The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) has released a proposal to delist the gray wolf under the Endangered Species Act (ESA), returning management of the species to state wildlife authorities in the lower 48 states (with the exception of the Mexican wolf population). While wolves were already delisted in the Northern Rocky Mountains in 2009, the Great Lakes states in 2011, and Wyoming in 2012, this proposal could mark the end of a forty year nationwide recovery under ESA during which the gray wolf population has risen from near extinction to over 6,000 individuals.
CSF has been engaged in this issue since the beginning, urging policy makers to delist the species where gray wolf populations have recovered and allow states to manage the species. In November of 2010, the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation (CSF), along with multiple members of the American Wildlife Conservation Partners (AWCP), signed a letter to Secretary Salazar and Attorney General Holder, supporting their decision to appeal the rulings regarding the delisting of the Montana and Idaho portions of the Northern Rocky Mountain populations of the gray wolf.
In July 2011, a coalition of sportsmen’s groups, including CSF, signed on to a letter addressed to Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus (CSC) members Representatives Cynthia Lummis and Mike Simpson, applauding their efforts to address the issue of the recovered wolf population in Wyoming and the Great Lakes region.
In March 2012, 64 members of the CSC signed on to a bipartisan letter to Dan Ashe, Director of the USFWS, urging him to consider delisting the gray wolf and return their management to the states.
Studies conducted at both the state and federal level have found that the number of hunters and trappers have been on a generally declining trend over the past several decades. To increase recruitment, retention, and reactivation (R3) of hunters and trappers, which initiative do you think would have the greatest impact?