Almost two million Americans stated their opposition to the Trump administration’s proposal to strip endangered-species protections from gray wolves during a comment period that closed July 15. This is one of the largest numbers of comments ever submitted on a federal decision involving endangered species and reflects broad dissatisfaction with the administration’s politically driven move to turn wolf management over to state agencies across most of the lower 48 states.
In addition to the 1.8 million comments submitted by the public, 86 members of Congress (House and Senate letters), 100 scientists, 230 businesses and 367 veterinary professionals submitted letters to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service opposing the wolf-delisting plan. Even the scientific peer reviews written at the behest of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service state that the agency’s proposal contains numerous errors and appears to come to a predetermined conclusion – not even supported by its own science – to remove federal protections for wolves.
“The incredible volume of comments gives voice to a sad fact: the delisting proposal is a radical departure from the optimism and courage we need to promote endangered-species recovery in this country,” said Defenders of Wildlife President Jamie Rappaport Clark. “The comments show that Americans believe the Fish and Wildlife Service’s proposal falls well short of the conservation ideals this country stood for 45 years ago when the Endangered Species Act was signed.”