by Anthony Buzzeo
LEWISBORO, N.Y. — Kate Heichler always loved wolves, especially after a trip to the Wolf Conservation Center in South Salem, which led to her raising support to keeping the gray wolf on the endangered species list last week.
“Wolves just grab me, they are so beautiful,” she said as she worked to gain signatures for the petition in her hometown of Stamford, Connecticut.
During the visit, she got to meet Atka, one of the ambassador wolves, and learned more about the gray wolves and their importance in their ecosystems.
“There is something majestic about them,” she said.
Heichler was looking for support as part of a National Day of Action, Stand for Wolves, which will start a campaign to seek support to stop the removal and raise awareness about the importance of gray wolves in the wild.
In June, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced plans to remove the protections of the federal Endangered Species Act from gray wolves after nearly three decades on the list, a news release said. It will now be up to state and local wildlife groups to protect the gray wolf across the country, the release said.
“From the moment a species requires the protection of the Endangered Species Act, our goal is to work with our partners to address the threats it faces and ensure its recovery,” Service Director Dan Ashe said in the release. “An exhaustive review of the latest scientific and taxonomic information shows that we have accomplished that goal with the gray wolf, allowing us to focus our work under the (Endangered Species Act) on recovery of the Mexican wolf subspecies in the Southwest.”
The service has opened a 90-day comment period for public comment that will end Sept. 11. A final decision will be made in 2014.
“These petitions, online and on paper, they work,” Heichler said.
View the petition online here.