While we believe the American public is decidedly against the sport killing of the small populations of wolves in the Great Lakes and the Northern Rockies, we have tried to offer a constructive solution that bridges the political and cultural divide on the issue. To that end, we recently petitioned the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to downlist wolves from endangered to threatened everywhere in the lower 48 states except the Southwest. This will maintain important federal protections for wolves, but it will give the federal government, and therefore the states, more latitude in conducting control programs, including lethal ones, for wolves causing a problem for ranchers or other private property owners.
Unfortunately, several lawmakers, mainly from the wolf range states, want Congress to remove federal protections for wolves. They are seeking to nullify the judicial branch's careful examination of the unwarranted delisting actions of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. In short, these lawmakers don't like the court ruling, so they are trying to overturn it. That's not the way our system should work, and it's a threat to every endangered species when Congress, for purely political reasons, takes this sort of heavy-handed approach. The judicial branch is co-equal, not subservient.