On Dec. 15, US Congressional Representatives, Peter DeFazio (D-OR), Don Beyer (D-VA), and Raúl Grijalva (D-AZ) led a bipartisan group of 78 Representatives urging the Department of Interior to “immediately issue an emergency listing to temporarily restore federal protections through the Endangered Species Act (ESA) to the gray wolf.”
In their letter they wrote:
“While we appreciate the Fish and Wildlife Service’s (FWS) decision to conduct a 12-month status review to revisit the listing of the gray wolf in the Northern Rockies, we are extremely concerned that wolves around the country will continue to be needlessly killed in the interim, further jeopardizing the species. We have already seen evidence of mass killings in several states after the gray wolf was delisted, and more, larger hunts are planned as of now. Such actions warrant an emergency listing to protect the species from dangerous reductions in population size that could lead to extinction.”
The letter outlines the importance of the species for our ecosystem and brings evidence to support the plea. Another issue brought to light is that wolves play important roles in tribal traditions.
The letter reads: “Any emergency listing is temporary, lasting only 240 days. During that time, FWS will be able to continue its own evaluation and review that is already underway. We believe the facts on the ground support such a request and ask that you implement an emergency relisting of gray wolves.”