Target: United States Department of the Interior
Goal: Continue protection of gray wolf and surrounding ecosystem
A decades-long effort to help the gray wolf population recover may end, as federal wildlife officials have drafted a plan that would lift protections for this endangered species. Scientists have warned that a removal of this protection would effectively lead to the extinction of the gray wolf and have a negative impact on the ecosystem. Protect the gray wolf population today – demand that the drafted bill be rescinded.
The draft, proposed by the U.S. Department of the Interior, would lift protections for gray wolves across the lower 48 states. The draft claims that the estimated 6,000 gray wolves that live in the Great Lakes and Northern Rockies are enough to prevent the species from going extinct. They claim that the presence of gray wolves in the West Coast, parts of New England, and elsewhere is unnecessary for the survival of the species.
Yet, these top predators are essential the lower 48’s ecosystem and nothing proves this better than the effects of the return of wolves to Yellowstone National Park. Forests could finally grow after decades of over-grazing because gray wolves helped to keep elks at bay. The return of these forests, especially along riverbeds, allowed for an increase in songbirds and biodiversity. Beavers, after decades of forced relocation, could return to their stream-side homes and build dams from forest materials. As Jeremy Hance points out, “scientists have worked hard to make the case that wolves are key to these ecosystems, [yet] many still oppose the animals’ reintroduction.” Part of this has to do with a stigma concerning the danger of wolves. Though people are highly frightened of wolf attacks, they are extremely rare occurrences and often are a result of a human invading a wolf’s territory, not the other way around.
Protect this endangered animal that not only has a historical significance, but is essential to the maintenance of a healthy ecosystem. Demand that the U.S. Department of the Interior discard their draft proposing to drop gray wolf protection.
Dear U.S. Department of the Interior,
Your draft that proposes to eliminate protection for the gray wolf is a dangerous one. Not only are these wolves an important part of North America’s historical wildlife, they are a fundamental part of an ecosystem. By removing protection for the gray wolf, you are condemning this endangered species to extinction. If the gray wolf becomes extinct, forests will lose protection from over-grazing elks. Beavers will suffer from the over-grazing because they will not have materials to build their homes out of. Biodiversity will drop and plants and both tree-dwelling and tree-feeding animals will lose resources.
It seems as if this draft is based on an illogical fear of wolf attacks as well as the need to protect ranches and satisfy hunters. Wolf attacks are extremely rare and often the result of a human stepping natural bounds, rather than a wolf wandering into a residential area. In addition to this, rather than allowing natural habitats to suffer due to the lack of an essential predator, the government should be helping ranches design effective ways to protect their livestock.
Please reconsider your actions and contemplate the larger ecosystem you are negatively impacting by allowing the extinction of this important mammal. I urge you to discard the draft that drops protection for gray wolves.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Steve Jurvetson via Flickr