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Breaking: Independent Peer Review Concludes Wolf Delisting Proposal Does Not Represent the Best Available Science

February 7, 2014
Bethany Cotton 503.327.4923
In This Release

Friday, February 7, 2014
Breaking: Independent Peer Review Concludes Wolf Delisting Proposal Does Not Represent the Best Available Science

Conservationists Call for Withdrawal
Contact: Bethany Cotton 503.327.4923

Additional contact:

John Horning, jhorning@wildearthguardians.org,505.795.5083

Washington D.C. –A peer review of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s (Service) proposalto remove Endangered Species Act protections from the gray wolf found theService’s process to be deeply flawed. Written by five leading scientists, thereport released today unanimously concludes: “the rule does not currentlyrepresent the ‘best available science.’” The Endangered Species Act requiresthat listing and delisting decisions be made only on the basis of the bestavailable science. Moreover, Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell and U.S.Fish and Wildlife Service Director Dan Ashe have repeatedly asserted theService will base decisions on the status of wolves on the best availablescience.

“We are calling on Secretary Jewell and Director Ashe tokeep their promise to follow the best available science,” said Bethany Cotton,wildlife program director of WildEarth Guardians. “The independent peer reviewis clear: the Service did not do so. The only thing left is for the Service torescind the fatally flawed proposed rule.”

Last May, sixteen leading wolf scientists wrote to theService expressing grave concerns about the scientific integrity of the graywolf delisting proposal. TheService ignored those concerns, pressing full steam ahead, going so far as tointerfere with the initial selection of independent peer reviewers by havingany scientist who had expressed doubts about the delisting removed from thepanel. Once the Service’s inappropriate meddling was revealed, the peer reviewprocess was re-started. The new peer review panel produced today’s report.
“The Service bent over backwards to push the gray wolf delisting proposal,interfering with the first peer review, reviving a long defunct journal topublish unsettled scientific conclusions, and ignoring over a million publiccomments opposing the delisting,” said John Horning, executive director ofWildEarth Guardians. “Given the peer review conclusions, if the Service is tomaintain any credibility, it must withdraw the delisting proposal.”

Beginning Monday, the Service will reopen the public commentperiod on the delisting proposal for an additional 45 days.

Other Contact
John Horning, jhorning@wildearthguardians.org, 505.795.5083
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