Agriculture and Forestry Coalition Moves to Defend Gray Wolf Delisting

This last week, a coalition of agriculture and forestry groups — including the American Farm Bureau Federation, the American Forest Resources Council, the American Sheep Industry Association, the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, and the Public Lands Council — filed motions in court in defense of delisting the gray wolf under the Endangered Species Act (ESA).
Three cases filed by environmental and animal welfare groups in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California challenge the final delisting rule issued by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on November 3, 2020. The coalition is defending the delisting because it recognizes the successful recovery of the wolf, and enables responsible wildlife management and protection of private property by farmers, ranchers, and forest resource users.
The coalition provided the Court with personal stories that illustrate the harm inflicted by unchecked wolf populations on livestock ranchers and farmers, natural ecosystems, and other wildlife. Cattle producer Joe Wilebski from Kittson County, MN, states that he lost 26 calves to gray wolves in a single year, and other cattle have been permanently maimed by wolf attacks.
“In addition to the outright killing and maiming of calves, gray wolves have a stressing effect on my remaining cattle that reduces their economic viability,” stated Wilebski. “Waking up in the morning, I often wonder how many cattle are dead or missing due to gray wolf depredation. It has been a nightmare.”
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