Target: Dan Ashe, Director, United States Fish and Wildlife Service
Goal: Do not remove gray wolves from the endangered species list
A proposal to remove the gray wolf from the endangered species list has been made by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service. This species, just recovering from over 30 years of being threatened with extinction in the US, is still in need of protection lest past conservation efforts be wasted.
The gray wolf was once present in the United States as far south as the southeastern states. Due to numerous factors such as habitat loss, decline of prey animals, and hunting, the gray wolf was nearly eliminated from the United States by the 1940s.
Conservation efforts began in 1967, when they received federal protection under the endangered species list. In 1995, 66 Canadian gray wolves were reintroduced into Yellowstone National Park. Another reintroduction, this time to Arizona and New Mexico, took place in 1998.
Since then, the Yellowstone wolves have grown to 83, according to the last count. Gray wolves are now found in a handful of northern states, including Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, and portions of Washington, Idaho, and Montana. Currently, there are an estimated 1,674 gray wolves in the Northern Rocky Mountains, and 4,432 animals in the western Great Lakes region.
The federal government has proposed to remove gray wolves from the endangered species list- their justification being that the populations have exceeded the desired growth rate of 300 for the past three years.
Though the species is certainly recovering, it could quickly plunge downwards should it be removed from protected status. At such a fragile turning point, it is important that the same mistakes are not made again. Ask that gray wolves, as a vital part of North American ecosystems, continue to receive federal protection.
Dear Dan Ashe, Director, United States Fish and Wildlife Service,
The United States Fish and Wildlife Service is currently considering removing gray wolves from the endangered species list, taking away their federal protection. Though annual goals have been met to increase populations, it would be unwise to reverse protected status.
Nearly eliminated from the United States in the 1940’s by hunting, loss of habitat, and declining prey animals, the grey wolf has since made a recovery with the help of conservation efforts and reintroduction. To remove its federally protected status could negate the time and money spent to aid its recovery. I ask that the gray wolf remain listed as an endangered species until the population can expand further territory in more states.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Quartl via WikiMedia Commons