The Associated Press reported yesterday that an anticipated proposal from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to strip protections for gray wolves nationwide has been delayed indefinitely.
The following is a statement from Jamie Rappaport Clark, president of Defenders of Wildlife:
“The report of an indefinite delay is a very positive sign that the Obama administration is rethinking its rash decision to strip vital protections for gray wolves nationwide. Hopefully, this means that Secretary Jewell has taken to heart the outpouring of opposition to this premature delisting proposal. Many Americans want to see the continued recovery of gray wolves in key parts of their historic range that have excellent wolf habitat. But wolves need federal protection to give them the best chance of recovering in places like Colorado, Utah and northern California, where there currently are no wolves.
“We remain concerned that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is prepared to give up on wolf recovery too soon. Let’s be clear: their job is not yet finished. Gray wolves still only occupy a small portion of available habitat, and having minimal populations in the Northern Rockies and Great Lakes is not good enough.
“It’s the responsibility of our federal government to show strong leadership and be good stewards of all our natural resources today and for generations to come. Allowing the proposal to move forward would also set an embarrassingly low bar for endangered species recovery as a whole – a faint shadow of the grand vision we once had for wildlife conservation in America.”