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Reader's View: Reject any weakening of wolf protections

Grey wolves are an enduring symbol of America's natural heritage. Once nearly driven to extinction by indiscriminate hunting and persecution, wolves slowly have begun to make their way back from the brink thanks to public pressure and federal protection.

Unfortunately, many of our elected federal officials are determined to remove federal Endangered Species Act protections from wolf populations in Minnesota and beyond. When populations are delisted, their management is transferred to the states, often resulting in premature and ill-advised trophy hunting and trapping seasons. For example, when wolves in the Great Lakes states were briefly delisted, Minnesota bowed to special-interest trophy-hunting groups and rushed to open trophy hunting and trapping seasons. More than 400 wolves, a quarter of the state's estimated wolf population, were killed in just the first season.

The vast majority of Minnesotans are opposed to this brutality. A 2012 survey conducted by the state's Department of Natural Resources found that 79 percent of Minnesotans were opposed to the trapping and hunting of wolves.

Please call Minnesota's U.S. Sens. Amy Klobuchar (202-224-3244) and Tina Smith (202-224-5641) and ask them to voice the will of their constituents by opposing any policy riders in the fiscal year 2019 Senate appropriations bill, or any other bill, that seek to delist or reduce Endangered Species Act protections.

Heather Cronemiller

Isanti, Minn.