Although USFWS director Daniel Ashe declared victory for gray wolf recovery by stating “Wolves are recovered and they are now in good hands,” 16 scientists with expertise in carnivore taxonomy and conservation biology voiced their concern that USFWS’s nationwide delisting rule is terribly premature in a letter sent to Interior Secretary Jewell on May 21st. They argued that the delisting rule flouts “the fundamental purpose of the Endangered Species Act to conserve endangered species and the ecosystems upon which they depend.”
The ESA requires that species listing decisions are governed by the best available science, not with political and economic considerations at the helm. If USFWS continues to ignore the scientific community, the agency will open the door to more political assaults on other imperiled and iconic species. Former Yellowstone Wolf Restoration Project Leader Mike Phillips once said, ”Wolf restoration is a touchstone for measuring our reverence for what we have inherited and for the legacy we leave our children.” For the sake of wolves, the environment, and our children, it’s key that we safeguard the integrity of science – independent and free from corporate and political corruption, and we tell USFWS not to kill 40 years of recovery.