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Peterson Calls for Appeal of Gray Wolf Designation
WASHINGTON – Congressman Collin C. Peterson today urged the U.S. Department of the Interior to appeal a recent U.S. District Court decision that reinstates gray wolf protections under the Endangered Species Act in Minnesota.
In a letter to Interior Secretary Jewell, Peterson said appealing the court decision would return management of Minnesota’s gray wolf population back to the state and help farmers and ranchers facing a difficult decision between protecting their livestock and complying with another federal judicial decision.
Full text of the letter is below:
January 15, 2014
The Honorable Sally Jewell
U.S. Department of the Interior
1849 C Street, NW
Washington, DC 20240
Dear Secretary Jewell:
I am writing to express my concerns regarding the recent U.S. District Court decision to reinstate gray wolves under the protections of the Endangered Species Act in Minnesota. I urge the Department of the Interior to appeal this decision so state officials can return to successfully managing the gray wolf population in Minnesota.
Farmers and ranchers in my district now face an immediate legal predicament between protecting their livestock from predatory gray wolves and complying with yet another overreaching federal judicial decision. Until the court decision is reversed, Minnesotans will need immediate relief including access to depredation services to protect against predatory wolves threatening their families, pets or livestock.
I have long been a proponent of state-controlled wolf population management, which provides a legal avenue to balance safety, economic, and species management issues. Minnesota developed a successful plan to manage a thriving gray wolf population which is why the Department of the Interior delisted western Great Lakes region gray wolves from federal protection in 2011.
The Court ruling ignores the Congressional intent of the Endangered Species Act of 1973 which is to protect and recover imperiled species, but also to remove federal protections once populations recover and return to healthy numbers, like the gray wolf in the western Great Lakes region.
Appealing the U.S. District Court decision is an issue that requires immediate attention. I look forward to working with you to restore the management of the gray wolf species to the state and provide immediate relief to Minnesotans burdened by this court decision.
Collin C. Peterson
Member of Congress