House Members Make Bipartisan Push to Delist of Gray Wolf
Today, a bipartisan coalition of House Members joined together to introduce legislation [H.R. 509] that will remove the Gray Wolf from consideration under the Endangered Special Act (ESA). The following four lead members Denny Rehberg (R-MT), Jim Matheson (D-UT), Cynthia Lummis (R-WY), and Mike Ross (D-AR) are calling for new management regime for the gray wolf that will empower state and local officials to create and implement recovery plans on a state by state basis.
"The gray wolf isn't endangered, which is why Republicans and Democrats alike are joining forces to end the misuse of the Endangered Species Act to advance extremist policy agendas," said Rehberg, a rancher from Billings. "I heard from thousands of Montanans, and folks get it. They know that states are better at managing our own local wildlife than the federal government thousands of miles away. Unless there's a darn good reason – and there's not – the federal government has no business getting involved. Years of research, dedicated efforts by land owners and local officials, and the expert opinions of on-the-ground wildlife managers have been given a back seat to profit-motivated environmental groups. We need to end this abuse and solve an issue that should have been put to rest years ago."
"Scientists and wolf recovery advocates agree – the gray wolf is back. Since it is no longer endangered, it should be de-listed as a species, managed as others species are--by state wildlife agencies-- and time, money and effort can be focused where it's needed," said Matheson.
"The ESA should be based on sound science, not a political agenda; but it is clear that Washington has caved to environmentalists determined to prevent the gray wolf's delisting. We need a balanced and reasonable approach to wolf management that is carried out by the proper officials: Wyoming's on the ground experts. As long as wolves continue to hurt Wyoming's livestock owners and attack large game herds, I will continue to fight for this predator's delisting," said Lummis.
"Wildlife recovery is a very important and very sensitive issue and I believe the federal government should listen to state and local wildlife officials in these matters," said Ross, who is also Co-Chair of the Congressional Sportsmen's Caucus. "Excessive wolf populations are having a devastating impact on elk, moose, deer and other species and each state has its own unique set of challenges. Both the Obama and Bush Administrations have already recommended the de-listing of wolves in many states and turning their management over to state wildlife agencies because it is the right thing to do to keep our nation's sensitive ecosystem in balance."
The following 12 Members are also original sponsors of the legislation:
1) Rob Bishop (R-UT)
2) Leonard Boswell (D-IA)
3) Paul Broun (R-GA)
4) Dennis Cardoza (D-CA)
5) Jason Chaffetz (R-UT)
6) Dean Heller (R-NV)
7) John Kline (R-MN)
8) Mike Simpson (R-ID)
9) Greg Walden (R-OR)
10) Don Young (R-AK)
11) Dan Boren (D-OK)
12) Raul Labrador (R-ID)