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Environmental groups question wolf delisting process

gray wolf
Tracy Brooks courtesy of Mission Wolf & USFWS

WASHINGTON D.C. (KIFI)-The Center for Biological Diversity claims the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has ignored a presidential order by summarily claiming the Trump Administration’s decision to delist the gray wolf was valid.

In a brief letter to conservation groups, the USFWS contends its decision was based on valid scientific and commercial data.  The agency said it intended to move ahead with post-delisting management with federal, state, and local partners.

The Center said the decision violates President Biden’s executive order, directing a broad review of the Trump administration’s “anti-wildlife” policies, including the de-listing of the gray wolf.

“There is no way the Fish and Wildlife Service followed President Biden’s directive and completed its review in just five business days,” said Brett Hartl, government affairs director at the Center for Biological Diversity. “It’s baffling that they went rogue by not even waiting till there was a new secretary of Interior to assess what happened under Trump. This is a slap in the face to the American public, who want scientific integrity restored to the government and to ensure that wolves are protected till they’re recovered across this country.”

“President Biden has made clear that listening to the science will be the hallmark of his administration. It’s sad the Fish and Wildlife Service didn’t get the memo,” said Hartl. “We won’t be able to take on the extinction crisis or the climate crisis if federal agencies like the Fish and Wildlife Service feel free to routinely ignore science whenever it suits them.”

USFWS Assistant Director for Ecological Services Gary Frazer claims the wolf recovery far exceeds recovery goals. “Our delisting action recognizes the successful recovery of one of the most iconic species to our nation’s natural heritage.”  

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