Thursday, March 20, 2014

U.S. House Members to Jewell: Bad Science Is Behind Flawed Plan to Delist Wolves

Posted By on Thu, Mar 20, 2014 at 9:15 AM

A bipartisan group of 73 members of the U.S. House—not including either Reps. Raul Labrador or Mike Simpson—have fired off a letter to Secretary of Interior Sally Jewel, urging her to drop any plans to delist gray wolves. The letter came in the wake of an independent peer review that concluded that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service had "failed to use the best available science" when it proposed the removal of Endangered Species Act protections for gray wolves in the lower 48 states.

"The peer review report found that the existing scientific literature provides absolutely no basis for this conclusion," says the letter. "Therefore, we are again asking you to direct the Service to rescind the proposed rule. As you said when speaking at the Children, Conservation, and the Future of the Great Outdoors event last June, deciding whether or not to remove ESA protections from the gray wolf 'is about science, and you do what the science says.'"

The 73 members of Congress wrote that they were "troubled by the certainty" with which USFWS proceeded.

Gray wolves were added to the endangered species list in 1975, but hunting in Idaho and in many regions of the Northern Rockies now kills hundreds of gray wolves annually.

A public comment period on the the Department of Interior's proposal ends Thursday, March 27.

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