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For Immediate Release, March 9, 2011

Contact:  Noah Greenwald, Center for Biological Diversity, (503) 484-7495
Leda Huta, Endangered Species Coalition, (202) 320-6467

Forty-eight Conservation Groups Call on Sen. Barbara Boxer to
Oppose Legislation Removing Protection for Wolves

WASHINGTON— Forty-eight conservation organizations, representing millions of Americans, called on Sen. Barbara Boxer (D.-Calif.) today to use her power as chair of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee to put a stop to legislation removing Endangered Species Act protection for gray wolves.

“Decisions about the fate of the nation’s imperiled wildlife should be made by scientists, not politicians,” said Noah Greenwald, endangered species director at the Center for Biological Diversity. “It would set a terrible precedent if Congress began removing protections for species one at a time.”

The House last month passed a continuing resolution that included language removing protections for wolves in the northern Rocky Mountains, as well as scores of other anti-environment riders; the Senate is now considering similar language to remove protections for wolves in its version of the spending bill.

“It is now up to the Senate to put a stop to this assault on the laws we all depend on to protect our environment, including wildlife populations and clean air and water,” said Leda Huta, executive director of the Endangered Species Coalition. “Wolves continue to need the protections of the Endangered Species Act if they are to survive and recover.” 

If protections are removed, Wyoming will institute a shoot-on-sight policy over 90 percent of the state, and every other state will drastically reduce wolf populations. Wolves occupy a mere 5 percent of their historic range.

“Recovery of the wolf in the northern Rocky Mountains and Great Lakes has been a tremendous conservation success story, but the job of recovery is not yet complete,” said Greenwald. “Since wolves were reintroduced to Yellowstone National Park, we’ve learned a tremendous amount about the benefits they provide. Wolves force elk to move more frequently, allowing recovery of streamside vegetation that in turns helps fish, beavers and songbirds.”

The groups signing the letter include the Center for Biological Diversity, Endangered Species Coalition, Natural Resources Defense Council, Earthjustice, Sierra Club, Defenders of Wildlife, Humane Society of the United States, Oregon Wild, WildEarth Guardians, Biodiversity Conservation Alliance, Hells Canyon Preservation Council, Gifford Pinchot Task Force, NE Oregon Ecosystems, Predator Defense, Alliance for the Wild Rockies, Friends of the Clearwater, Western Watersheds Project, Conservation Northwest, Conservation Law Foundation, Geos Institute, International Fund for Animal Welfare, Center for Native Ecosystems and Western Nebraska Resources Council, Wildlife Alliance of Maine, Friends of the Bay, Pandas International, Kettle Range Conservation Group, SAVE THE FROGS!, Whidbey Environmental Action Network, Voice for Animals, Endangered Habitats League, Swan View Coalition, Western Wildlife Conservancy, Harris Center for Conservation Education, Endangered Small Animal Conservation fund, Gulf Restoration Network, Animal Welfare Institute, Species Alliance, Wildlife Center of Virginia, White Mountain Conservation, Rocky Mountain Recreation Initiative, Great Old Broads for Wilderness, Turtle Island Restoration Network, Arizona Zoological Society at The Phoenix Zoo, New Mexico Wilderness Alliance, Sky Island Alliance, The Center for Plant Conservation, Project Coyote.

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