Letter: Let’s stop the unsustainable killing of gray wolves in the Rockies

This Nov. 7, 2017, photo released by the National Park Service shows a wolf in the road near Artist Paintpots in Yellowstone National Park, Wyo. (Jacob W. Frank/National Park Service via AP)

Today, hunters in Montana can sit just feet outside of Yellowstone National Park and use baits and recorded calls to lure wolves out of the protected area. They can gun down as many as 10 wolves each. In Idaho, private contractors have been hired by the state to trap and shoot nearly all of the wolves in the state. Montana will soon allow the use of deadly and indiscriminate neck snares that strangle nearly any animal unfortunate enough to come across them.

Montana and Idaho are in the process of repeating the horrific mistakes of our forefathers -- but this time using high-powered tools -- and there is no response from Washington.

The Biden administration has the tools to stop this slaughter. In August, Dan Ashe (the former director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service under President Obama) wrote a Washington Post op-ed imploring Interior Secretary Deb Haaland and President Biden to act and issue emergency protections for gray wolves. He outlined exactly how and why they must act. To date, Haaland and Biden have ignored him and his sound advice.

Conservation organizations have filed suit and petitioned for those emergency protections, but Biden and Haaland have ignored these pleas and are defending the previous administration’s national removal of Endangered Species Act protections in court.

Recently, we learned that Haaland has twice opted out of scheduled meetings with tribal leaders seeking to speak with her in support of listing gray wolves under the Endangered Species Act and engaging in tribal consultations before any delisting decisions are made.

Biden and Haaland owe the country better. They are entrusted with the caretaking of our natural spaces and the species that live on them.

Please join me in writing to the Department of Interior at doi.gov and ask that they finally act to stop this unsustainable killing of gray wolves in the northern Rockies before it is too late. It took our nation decades to bring these wolves back. Idaho and Montana can destroy this progress in just months if the Biden administration continues to ignore them.

Max Rowan, Midvale

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