January 26, 2015
Mr. William Rosen
Lombard, IL 60148-1176
Dear Mr. Rosen:
Thank you for contacting me about the protection of gray wolf populations in the United States. I appreciate hearing from you.
The Endangered Species Act of 1966 (ESA) has played an important role in the preservation of many species threatened with extinction. The gray wolf was one of the first species listed under the Act’s provisions. Beginning in 1995, an experimental population of gray wolves was reintroduced in Yellowstone National Park and in parts of Idaho. The decision to reintroduce the formerly native wolves was fraught with controversy, and the wolves’ release and protected status sparked several lawsuits. The reintroduced gray wolves have thrived in the region, but as the population grows, these animals have come into increasing conflict with livestock operations.
Over the years, the U.S. Department of Interior has drawn criticism from both environmental groups and animal rights organizations for its management of gray wolf populations.
After three decades of successful management undertaken by federal, state, and local partners the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has proposed to remove the gray wolf from the list of threatened and endangered species under the Endangered Species Act (ESA).
The Fish and Wildlife Service is currently reviewing public comments received during the public comment period which ended on March 27, 2014, before it releases a decision on removing the gray wolf from ESA protection.
I share your view regarding the importance of protecting endangered species and understand your concerns. I will keep your thoughts in mind if this issue is discussed in the Senate.
Thank you again for contacting me. Please feel free to keep in touch.
Richard J. Durbin
United States Senator