For Immediate Release

Federal Proposal to Remove Wolf Protections Premature

Federal delisting targets a single pack in Western Oregon, would turn management over to controversial state agency

Arran Robertson, Communications Manager
ar@oregonwild.org, (503) 283-6343 ext 223

March 3, 2019

Today, Acting Interior Secretary David Bernhardt announced the agency’s intention to remove gray wolves form the Endangered Species List. Wolves have recovered only a fraction of their historic population and range. Oregon Wild released the following statement:

It is far too premature to declare wolves recovered and to strip protections from them in the Western two-thirds of Oregon. As of right now, US Fish and Wildlife has only announced one pack – OR-7’s Rogue Pack – in this area. Removing wolves from the endangered species list would turn their management entirely over to Oregon’s embattled Department of Fish and Wildlife, which continues to push for hunting and trapping of the state’s 124 known wolves.

Secretary Ryan Zinke and his successor, Acting-Secretary Bernhardt have overseen an Interior Department that has embraced a culture of corruption and conflicts of interest. It’s no surprise that Bernhardt would move so quickly to reward livestock interests for their political support of the Trump administration.

We will be looking closely at this decision and considering next steps with our national partners. 

However, Oregon Governor Kate Brown has endorsed directing Oregon agencies to reject rollbacks of environmental protections under President Donald Trump. She should affirm her commitment to Oregon’s environment and work to reestablish state Endangered Species protections for wolves if this decision goes through on the federal level.