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For Immediate Release, October 29, 2020

Contact: Brett Hartl, (202) 774-7296, bretthartl@centeractionfund.org

Trump Guts Protections for Gray Wolves in Last-ditch Ploy for Midwest Votes

WASHINGTON— As the pandemic worsens in the Midwest, Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt flew to Minnesota today to announce that the Trump administration is stripping all federal protections from gray wolves nationwide, in a last-ditch play for votes as President Trump trails in the polls there.

This final decision prematurely removes protections, especially on the West Coast and New England, where gray wolf recovery is still in its beginning stages. Only the small Mexican wolf population in Arizona and New Mexico will still have endangered species protections moving forward.

“Wolves will be shot and killed because Donald Trump is desperate to gin up his voters in the Midwest,” said Brett Hartl, chief political strategist at the Center for Biological Diversity Action Fund. “Secretary Bernhardt’s nakedly political theater announcing the end to wolf protections in a battleground state days before the election shows just how corrupt and self-serving the Trump administration is.”

During the public comment period, nearly 2 million people voiced their opposition to ending protections for wolves. Keeping wolves protected is overwhelmingly popular, according to national polls taken in 2019 and in Minnesota, where nearly 90% supported continued wolf protections.

More than 100 scientists raised concerns with the Trump proposal, which fails to follow the best available science on wolf recovery. The scientific peer review of the proposal itself also raised serious concerns, none of which were addressed by the Trump administration’s rushed decision.

“For four years the Trump administration has rejected science and coddled special interests with devastating consequences for ordinary people,” said Hartl. “The gray wolf is now one more victim of this administration’s vicious, heartless agenda.”

The Center for Biological Diversity Action Fund is a national nonprofit organization that advocates for legislation and legislators that will advance a progressive environmental agenda. The Action Fund is the 501(c)(4) affiliate of the Center for Biological Diversity, but these organizations’ names are not interchangeable. This news release is from the Center for Biological Diversity Action Fund, not the Center for Biological Diversity.