Extended Comment Period Proposed by Congressman Neguse Brings in over 1.8 Million Comments on Delisting Gray Wolves
Washington D.C.— An extended comment period on the Administration’s proposal to strip endangered species protections from gray wolves, requested by Congressman Neguse, has brought in 1.8 million comments. The large number of comments, tallied this week after the close of the extended comment period is the largest number of comments ever submitted on a federal decision involving endangered species and reflects broad dissatisfaction with the proposed delisting.
Congressman Neguse, along with Congressman Diana DeGette, sent a letter to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in April, insisting on a longer public comment period and a public hearing in Denver on the decision to delist these wolves. Both items were secured allowing for countless more to raise their voices on this issue.
“I’m proud to join wildlife advocates across Colorado to oppose the Administration’s recklessly proposed rule which would end protections for gray wolves in 48 states and prevent wolves from recovering in areas, like the southern Rocky Mountains, where good wolf habitat has been identified,” said Congressman Joe Neguse. “Through this extended public comment period, nearly 2 million Americans have been able to show their opposition to delisting gray wolves, in addition to countless scientists, businesses and veterinary professionals. I implore the Administration to take into consideration this strong opposition and reconsider the protection of our wolves.”
“The outpouring of opposition to the federal government’s attempt to eliminate crucial protections for gray wolves shows how much the American people value this native species,” said Cathy Liss, president of AWI. “Wolves are an integral part of our heritage and our landscape, and we shouldn’t undermine the progress that has been made toward their recovery. These apex predators play a vital role in ecosystems, contribute to a multibillion- dollar outdoor tourism industry, and are a beloved symbol of our nation.”
Colorado, while part of the gray wolf’s native habitat, saw the species erased from the state by the 1940s. Dedicated work from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and animal rights groups has helped restore these wolves throughout some of their natural habitat including Wyoming, Idaho, Montana, New Mexico and Arizona, but the work of recovery still continues and requires protection from the Endangered Species Act to continue.
The proposed rule is opposed by the Animal Welfare Institute, Born Free USA, Center for Biological Diversity, CREDO Action, Defenders of Wildlife, Earthjustice, Endangered Species Coalition, Humane Society Legislative Fund, International Fund for Animal Welfare, League of Conservation Voters, Natural Resources Defense Council, Sierra Club, the Humane Society of the United States, Western Watershes Project and WildEarth Guardians.