Letter: Federal government needs to continue protecting the nation's wolves
Minnesota once again opened a hunting season on wolves last year, and now, Congress is opening a political season on wolves.
Some members of Congress are pushing legislation to remove federal protections for wolves in the Great Lakes and Wyoming. They are attempting to use politics to reverse a scientifically based federal court ruling that wolf populations are too fragile for the species to lose protection under the Endangered Species Act.
In Minnesota, fewer than 2,500 wolves are believed to survive in the wild, and more than 900 wolves already have been hunted or trapped during the last three years.
We can support Minnesota's farmers and wolves at the same time. Science shows the indiscriminate killing of wolves actually increases the tendency of wolves to prey on livestock, in part by breaking up stable wolf packs and allowing younger, less dominant animals to start breeding and expanding into new territories, according to a recently released 25-year Washington State University study.
Minnesota wolves are under a threatened status, which allows wildlife managers flexibility to address specific problem wolves, while giving wolves much-needed protection from trophy hunting.
Science — not politics — should drive decisions about managing wolf populations. I've contacted my Congressional representative to say I want the federal government to keep protecting our nation's wolves, and I hope you will do the same.