The U.S. Fish and Wildlife has determined that the gray wolf population is at healthy levels and needs to have its status updated accordingly. Per the agency, the species has rebounded “by as much as 300 percent”, with their population “estimated to be 5,691 gray wolves in the contiguous United States.” They have concluded that wolf numbers are “robust”, “stable,” and “self-sustaining.”
Any attempts to place further Endangered Species Act (ESA) protections on the gray wolf won’t stand, as the legislation makes this species exempt from further judicial review.
House Natural Resources Committee Chair Rob Bishop (R-UT) praised his House colleagues for passing it on the respective chamber’s floor:
“Scientific evidence conducted by Fish and Wildlife under multiple administrations from both sides of the aisle shows the wolf has recovered and thrived. It’s time to delist. Communities and species will continue to lose when special interest litigants and activist judges dictate Endangered Species Act policy. That’s the status quo, and today the House voted to move ESA policy in a better direction.”
“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 Congressman Duffy. “I’m proud to introduce bipartisan legislation to delist the gray wolf because Wisconsin farmers deserve to be able to protect their livestock, and they should not suffer because of the decisions made by an overreaching federal government a thousand miles away.”
The bill boasts two key sections: Section II of the bill calls for full removal of federal protections for gray wolves in Wyoming and the Western Great Lakes, while Section III fully removes the species in question from the Endangered and Threatened Wildlife lists in the continental U.S. Any attempt to delist these gray wolves will be exempt from judicial review, as well, meaning federal judges like the one in Montana who put a halt
Delisting won’t lead to decimation of the gray wolf. An updated status will accurately reflect the health of the species free of politics but based in actual science. This is a win for true conservation.
A companion bill must pass in the Senate before being signed into law. Let’s hope the Lame Duck session leads to this bill becoming law.