Keep vital protections for gray wolves

Gray wolves in the United States stand at a pivotal point in their history. After hunting them to near extinction in the first half of the 20th century, the American people had a change of heart and gray wolves have begun a modest recovery under varying degrees of protection under the Endangered Species Act. Now, just as they're starting to return to their former homes in places like northern California, the Trump administration is proposing to strip wolves of these crucial federal protections.

Earthjustice has been instrumental in protecting gray wolves for more than two decades, and we will continue that fight — but we need your help. Tell the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to abandon its plan to remove much-needed protections for wolves across the lower 48 states.

Today, wolves are still functionally extinct across the vast majority of their former range. These cherished keystone predators cannot be considered fully recovered until they are found in wild forests across the country. And yet in states where wolves have already lost federal protections, they've been shot and trapped in staggering numbers — nearly 3,500 killed in Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming since 2011.

The U.S. Department of the Interior, under newly confirmed Secretary David Bernhardt, a former oil and gas lobbyist, is finalizing plans to significantly weaken the Endangered Species Act itself — part of a series of efforts by the Trump administration to slash protections for our most vulnerable wildlife and which amounts to a virtual extinction plan.

Interior Secretary Bernhardt wants to stop wolf recovery before it's complete. Tell the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to keep federal protections in place so wolves can return to the wild places where they used to roam.

Dear [Decision Maker],

Scientists estimate that hundreds of thousands of wolves once inhabited the lower 48 states. Decades of human persecution, however, brought them to the brink of extinction. Thanks to the Endangered Species Act, wolf populations are now making a modest recovery — but they do still remain functionally extinct in the vast majority of places where they used to live. Furthermore, wolves face an awful plight in states where they've already lost federal protections. In Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming, nearly 3,500 wolves have already been killed in just eight years.

The wild ancestor of the domestic dogs we know and love today, wolves are icons of America's remaining wild landscapes. Their presence is vital to maintaining the balance of their native habitat. Wolves regulate the behavior of elk and deer populations, keeping herds from overgrazing. This allows trees to grow in greater abundance, grasses to grow taller, and animals that rely on them to flourish, strengthening the resilience of the entire ecosystem.

Bald eagles were afforded federal protections for long enough to allow their successful recovery. Likewise, wolves need to retain their own federal protections if they are to return to the remaining wild places that are suitable for them and that still need them.

[Your Comment Here]

Thank you for considering my comments, and I urge you to cancel the plans to strip federal protections from wolves across the lower 48 states.

[Your Name Here]
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