The Public Lands Council and 14 other national and state livestock producer organizations sent letters this week backing the actions of the senators and representatives who introduced and supported the legislation to amend the original Endangered Species Act (ESA) to prohibit the gray wolf from being listed as an endangered species and returning wolf management to the states.
Today, the wolf populations in the Northern Rocky Mountains and the Western Great Lakes Distinct Population Segments far exceed the ESA recovery plan goals for delisting. According to statute, this should place those populations under state management. By contrast, Mexican wolf populations in the Southwest region remain stubbornly below recommended goals, regardless of persistent and costly recovery efforts. Despite these failings, in the case of wolf introduction, public pressure and legal challenges seem to be promoting the "status quo" and preventing the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service from applying reasonable delisting criteria as Congress had intended.
"When wolf depredations begin to threaten our ranchers' livelihood, they also threaten our rural economies, an important source of food and fiber and our nation's open spaces, kept free of development thanks to ranching. We appreciate your efforts to legislatively correct this-and to help keep our nation's landscapes vibrant, healthy and productive," stated the signators to the letter.