner of the state. The plan would even target animals that live for most of the year in Yellowstone National Park but only wander out in the winter in search of food. Scientists have already warned that a few thousand wolves are necessary to ensure the long-term survival of the species, but the Bush administration has chosen to ignore the science and a solid majority of Americans who support wolf recovery efforts. The administration has even developed a contingency plan that will allow most of the current northern Rockies wolf population to be killed even if lawsuits are successful in keeping wolves on the endangered species list.
A 2006 study by the University of Montana found that wolves in Yellowstone bring $35 million tourism dollars to the local economy each year, yielding more than $70 million in added benefit to communities in the northern Rockies. More importantly, the park’s natural balance has been restored because wolves prevent an overpopulation of elk and deer from overgrazing vegetation and threatening the health of streams and creeks.
I urge you to join Congressman Nick Rahall and several of his congressional colleagues in urging the Secretary of the Interior to stop these unwarranted actions to promote senseless wolf killing. Wolves are an integral part of the northern Rockies and plans to kill most of them in the region would be a huge setback to years of wolf recovery.
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