Dr. Goodall shared the following letter with U.S. Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland endorsing the need to advance full protections for grey wolves. This was shared in conjunction with a coalition of organizations efforts, including Dr. Goodall + JGI, to advance a petition seeking immediate Endangered Species Act (ESA) protection. This petition is to protect gray wolves in the northern Rockies.
Dear Madame Secretary,
I was so happy to learn last week that protections for gray wolves were partially restored in the United States following the ruling of U.S. District Judge Jeffrey White –though of course I am disappointed that wolves in in the Northern Rockies remain unprotected. But it is great to know that the wolves in the Great Lakes region and throughout the Midwest are protected once again.
Your February 7th op-ed on wolves was really moving and as I think you know I absolutely agree that wolves must be honored and revered, and that they are vital to their fragile ecosystems. I get really upset when I think how much they have suffered and been exploited over the course of recent human history. My greatest hope is that the decades of science and the hard work of states, tribes and communities that you referred to in your Op ed will result in restoring protections for wolves across their full range.
The tragedies of the Yellowstone wolves, as well as some of the horribly cruel ways that these highly intelligent and sentient wolves have been hunted after they were de-listed in some states, is horrible to think about. Idaho is even funding a bounty program that pays up to $2,500 per wolf including pups in their dens, unlimited trapping and snaring, and year-round killing. The state policymakers who have allowed such persecution have clearly demonstrated their lack of respect for wolves, their lack of respect for tribal sovereignty, and their inability to responsibly manage populations of wolves in their states. Thus, it is clear that despite the efforts of tribal and state governments, wolves will only be assured of the protection the species needs once federal support is restored by listing them once again as endangered, nation-wide, under the Endangered Species Act.
Of course, the arguments of those who would protest this move must be listened to. People as well as wolves are part of the landscape. But fortunately, scientists studying wolves and communities that care about them recognize this, and are implementing effective ways to enable humans, wolves and other wildlife to co-exist. It will be important to bring those in opposition into these discussions as partners rather than enemies! We are after all part of the natural world, and we must make use of our extraordinary intellect to ensure harmony between people as well as wildlife. Your leadership will play a crucial role in bringing this about.
With warm regards,
Dr. Jane Goodall, DBE,
Founder of the Jane Goodall Institute
UN Messenger of Peace