Thursday, March 12, 2009

How you can speak up for wolves


Last week Interior Secretary Ken Salazar announced the federal government's decision to eliminate Endangered Species Act (ESA) protections for wolves in the northern Rocky mountain states of Idaho and Montana, and parts of Utah, Washington and Oregon. Wolves will retain federal protection in Wyoming, where Interior Department officials say recovery efforts have been inadequate. The policy change to delist the gray wolf was made in January before President Obama took office, but its adoption was put on hold so it could be reviewed by the new administration. This decision marks the second time in twelve months the government has moved to lift ESA protections from wolves. Conservation groups successfully sued to get the protections reinstated in July 2008 and more lawsuits are sure to follow. The state-by-state approach to delisting wolves will raise some hackles from both conservation groups as well as the state of Wyoming.
If your hackles are up, please call the US Fish and Wildlife Service and let Interior Secretary Ken Salazar know. Thanks to Defenders of Wildlife, here's some direction:

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Make your voice heard. Call the US Fish and Wildlife Service at 1-800-344-9453 (between 8:00 AM and 8:00 PM Eastern Time, Monday-Friday), select option “3” (for endangered species) and hit “0” to speak with the operator. Once you are connected, just deliver this simple message:
My name is [your name] and I am calling from [City, State] to express my extreme disappointment in Interior Secretary Salazar’s decision to implement the Bush Administration’s flawed plan to eliminate Endangered Species Act protections for wolves in Idaho and Montana.
If this rule is allowed to stand, nearly two-thirds of the wolves in the Northern Rockies could be killed starting as soon as this spring. I strongly urge Secretary Salazar to stop the implementation of this awful decision and reconsider his approach to wolf conservation in the Northern Rockies.
Important: Please let Defenders of Wildlife know that you called. They will be closely tracking the number of calls in order to ensure that all our voices are heard on this important issue. Secretary Salazar and the Obama Administration need to know about how strongly Americans support protecting our wolves.
I was on hold for 15 minutes while others I know got through immediately.


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