A bill to remove gray wolves from federal threatened and endangered species lists in the 48 contiguous states has been introduced in the U.S. House by representatives from Washington, Wisconsin and Minnesota.
Manage our Wolves Act, HR 6784 introduced Sept. 12, would delist the wolves no later than the end of fiscal year 2019 and would return their management to state control.
“According to the U.S. Department of Interior and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s best available scientific evidence, the gray wolf is not endangered any no longer warrants federal endangered species protection,” Rep. Dan Newhouse, R-Wash., said in a news release.
He was joined as a sponsor by Reps. Cathy McMorris-Rogers, R-Wash., Sean Duffy, R-Wis., and Collin Peterson, D-Minn.
“Wisconsin deserves the opportunity to use science-based wildlife management for our own gray wolf population, because we know what’s better for our state’s ecosystem better than activist judges in Washington,” said Duffy, chairman of the Financial Services Subcommittee on Housing and Insurance.
Farmers deserve to be able to protect their livestock, he said.
Management of gray wolves was transferred from states to the federal government following two 2014 U.S. District Court decisions that reinstated gray wolves under the protections of the Endangered Species Act.
The designations leave farmers and ranchers in those states without a legal avenue to protect their livestock from wolves, Duffy and Newhouse said.
A Newhouse amendment to an Interior appropriations bill, HR 6147, now in conference committee between the House and Senate, also directs the Interior secretary to delist gray wolves in the 48 states. HR 6784 is another legislative path and would require delisting beyond fiscal year 2019, a Newhouse aide said.
The same amendment defunds transportation of grizzly bears into the North Cascades of Washington.