03
March
2016
|
03:59 PM
America/New_York

Pressure mounts on Governor Brown to veto anti-wolf bill

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Date: March 3, 2016

Contact: Melanie Gade; mgade@defenders.org (202) 772-0288

Pressure mounts on Governor Brown to veto anti-wolf bill

SALEM, Ore. -- A bill that would legislatively delist wolves – and open the door for the legislature to make politically driven decisions about the fate of imperiled animals across Oregon -- was passed yesterday evening by the Oregon legislature and will now go to Governor Brown for her consideration.

Oregon’s Endangered Species Act grants the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission exclusive authority to list, delist or relist species as threatened or endangered. This bill would change that by giving Oregon’s lawmakers and politicians final say over the wolf’s status under state law instead of leaving that scientific question to scientists. The bill is strongly opposed by a diverse group of constituencies citing concerns that it sets a dangerous political precedent for amending state endangered species law and constraining the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission’s authority on a species by species basis.

Quinn Read, Northwest representative for Defenders of Wildlife, issued the following statement:

Oregon’s imperiled species should not be used as a political football or bargaining chip and that is exactly what this bill does. It’s alarming to see Oregon following what has unfortunately become a national trend of politics trumping science. Politicians should not wade into complex biological listing and delisting issues for which they have no expertise.

“Governor Brown should stop this intrusion of politics into the species listing and delisting process. She should veto this bill.”

Background:  With fewer than 100 known wolves in the entire state, the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission voted 4-2 last November to remove gray wolves from the state list of endangered species. Oregon’s Endangered Species Act grants the commission exclusive authority to list, delist or relist species as threatened or endangered. Wolves are now delisted throughout Oregon under the state endangered species act and continue to be managed according to the Oregon Wolf Conservation and Management Plan. The commission and the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife are currently undertaking a required five-year review and update of the wolf plan.

###

Get the latest Defenders news on Twitter @defendersnews.

Past press statements are available in our newsroom and be sure to visit our multimedia library andreporter resources pages for more info, including free-use photos.

Defenders of Wildlife is dedicated to the protection of all native animals and plants in their natural communities. With more than 1.2 million members and activists, Defenders of Wildlife is a leading advocate for innovative solutions to safeguard our wildlife heritage for generations to come. For more information, visit www.defenders.org.