Talking Points for Public Hearings on the Proposed Rule to Delist Gray Wolves in Lower 48
- November 19, 2013, from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., in Denver, CO. Paramount Theatre, 1621 Glenarm Place, Denver, CO 80202; (303) 405-1245.
- November 20, 2013, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., in Albuquerque, NM. Embassy Suites, Sandia Room, 1000 Woodward Place NE., Albuquerque, NM 87102; (505) 245-7100.
- November 22, 2013, from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., in Sacramento, CA. Marriot Courtyard Sacramento Cal Expo, Golden State Ballroom, 1782 Tribute Road, Sacramento, CA 95815; (916) 929-7900.
- December 3, 2013, from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., in Pinetop, AZ. Hon-Dah Conference Center, 777 Highway 260, Pinetop, AZ 85935 (3 miles outside of Pinetop at the Junction of Hwy 260 and Hwy 73); (928) 369-7625.
Below are talking points to consider if you plan to present oral testimony at one of the public hearings. The talking points can also help you prepare written comments on the proposed rule. Please be advised that there is no limitation for length of written comments submitted at the hearings; however, if you sign up to speak at one of the hearings, you will likely have only a couple of minutes to speak. The Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) has indicated that it will limit the amount of time for each speaker depending on how many individuals sign up to speak. Three minutes will be the maximum amount of time allowed, but if many people sign up, the Service will likely limit each speaker to only one minute. You will need to be brief and direct.
While the talking points are a good starting point for both oral and written comments, please do not copy them to make your written or oral comments. When the Service receives multiple copies of virtually the same comments, it simply treats the multiple submissions as a single comment. For that reason, it is important for you to use your own words and to provide your own input in any comments you submit. The most effective comments include details about the actual impact of the proposed action on you and your personal experiences. If one or a few of the points below resonate with you in particular, focus on it or them. If you have ideas that don’t appear below, then please use them.
A representative from the SCI Washington, D.C. Litigation team will be testifying at the public hearings in Denver, Albuquerque, and Sacramento.
- We support the proposed rule: Safari Club International and its members support the Fish and Wildlife Service’s proposed rule to delist gray wolves in the lower 48 states.
- Gray wolves are recovered: Gray wolves in the United States have met recovery goals and no longer meet the definition of threatened or endangered (aside from the Mexican gray wolves in the southwestern United States, which are an experimental population). Listing and delisting of species must be based on science and not the whims of public opinion.
- Social tolerance is the key to gray wolf conservation: As hunters, SCI members understand that social tolerance of any species helps local conservation of that species. In other words, successful wildlife conservation requires that the public living and dealing with the population on a day-to-day basis are willing to accept and participate in the recovery of the species. This principle applies to gray wolves. Public participation in decision-making and management of local gray wolf populations will lead to greater conservation of the species. The Service recognized the value of social tolerance in its delisting rule for Wyoming’s population of gray wolves and should do the same with wolves throughout the lower 48 states.
- The current listing encompasses areas outside of the species’ historical range: According to the best available science, the gray wolf’s historical range did not include the northeastern United States, portions of the upper Midwest, and the Southeast. The Service has no obligation or authority to introduce gray wolves in those areas.
- The Fish and Wildlife Service has no obligation to return gray wolves to where they historically lived: The Endangered Species Act does not require the Service to restore any species to its historical range, even if suitable habitat exists in the historical range. Instead, the Act clearly requires that the Service recover listed species such that they no longer meet the definitions of “threatened” or “endangered” species.
- Recovery efforts have been successful: The recovery of gray wolves in the United States should be heralded as a success story by the Fish and Wildlife Service and all conservation organizations that contributed to the recovery, including SCI. Many people have ignored this success and continue to challenge the Service in petitions and lawsuits. SCI and other conservation organizations have repeatedly come to the defense of the Service and helped return the management of most gray wolves to the states.
- Wolves will be properly managed by the states: Delisting the gray wolves of the lower 48 states does not mean that wolves will not be managed and conserved. Delisting simply transfers management authority to the states. The Northern Rocky Mountains Distinct Population Segment (DPS) and Western Great Lakes DPS wolves – which account for a large majority of gray wolves in the United States – are already delisted and currently under state management authority. The states have proven that they can successfully manage viable wolf populations that exceed federal recovery goals. States outside of those areas can also successfully manage their wolf populations.