Wolf advocates came out in droves last Friday in Sacramento to tell U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service officials that we will not stand for their proposal to remove federal protections for gray wolves across most of the continental U.S.
Defenders and our conservation allies organized an awesome pre-hearing rally with an exciting slate of speakers, including a passionate 15-year-old wolf advocate from Washington State, and a singer-songwriter who sang his touching song, “Spirit of the Wolf,” to more than 100 rally participants. Afterwards, we all marched together to the hearing, where we joined a line of folks eager to speak out on behalf of continued wolf protections that stretched around the building.
More than 425 people – a huge majority of which were pro-wolf, anti-delisting – packed the hearing to standing-room-only capacity. These folks included tribal leaders, doctors, predator-friendly ranchers, teachers, photographers, and wildlife lovers, and all spoke emphatically about retaining federal protection for wolves, especially in areas like California and the Pacific West where the species is just starting its journey to recovery.
Even if you were not able to attend the hearing in Sacramento, your voice was heard! Kim Delfino, Defenders’ California program director, provided testimony on behalf of Defenders, and delivered more than 33,000 petition signatures from our members in California, Oregon, Washington and Idaho.
Despite the hearing being extended by an extra 45 minutes, only 75 of the 170 people who signed up to testify were able to speak. But there’s little doubt that the Fish and Wildlife Service officials heard loud and clear that a vast majority of people in attendance support continued wolf protections. A big howl of thanks to everyone who came out to speak on behalf of wolves!
Pamela Flick, California Representative