Amid Republican Push to Remove Protections for Wolves and Grizzlies, Grijalva, Huffman, Dingell, and Beyer Urge Fish and Wildlife Service to Thoroughly Assess Species Threats

Washington, D.C. – House Natural Resources Committee Ranking Member Raúl M. Grijalva (D-Ariz.); Water, Wildlife, and Fisheries Subcommittee Ranking Member Huffman (D-Calif.); Rep. Debbie Dingell (D-Mich.); and Rep. Don Beyer (D-VA) sent a letter to Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) Director Martha Williams urging the agency to thoroughly evaluate the impact that existing and proposed state laws and regulations could have on gray wolf and grizzly bear populations. Despite some recent successes in population growth, wolves and grizzlies face continuing threats from climate change, habitat loss, and hunting.

CLICK HERE to read the full letter.

Last month, Republicans held a Water, Wildlife, and Fisheries Subcommittee hearing to examine three bills—H.R. 764 (Boebert), H.R. 1245 (Hageman), and H.R. 1419 (Rosendale)—to legislatively delist wolves and grizzly bears from species protections under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). These bills blatantly ignore the best available science and circumvent the regular deliberative, open regulatory process for species listing and delisting. The Committee is scheduled to vote on these bills at tomorrow’s April 27 markup.

The lawmakers point out in their letter that delisting wolves and grizzlies without the appropriate “science-based recovery plans and robust conservation policies” in place will expose these iconic species to harmful, non-science-based state policies, like “trophy hunting and predator control measures… which could have devastating impacts on the fate of these species.” The letter cites several examples, including state-issued trophy hunting permits for grizzlies in 2018 and wolf hunts in the Northern Rockies—where wolves aren’t listed under the ESA—that killed more than 40% of Montana’s wolf population last year.

To prevent detrimental impacts on wolf and grizzly populations, the lawmakers emphasize that “Delisting decisions under the ESA cannot rely solely on population numbers; they must be based on the best available science and consider ongoing threats to species, including existing and proposed state laws and policies. Therefore, we urge your agency to fully assess the state laws and regulations that affect grizzly and wolf populations.”

The letter’s authors also urge FWS to conduct meaningful tribal consultation when making listing and delisting decisions on species, especially for species that have profound significance for tribes, like the gray wolf and grizzly bear.

Press Contact

Lindsay Gressard