Wolf Comments Posted
March 28, 2014

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) recently reopened the public comment period for removing the gray wolf from the federal endangered species list. The American Sheep Industry Association joined the Public Lands Council, the National Cattlemen's Beef Association and a number of state wool-growers organizations in strongly supporting the delisting of the gray wolf.

The livestock associations provided supplemental comments to the ones submitted in December 2013. The groups contend that the current listing of the gray wolf violates the Endangered Species Act (ESA). The listed "species," which is called the gray wolf (C. lupus), is an arbitrary grouping of animals that is not based on biology. Instead, it consists of gray wolves found south of the Canadian border. As the FWS has recognized, the group of animals listed in 1978 "does not represent a valid 'species' under the Act" and is not eligible to be listed. Moreover, gray wolves within the two geographic areas in the continental United States where gray wolves are common, the western Great Lakes and the northern Rocky Mountains, are separate species units - distinct population segments - and have been delisted. There is no legally defensible grouping of the remaining gray wolves in the continental United States that would allow their listing under the ESA.

The posted comments are available at www.sheepusa.org/ASI_Positions.