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INDY Week, December 14, 2016 

The nine members of Congress who penned a letter to Interior Secretary Sally Jewell say they blame the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for the state of the endangered red wolf population that calls eastern North Carolina home, citing specific examples of how bad decisions have pushed the species to the brink of extinction.

Representatives Raul Grijalva, Debbie Dingell, Jim Langevin, Mark Pocan, Donald Beyer Jr., Alan Lowenthal, Peter DeFazio, Jared Polis, and Betty McCollum—all Democrats, none from North Carolina—say the government has failed the "iconic animal" by abandoning its responsibility to protect the wolves under the Endangered Species Act. 

They argued that the USFWS's ruling this fall on the future of the Red Wolf Recovery Program, one the feds painted as a victory for the species, would actually all but ensure the wild wolf population would end up in captivity.

"Over the last three years, the [USFWS] has failed to follow the best available science, has ignored the management recommendations made by independent analyses, and has undermined the recovery of the red wolf, causing the population to fall by 50 percent," the letter reads.

"The [USFWS] has now proposed to abandon management of red wolves in the wild, and shift focus away from 'trying to establish a self-sustaining population.' This is troubling."

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