The most anti-wildlife Congress in decades is just warming up, but gray wolves are already in their sights.
Plans are underway to introduce legislation that would strip gray wolves in Wyoming, Michigan, Wisconsin and Minnesota of newly reinstated protections under the Endangered Species Act (ESA).
It was Congress that stripped gray wolves in Montana and Idaho of ESA protections. As you know, Idaho has been a veritable free-fire zone since the state took over wolf management.
And to make matters worse, while we’re certain of congressional efforts to delist wolves in Wyoming and across the Great Lakes, it could be only a matter of time before legislation is introduced or amended to delist almost all gray wolves in the Lower 48 and bar protections for other critically imperiled species. We have to stand strong against any congressional attempt to delist individual species. If politicians, not wildlife biologists, are able to dictate which species deserve protection, it opens up a Pandora’s box on endangered species protection!
Thanks to the ESA, we have seen the recovery of some of America’s most beloved species, including the bald eagle, our national symbol – it is one of the greatest wildlife conservation achievements of our time.
Politically delisting gray wolves will only open the floodgates to an endless series of other congressional proposals to delist endangered species. And it could be the beginning of the end of the ESA itself!