By David Scott, Sierra Club President
As many readers of this blog are well aware, in June the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service proposed removing the gray wolf (Canis lupus) from the list of threatened and endangered species. The proposal would strip Endangered Species Act protections from wolves across nearly the entire continental U.S., despite the fact that few, if any, wolves are left in the vast majority of their former range.
Four public hearings on the proposed delisting were scheduled for earlier this fall, but three of them -- in Sacramento, Albuquerque, and Denver -- were canceled due to the federal government shutdown. At the hearing that did take place, on September 30 in Washington, D.C., several Sierra Club activists were among the 73 citizens who spoke out against delisting (only three spoke in favor), and Sierra Club Legislative Director Debbie Sease spoke at a pre-hearing rally.
Despite cancellation of the official hearings, in early October hundreds of wolf supporters held citizens hearings in Albuquerque and Denver. In Albuquerque alone, 300 people showed up for a "Save the Lobo" rally and unofficial hearing where activists recorded video testimony to be delivered after the shutdown. (Americans for Prosperity, funded by the Koch brothers, attempted to hold an event next door to the Save the Lobo rally, but only about 30 people showed up.)
Four make-up hearings on the gray wolf delisting have now been scheduled, and three are taking place this week, in Denver, Albuquerque, and Sacramento. A fourth and final hearing will take place in Pinetop, Arizona, on December 3.
Denver -- Tuesday, November 19, from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the Paramount Theatre, 1621 Glenarm Place, Denver, CO 80202; (303) 405–1245
Albuquerque -- Wednesday, November 20, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Embassy Suites, Sandia Room, 1000 Woodward Place NE, Albuquerque, NM 87102; (505) 245–7100
Sacramento -- Friday, November 22, from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. the Marriot Courtyard Sacramento Cal Expo, Golden State Ballroom, 1782 Tribute Road, Sacramento, CA 95815; (916) 929–7900
Pinetop, AZ -- Tuesday, December 3, from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the 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
I urge all who care about giving gray wolves a fighting chance of continuing their comeback to attend one of the hearings in person and speak out. And if you cannot attend a hearing, please take action here. The deadline for submitting public comments is December 17.