Michigan Attorney General Opposes Delisting of Gray Wolves
By Dave Parsons
In a strongly worded letter to Secretary of the Interior, David Bernhardt, dated July 15, 2019 the Attorney General of the State of Michigan, Dana Nessel, called on the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) to “abandon this flawed attempt to delist the gray wolf” and declared that the “flawed proposal to declare the full recovery of gray wolves nationwide is unlawful” under the Endangered Species Act (ESA).
AG Nessel accused the Service of “weaponizing” successful wolf recovery in states like Michigan against wolf populations struggling to recover in other states, which could go extinct if stripped of their protection under the ESA.
Rather than using Michigan’s success to the detriment of wolf populations in other states, AG Nessel suggested that the Service allow the State of Michigan to “lead by example so that other states can manage the gray wolves within their borders into recovery, instead of into extinction.”
That a state feels compelled to tell the federal government how to implement the ESA, sends a strong message that the Trump Administration has no respect for the rule of law or the fate of imperiled species.
Click here to read AG Nessel’s letter.
Below, read comments submitted by the Western Environmental Law Center on behalf of WildEarth Guardians, Western Watershed Project, Oregon Wild, Cascadia Wildlands, Klamath-Siskiyou Wildlands Center, Environmental Protection Information Center, The Lands Council, Kettle Range Conservation Group, Wildlands Network, Klamath Forest Alliance, and Rocky Mountain Wild.
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David Parsons received his Bachelor of Science degree in Fisheries and Wildlife Biology from Iowa State University and his Master of Science degree in Wildlife Ecology from Oregon State University. Dave is retired from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service where from 1990-1999 he led the USFWS’s effort to reintroduce the endangered Mexican gray wolf to the American Southwest.
Dave’s interests include the ecology and conservation of large carnivores, protection and conservation of biodiversity, and wildlands conservation at scales that fully support ecological and evolutionary processes. He is the Carnivore Conservation Biologist for The Rewilding Institute, a member of the Science Advisory Board of Project Coyote, a former member and chairman of the Board of Directors of the New Mexico Wilderness Alliance, and a former graduate advisor in the Environmental Studies master’s degree program at Prescott College. Dave serves as a science and policy advisor for organizations and coalitions advocating for wolf recovery and landscape-scale conservation in the Southwest.
In 2001, Dave received the New Mexico Chapter of The Wildlife Society’s annual “Professional Award.” In 2007 at the North American Wolf Conference, Dave received the “Alpha Award” for his “outstanding professional achievement and leadership toward the recovery of Mexican wolves.” In 2008 he received the “Outstanding Conservation Leadership Award” from the Wilburforce Foundation and the “Mike Seidman Memorial Award” from the Sky Island Alliance for his conservation achievements.
Dave enjoys wildlife viewing, wilderness adventures, and dancing. He lives in Albuquerque, NM, with his wife, Noralyn.