To: The United States House of Representatives and The United States Senate

Wolves Under Attack in Congress

I urge you to oppose all efforts in this Congress to remove existing federal protections for wolves.

Wolves are among the most iconic symbols of the wild American landscape, once roaming freely throughout the United States. Unfortunately, centuries of trapping, hunting, and poisoning brought wolves in the continental U.S. to the very brink of extinction.

Wolves have just begun to recover in some areas of the country. Since the effort to restore wolf populations began in 1980s, we have had some great successes, and we now have wolves in the northern Rocky Mountains and the Midwest. But it is too soon to remove wolves from the federal endangered species list, as multiple courts have confirmed. Continued federal protections are critical to securing the fragile recovery of existing wolf populations and allowing wolves to expand into other suitable habitat.

Any legislation that would interfere with existing federal wolf protections would be harmful to wolf recovery in the United States. It would also undermine the Endangered Species Act (ESA), one of our most effective and important environmental laws. Unfortunately, the 2011 appropriations rider that removed federal protections for wolves in parts of the northern Rocky Mountains has generated further congressional attacks on the ESA. This "death by a thousand cuts" erosion of the ESA must be stopped.

Again I urge you to oppose any legislation that undermines existing federal protections for wolves.

Why is this important?

Right now, members of Congress are working on legislation to remove existing Endangered Species Act protections for wolves across some—and possibly almost all—of the lower 48 states.

These anti-wolf legislators could succeed, unless we fight back now.

Wolves have just begun to recover in some areas of the United States after being nearly wiped out by centuries of ruthless hunting, trapping, and poisoning. Despite fragile successes that have brought wolves back to the northern Rockies and the Midwest, they are still missing from a vast majority of their former range and are subject to mounting persecution even where they have been restored.

Urge your senators and congressional representative to stand up for wolves!

Federal protections for wolves in the lower 48 states are critical to securing the recovery of existing populations and allowing wolves to expand into other suitable habitat in places like Northern California, the Pacific Northwest, the southern Rocky Mountains, and the Northeast.

Now the House and Senate are poised to take up legislation to strip wolves of their federal protections in states including Michigan, Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Wyoming. If anti-wolf legislators get their way, the result will be more state-led killing of wolves and a blow to the Endangered Species Act, our nation’s safety net for imperiled species.

Urge your senators and representatives to oppose any anti-wolf legislation put forth in this Congress.