Proponents of Wolf Protection

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Those who are in favor of protecting the wolf through the Endangered Species Act include individual local activists and residents of areas near wolf populations, celebrity spokespeople like Ashley Judd, proponents of wildlife conservation and nonprofit organizations such as Defenders of Wildlife. Organizations that fund wolf research are not explicitly partisan, but sometimes fund research that supports wolf protection, thus advancing the basis of scientific knowledge upon which wolf protection is based. These groups and individuals are interested in promoting wolf education and awareness and creating positive perceptions of the wolf. Their ultimate goal is to achieve wolf protection by listing the wolf as “endangered” through the federal Endangered Species Act in order to outlaw hunting wolves throughout the country.

These actors are the driving force behind the movement to protect wolves. When the wolf has been delisted in some areas in the country, these organizations have sued the federal agencies that made the decision and pursued them in court. They continue to fight for the protection of the wolf based on ethical, cultural, ecological and economic reasons.

National and International Wildlife Conservation Organizations

Several nonprofit organizations, including the International Union for the Conservation of Nature, the Sierra Club, Conservation Northwest, the World Wildlife Fund and EarthJustice, have supported measures to protect wolves under the Endangered Species Act and have vehemently opposed the legalization of wolf hunting.
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Representatives from the Sierra Club, NRDC and other conservation organizations at a hearing involving the legalization of wolf hunting.
The International Wolf Center, based in Minnesota, conducts wolf research and promotes wolf conservation through educational outreach. Its focus is to secure legislation that will protect the grey wolf through creating positive perceptions and knowledge about the wolf. 

The National Resource Defense Council (NRDC) is one of the organizations fighting the delisting of the grey wolf through legal action. The NDRC also promotes wolf education and awareness, and has the following video about wolf hunting posted on its website.
Defenders of Wildlife created a campaign specifically to save America's wolves as well as an effort to save Alaska's wolves (savewolves.org). It also enlisted celebrity Ashley Judd to speak out against wolf hunting in general and, specifically, Sarah Palin's endorsement of aerial wolf hunts in Alaska.

Local Wolf Protection Organizations

There are several locally-based organizations that promote wolf conservation in wolf habitat areas. These organizations are not as far-reaching or recognized as the national and international organizations, but speak out for wolf protection and advance efforts to raise awareness and education about wolves.  

The Wolf Recovery Foundation is based in Idaho and dedicated to the restoration of healthy wolf populations in the Rocky Mountains. 

Mission: Wolf is a wolf sanctuary in the mountains of Colorado that provides educational experiences and visits to encourage the protection of wolf populations. 

The Human Outreach for Wolves League (HOWL) promotes wolf education and awareness as well as safe population control methods that allow humans and wolves to coexist peacefully. 

The Save the Wolves Foundation supports other organizations that fight for wolf protection and influence policy regarding wolf protection.

Funding Organizations

Research and studies on wolf populations are often funded by organizations like the National Science Foundation and the National Parks Service (the Isle Royale study was funded by both of these organizations). Although these organizations are not explicitly partisan regarding the listing of the wolf, they sometimes fund research and projects that support wolf protection. The National Parks Service in particular has an interest in protecting wolf populations that exist within national parks, as the presence of wolves is a driver of tourism to these locations.

Individual Activists

There are some local residents of areas near wolf populations that fight for protection of the wolf. Many residents acknowledge that wolf populations draw tourism to their area and support their local economy. According to Defenders of Wildlife, wolves bring more than 150,000 people and $35 million to the Yellowstone area each year, a huge boon to the tourism industry that also helps small businesses and industries in the area. Without wild wolves in the area,  local residents know that they would suffer and so they support wolf conservation.

There are also individual efforts to raise awareness and support of the wolf. The Save the Wolves Now blog is one such example of an outlet that is not attributed to any larger group but stands firmly against the hunting of wolves. The blog links to national and international organizations like Defenders of Wildlife to encourage support of their efforts to fight the delisting of the wolf.