Delisting of Grey Wolves in Minnesota

The following is a copy of a letter I received from Minnesota’s U.S, Senator, Amy Klobuchar in response to a request I sent to her, asking her not to oppose a bill that would delist Minnesota’s grey wolves from the Endangered Species list and explaining why. The amount of information a U. S. Senator must know to preform her duties is incredible, but as you can see from this letter, Senator Klobuchar is even well versed on this matter. It is good to know Minnesota’s enormous number of outdoor enthusiasts are well represented in Washington, D.C.

_______________________

April 11, 2016

Dear Dr. Nordberg:

Thank you for contacting me about Minnesota’s gray wolf population. I appreciate hearing your thoughts on this important issue.

As required by the Endangered Species Act, in 1978 the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service established a population goal of 1,250 to 1,400 wolves for the state of Minnesota to ensure the population’s long-term survival. According to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, the most recent estimates of Minnesota’s wolf population indicate that there are approximately 2,423 wolves in the state.

This increase in the wolf population provides strong evidence that the Endangered Species Act has been successful and the gray wolf should be delisted. The Endangered Species Act is a tool that has helped bring numerous species back from the brink of extinction by protecting them until they can maintain a stable and viable population. While I support the Endangered Species Act, I do not believe its provisions and regulations are suited for the permanent protection of a recovering species.

That is why I sent a letter in 2010 to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service requesting a scientific review of Minnesota’s wolf population to determine if a new designation is needed, and if appropriate, to remove the wolf from the list of endangered species. On January 27, 2012, gray wolves in Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Michigan were removed from the list of endangered and threatened species and with the support of wildlife groups, the federal government transferred responsibility for wolf management to the states and tribes.

After the federal decision was made, a number of groups chose not to litigate this matter any further in court. But some groups did and as a result the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia reversed the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s 2012 delisting and limited the ability of the State of Minnesota to manage the wolf population. The litigation and the resulting decision have created uncertainty for many in our state and it has interrupted management of the species by state and federal wildlife agencies. I believe the decision should be reversed.

I have urged the Interior Department to take action to ensure that the State of Minnesota can continue to successfully manage its gray wolf population. I am confident that the Endangered Species Act has served its purpose in protecting the gray wolf and that the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is capable of managing the population. That’s why on March 28, 2015 the National Wildlife Federation made official its support for delisting the gray wolf from the Endangered Species Act in Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Michigan with management authority returning to those states. As we continue to see the number of wolves we are seeing today, I will continue to advocate for delisting.

Again, thank you for taking the time to contact me. I continue to be humbled to be your Senator, and one of the most important parts of my job is listening to the people of Minnesota.  I am here in our nation’s capital to do the public’s business. I hope you will contact me again about matters of concern to you.

Sincerely,

Amy Klobuchar

United States Senator

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