Safari Club International (SCI) and the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) issued a joint statement in support of the finalization of the rule to return management and conservation of gray wolves to states following 40 years of federal protection under the Endangered Species Act (ESA):
“Today we celebrate a conservation victory and a demonstration of a key facet of the Endangered Species Act: returning a species to state management after recovery efforts have succeeded. Nearly 40 years after they were first protected under the Act, gray wolves have recovered and will now return to state management, where populations will be managed according to robust state management plans. Conservationists, including hunters and ranchers, should celebrate this welcome news. Thank you to Secretary Bernhardt and Director Skipwith for being guided by science when applying the law.”
Safari Club International strongly supports the USFWS performing its duty to remove a species from the Endangered Species Act list when it no longer satisfies the listing criteria. The delisting of the gray wolf is a highpoint of nearly two decades worth of legal and advocacy work for Safari Club International. In total, SCI’s staff has spent more time and resources working on wolves than any other species over the last two decades. State wildlife management authorities will now be able to appropriately manage wolves in balance with other species, and SCI members will be able to participate in sustainable wolf hunting programs.
The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association has advocated for the delisting of the gray wolf for decades, after solid science-based evidence showed that the species has long since recovered. This decision from the Interior Department means producers do not have to live in fear from wolf attacks on their animals or face uncertainty when trying to prove depredation occurred in order to receive partial compensation. The decision also means that states and stakeholders will have more tools at their disposal to ensure communities, operations, and wildlife can exist in better balance.