For Immediate Release
September 15, 2021
Erik Molvar, Executive Director, Western Watersheds Project, (307) 399-7910
Talasi Brooks, Staff Attorney, Western Watersheds Project, (208) 336-9077
Jocelyn Leroux, Montana Director, Western Watersheds Project, (406) 960-4164
Laura Cunningham, California Director, Western Watersheds Project,(775) 513-1280
Western Watersheds Project is gratified to learn that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has determined that petitions to protect the gray wolf across the western United States contain sufficient scientific information to trigger a final determination by the agency. WWP authored one of the two listing petitions seeking protections, jointly submitted by 70 conservation and wildlife groups, across a West-wide geography. Aggressive anti-wolf state laws and regulations in Montana, Idaho, and Wyoming place wolves at risk of extinction in these states, and wolf populations remain tenuous (or absent) in other western states within their historic range. Wolves deserve immediate protection, today, to prevent further human depredations. While it is disappointing that the Service has decided not to implement the protections of the Endangered Species Act immediately on an emergency basis, as requested under a previous emergency listing petition, we expect that a thorough review of the best available science will show definitively that the gray wolf must be protected under the Endangered Species Act. We urge the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to conduct its review as quickly as possible, so that wolves rapidly receive the protections they desperately need.