HOWL Colorado

Response from Michael Bennet regarding the attacks on the Endangered Species List

[large thumbnail url=”response-from-michael-bennet-regarding-the-attacks-on-the-endangered-species-list” filename=”news” year=”2011″ month=”09″ day=”23″] [thumbnail icon url=”response-from-michael-bennet-regarding-the-attacks-on-the-endangered-species-list” filename=”news” year=”2011″ month=”09″ day=”23″] Here was the official statement regarding wolf conservation and the Endangered Species Act from one of Colorado’s U.S. senators Michael Bennet.

Thank you for contacting me regarding the conservation of wolves. I appreciate hearing from you.

You should know I share in your concern that species conservation efforts are critical as habitat loss continues to affect many sensitive animals like the timber wolf, the Northern Rocky Mountain gray wolf, the Mexican wolf, and the Texas gray wolf. Knowing that wolves have historically used a variety of habitats, we’ve also learned that they are sensitive to human disturbance. To protect and ensure long-term conservation for these four subspecies of wolf most common in North America, responsible management is needed.

While Colorado is part of the gray wolf’s native range, according to the Colorado Department of Natural Resources it is extirpated in Colorado. However, I understand your discomfort with what appears to be failing recovery goals for wolf populations, and trophy game management areas that affect wilderness ecosystems in our neighboring states. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service give state wildlife professionals the authority to regulate limited trophy game, and aid in promoting safety in order to maintain healthy wolf populations.

The Endangered Species Act has also been a critical safety net for wolves. As you may know, an animal or plant may be a candidate for federal protection under the Endangered Species Act if, according to the Secretary of the Interior, a significant economic or growth-related factor is threatening its livelihood.

Due to decreasing numbers in the species population, many forms of wolf populations have been protected under the Endangered Species Act since 1967. While gray wolves have rebounded to some degree in the Northern Rockies in recent years, several recent court decisions have recognized the continued importance of protecting this species and prevented delisting efforts by both the Bush and Obama Administrations.

As you may know, during the 112th Congress, legislation supporting decreased protections for the gray wolf has been introduced in both the Senate and the House. In the Senate, Senator Orrin Hatch of Utah introduced S. 249, a bill to amend the Endangered Species Act of 1973 to provide that the Act shall not apply to any gray wolf (Canis lupus). S.249 would remove any protections granted to the gray wolf by the Endangered Species Act. Also, Senator Max Baucus of Montana introduced S. 321, the Delisting Gray Wolves to Restore State Management Act of 2011. S. 321 would identify the Northern Rocky Mountain population of the gray wolf as distinct and revise the list of endangered and threatened wildlife. Both bills have been referred to the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works for further consideration.

In the House, Rep. Denny Rehberg of Montana introduced H.R. 509, to amend the Endangered Species Act of 1973 to provide that the Act shall not apply to the gray wolf (Canis lupus). In addition, Rep. Candice Miller of Michigan introduced H.R. 1819, the State Wildlife Management Act of 2011. H.R. 509 and H.R. 1819 would remove any protections granted to the gray wolf by the Endangered Species Act. They have been referred to the House Committee on Natural Resources.

I am not a member of the committee considering S. 249 and S. 321. However, should either piece of legislation come before the full Senate or additional legislation regarding protections for wolf management or the commonly known gray wolf, I will keep your thoughts and concerns in mind.

As a Senator from a state that is known for its natural treasures, I firmly believe that we have to protect the land, water, and wildlife that surround us. Our wildlife and plant resources belong to all of us. And encouraging the welfare of imperiled species is a shared responsibility. It’s up to us to be good stewards to protect our natural environment, so that future generations can enjoy the greatness of the natural treasures we have.

I value the input of fellow Coloradans in considering a wide variety of important issues and legislative initiatives that affect our natural resources. I hope you will continue to inform me of your thoughts and concerns.

Add YOUR voice!

Just because a politician appears to represent your beliefs doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take the time to make SURE they know you are one Colorado’s pro-wolf advocates and that he represents.

Michael Bennet’s web site

Denver Metro Office
2300 15th St., Suite 450
Denver, Colorado 80202

Phone: (303) 455-7600
Toll Free: (866) 455-9866
Fax: (303) 455-8851

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