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Media Advisory, May 20, 2008

Contact: Michael Robinson, (575) 534-0360

Congressional Committee to Hear About Mexican Wolf Mismanagement
Former Recovery Coordinator to Testify About Political Interference

WASHINGTON, D.C.— Retired U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Mexican Wolf Recovery Coordinator David Parsons will testify tomorrow in an oversight hearing before the House Natural Resources Committee on the mismanagement of the Mexican wolf recovery program.

The hearing will begin Wednesday, May 21, 2008, at 10:00 a.m. Eastern Time, and will take place in Room 1324 of the Longworth House Office Building. It will also be webcast live on the House Natural Resource Committee's Web site at:

The hearing, titled The Danger of Deception: Do Endangered Species Have a Chance? will include, in addition to Parsons, other witnesses speaking on the plight of endangered right whales, spotted owls, and imperiled invertebrates. It will also include new findings from an ongoing investigation by the Government Accountability Office into political interference in endangered species recovery programs.

One year ago, Julie MacDonald, former deputy assistant secretary for Fish, Wildlife and Parks at the Interior Department, resigned following the release of a scathing Inspector General report that revealed her political tinkering had manipulated scientific decisions under the federal endangered species program.

Subsequently, House Natural Resources Committee Chairman Nick J. Rahall (D-W.V.) has pressed for the Interior Department and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to correct course and prevent continued political meddling with scientific decision-making under the Endangered Species Act.

But as Parsons and other witnesses will reveal, political interference in endangered species management continues.

According to Michael Robinson of the Center for Biological Diversity, the Mexican gray wolf has been subject to shameless political mismanagement, and that has resulted in the suppression of the sole wild population.

“The federal government shoots and traps wolves despite scientists’ urgent recommendations to let the wolves alone,” said Robinson. “The wolves need to be able to raise their pups in peace and contribute to the balance of nature.”

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