America’s wolves are in danger. Following the passage in the house of HR 6784, Manage our Wolves Act, and if passed by the senate, will remove gray wolves from federal protection under the Endangered Species Act, in the continental United States.
On March 14, David Bernhardt, acting secretary of interior, announced the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is planning on removing federal protection under the endangered species act of all gray wolves in the lower 48 continental United States by the end of the year.
According to president and CEO of Defenders of Wildlife, Jamie Rappaport, “the return of the wolf to the northern Rockies and Great Lakes is one of Americas greatest conservation successes” and “the work of recovering this iconic species is not done and we will vigorously oppose this action.”
The removal of wolves from federal protection is a catastrophic decision, not only for wolves, but also for our ecosystem and our economy.
First, wolves are a keystone species and play a vital role in our ecosystem, by regulating prey populations such as deer and elk. Wolves have shown that when present, they enable other species of plants and animals to flourish and create a trickle-down effect know an “trophic cascade.”
Second, according to scientific research, wolves have been shown to slow the spread of deadly diseases such as “Chronic Wasting Disease” which is invading the America ecosystem. Wolves accomplish this by feeding on weak, old and sick prey, thereby removing infectious diseases from our ecosystem.
Third, wolves help our economy by bringing in millions of dollars a year in tourism to our national parks. In fact, it has been reported wolf- tourism brought $35 million annually among several states, and is projected to increase $5 million more for the economy annually.
As you can see wolves play a vital role in our ecosystem, our economy and have always been a staple in American Indian heritage, children’s books, movies and our society.
Wolves are in grave danger of extinction and they need our help so future generations can continue to enjoy not only their ecological and economic benefit, but also the beauty and majestic howls of America Gray wolves. I want to urge readers to contact our senators immediately and tell them Wolves need to remain under the Endangered Species protection. The future and destiny of wolves in America is in our hands!