BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — Federal lawmakers are pressing Interior Secretary Sally Jewell to drop a proposal that would end federal protections for wolves across most of the Lower 48 states.
Seventy-four House members signed onto a Wednesday letter to Jewell that cites a peer-review panel’s recent conclusion the government relied on unsettled science to make its case.
Wolves were added to the endangered-species list in 1975 after being widely exterminated in the last century. Protections already have been lifted for rebounding populations of the predators in the Northern Rockies and Great Lakes regions.
The lawmakers led by Democratic Oregon Rep. Peter DeFazio say protections elsewhere should remain in part because wolves have not yet repopulated suitable areas in California, Utah, Colorado and the Northeast.
A public comment period on Interior’s proposal ends March 27.