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Poll Finds Strong Public Support for Endangered Species Act…and Wolves

March 10. 2011

PHOENIX, Ariz. - Scientists should make wildlife management decisions, not politicians. According to a recent poll commissioned by the Endangered Species Coalition,, 92 percent of Americans agree with that view, and support is equally as strong for the Endangered Species Act. The poll results are timely because House Republicans want to include legislation in a stopgap federal spending plan that might remove endangered species protections for gray wolves in the West.

Derek Goldman with the Endangered Species Coalition says it is not a party-line issue.

"Across all political ideologies, Americans support the Endangered Species Act and recognize that it's a safety net for protecting fish, plants and wildlife that are on the brink of extinction."

Goldman says support for the ongoing recovery of gray wolves in the Northern Rockies came in at 78 percent. He describes that as likely a surprise to some, based on what the public has heard and read recently on the topic.

"There's a small, but vocal, minority that's putting out this idea that the wolf is the enemy. This poll shows the opposite: Americans recognize the gray wolf as part of our wildlife heritage."

The Endangered Species Coalition did similar polling six years ago, with similar results.

Meanwhile, Arizona state lawmakers are considering bills to form interstate compacts aimed at removing federal protection for gray wolves, including the Mexican gray wolf subspecies found in Arizona. They also have before them a resolution supporting similar efforts in Congress.

The complete survey results are available at

Doug Ramsey, Public News Service - AZ