Canton, Michigan – (Monday, July 22, 2019 – 9:00 a.m.) – Attorneys for Animals has submitted a response to the United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) proposal to de-list gray wolves from the Endangered Species List in all the lower 48 states.
It was December 2014, when a U. S. District Court ruled to overturn an earlier USFWS decision to strip federal protection for Great Lakes wolves. In 2011 wolves had been left unprotected after being removed from the federal Endangered Species Act. Once again, wolves are in danger.
Strongly opposed to the removal of federal protection for the majestic species, Attorneys for Animals cites the considered opinion that Michigan, one of a handful of states most impacted by the proposed legislation will ignore input from the scientific, natural resource, conservation and animal welfare communities, and disrespect the deafening public outcry from citizens to protect the wolves within its boundaries.
“Of the estimated 1.8 million comments submitted in response to the USFWS proposal, we believe that AFA has an important perspective to offer in opposition to the plan to de-list gray wolves.”
“As a Michigan non-profit of legal professionals and animal advocates, AFA has actively followed legislation for many years. We have carefully observed the divisive issue of wolf de-listing in Michigan and have taken positions in support of continued federal protection. We therefore are in a unique position to provide a critical assessment of how the de-listing of wolves, followed by a likely opening of this species to a hunt, would affect both Michigan and its gray wolves.”
In support of its position, AFA also submitted a Timeline of Efforts to Protect Wolves in Michigan, from late 2011 through late 2016. A summary of the Timeline indicates:
The legislature passed four different bills, all with the purpose of authorizing a wolf hunt. Of the four:
- Two were overturned by a clear majority of Michigan voters in November, after successful referendum campaigns against the wolf hunt
- One was held unconstitutional by Michigan courts
- One, still on the books awaiting de-listing decision, was made referendum-proof by adding appropriation language
- A wolf hunt was held in 2013, killing 22 wolves; further hunts have been halted by the 2014 federal court decision overturning the 2011 agency action to de-list the wolves
- ·Investigative reports expose deceptive methods used to promote and justify a wolf hunt in Michigan:
- False, exaggerated “scare stories” about wolves
- Irresponsible, criminally negligent ranching methods behind a claim that wolves were destroying livestock
- Destruction of public comments by government officials
AFA’s comment is available on the federal regulations.gov website: https://www.regulations.gov/document?D=FWS-HQ-ES-2018-0097-105861