On Friday morning, the U.S. House of Representatives is expected to vote on H.R. 6784, a bill to remove federal protections from gray wolves across the United States. The bill threatens the fragile recovery of gray wolves and undermines the Endangered Species Act (ESA), one of our nation’s most important conservation laws.
The ESA has proven to be an incredibly successful tool for protecting imperiled wildlife—nearly every species listed since the law was enacted has been saved from extinction. Yet some Members of Congress are trying to weaken the law by taking decisions about protection for species like wolves out of the hands of scientists.
While gray wolves have barely begun to recover after they were nearly wiped out in the mid-20th century, they continue to occupy only a fraction of their original range; H.R. 6784, the so-called “Manage our Wolves Act”, jeopardizes that recovery. The bill would require Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke to issue a rule to remove ESA protections from the gray wolf in each of the 48 contiguous states and the District of Columbia. Furthermore, the bill would remove existing ESA protections for gray wolves in Michigan, Minnesota, and Wisconsin by reversing a unanimous D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals decision, and would codify a different D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals decision that stripped ESA protections for wolves in Wyoming. In each case, the bill would block judges from reinstating protections for gray wolves.
We need your help in countering the latest attack on the ESA and keeping vital protections in place for wolves and other imperiled species.