New Settlement Ensures National Recovery Plan For Gray Wolves Under The Endangered Species Act

Under a settlement approved yesterday by a District of Columbia federal court, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service must draft a new recovery plan for gray wolves listed under the Endangered Species Act. The draft plan must be completed within two years unless the agency finds that such a plan will not promote the conservation of the species.

“We’ve long pushed for a new, comprehensive plan to guide gray wolf recovery, so this win is a big deal for us and the wolves,” said Collette Adkins, the Center for Biological Diversity’s carnivore conservation program director and lead attorney on the case. “We’re hopeful that the Fish and Wildlife Service will finally analyze what’s needed for real wolf recovery in this country, rather than once again try to illegally and prematurely delist wolves.”

No plan comprehensively addresses gray wolf recovery nationwide. Many areas where wolves currently live and breed — and where their reestablishment is in its infancy, such as California and Colorado — have no plan to guide their recovery.

The court ruled last summer that the Fish and Wildlife Service “must create a recovery plan for the species it has listed” and cannot rely on subspecies recovery plans that “straightforwardly do not satisfy” the Endangered Species Act. The gray wolf’s recovery plan for the “eastern timber wolf” was developed in 1992 and mostly focuses on Minnesota.

“The Fish and Wildlife Service can no longer rely on its decades-old, piecemeal recovery plans for gray wolves,” said Adkins. “The agency needs to stop neglecting places where wolves live and could recover, like the West Coast, southern Rocky Mountains, and northeastern United States.”

“The development of a recovery plan for ESA-listed gray wolves is a necessary and celebrated step forward, but there are still thousands of wolves in the Northern Rockies that suffer from intense persecution. Let’s use this momentum to also encourage FWS to recommit to these imperiled wolves,” Regan Downey, Director of Education at Wolf Conservation Center told WAN.

Please take action by asking your representatives to put pressure on Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland and President Biden to #RelistWolves in all 50 states HERE!

You can help all animals and our planet by choosing compassion on your plate and in your glass. #GoVeg

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