Washington, DC

Ahead of the vote on the House floor today, Defenders of Wildlife is strongly opposing H.R. 764, the ridiculously named “Trust the Science Act,” which would delist gray wolves from the Endangered Species Act in the lower 48. The bill, introduced by Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-CO), would direct the Department of Interior to remove federal protections, blatantly undermining the scientific processes to establish species’ conservation status. 

“If our elected leaders truly want to see this species fully recovered and properly delisted from the Endangered Species Act, they will vote no on this bill and allow wolves to continue their comeback story guided by best available science and not have it cut short by political behest. Congressional interference with the Endangered Species Act shouldn’t occur in this instance or any,” said Robert Dewey, vice president of government relations for Defenders of Wildlife.

Gray wolf populations were decimated by predator control programs and habitat destruction and have begun to make a comeback under the ESA but are far from fully recovered. 

“This bill is nothing more than a poorly disguised attempt at hiding a seething hatred of one of our nation’s most iconic and respected species,” said Dewey. 

Defenders of Wildlife is also opposing bills scheduled for a floor vote this week that would reverse major strides forward in conservation efforts on our public lands including:

•    The WEST Act of 2023 (H.R. 3397), sponsored by Rep. Curtis (R-UT), would strike down the new Bureau of Land Management rule which puts conservation priorities on par with oil and gas development on BLM lands.  

•    The Protecting Access for Hunters and Anglers Act of 2023 (H.R. 615), sponsored by Rep. Rob Wittman (R-VA), would bar the Department of the Interior and Department of Agriculture from prohibiting or regulating the use of lead ammunition, which is highly toxic to both people and wildlife, on public lands.  

•    The Alaska’s Right to Produce Act of 2023 (H.R. 6285), sponsored by Rep. Pete Stauber (R-MN) and Rep. Mary Peltola (D-AK), would reverse several critical Biden administration actions to protect the Coastal Plain and Arctic National Wildlife Refuge from oil drilling, opening up indiscriminate fossil fuel development on millions of acres of public land in Alaska.  

For over 75 years, Defenders of Wildlife has remained dedicated to protecting all native animals and plants in their natural communities. With a nationwide network of nearly 2.1 million members and activists, Defenders of Wildlife is a leading advocate for innovative solutions to safeguard our wildlife for generations to come. To learn more, please visit https://defenders.org/newsroom or follow us on X @Defenders.


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Gray Wolf in Yellowstone


Blackfeet Nation Birch Creek - hay bails in foreground
Washington, DC

Defenders Supports New Bill Expanding Investments in Soil Health and Wildlife Habitat on Private Land

Defenders of Wildlife today announced its support for H.R. 8754 introduced by Rep. Julia Brownley (D-CA). If passed, the Saving Our Interconnected Lives (SOIL) Act will amend the Farm Bill to encourage agricultural producers to voluntarily conserve soil and wildlife habitat on their land by prioritizing applications for projects that would address both concerns under the Department of Agriculture’s Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) and the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP).
2010.12.27 - Florida Manatee - Crystal River National Wildlife Refuge - Florida - Keith Ramos - USFWS
Washington, DC

Defenders Opposes “Breathtakingly Awful” Attempt to Gut Endangered Species Act with Appalling Rewrite

Defenders of Wildlife opposes one of the worst-ever attempts to gut the Endangered Species Act, the “ESA Amendments Act of 2024.” Sponsored by Rep. Bruce Westerman (R-AR) chair of the U.S. House of Representatives Natural Resources Committee, the draft bill being heard today in the Subcommittee on Water, Wildlife and Fisheries demolishes many of the core tenets of the landmark conservation bill, warps its foundational reliance on best available science and increases the potential for political interference.