Rep. DeFazio Statement on Gray Wolf Pups in Southern Oregon
Washington, D.C. – Today, Ranking Member of the House Natural Resources Committee Peter DeFazio (D-OR) released the following statement after it was announced that gray wolf OR-7 has found a mate and produced offspring:
“After two years and over 3,000 miles of searching, OR-7 is a lone wolf no longer. Not only has OR-7 found a mate, today it was announced he has fathered at least two pups—the first wolf pups in southern Oregon in decades. This is great news, but the critical federal protections that have allowed OR-7 to start his new pack are in jeopardy. As we celebrate OR-7 and his new family, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is threatening to disregard science and take the gray wolf off the Endangered Species list. If the Service delists the gray wolf, states could declare open season on gray wolves like OR-7, his mate, and these new pups. For over a year, I have fought to keep these critical federal protections for gray wolves and will continue to do so until Fish and Wildlife Service makes their final decision later this year.”
In 2013, the Fish and Wildlife Service recommended removing protections for gray wolves across most of the lower 48 states. In January 2014, a peer review from an independent, objective panel of top wolf scientists evaluated the proposed delisting and the science behind it. The reviewers unanimously found the Service did not use the “best available science” when they decided to remove the gray wolf from protections under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). DeFazio has sent multiple bipartisan letters to U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) and Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell, urging them to continue protections for the gray wolf under the ESA. The Service’s proposed delisting has generated over 1 million comments since 2013. DeFazio recently led a CREDO Mobile petition to urge the Service to rescind the delisting rule that generated nearly 160,000 signatures.
For copies of the letters, and additional background, click here: http://democrats.naturalresources.house.gov/issue/gray-wolves