Bills to end Endangered Species Act protections for wolves introduced in Congress


Two bills have been introduced in the U.S. House this week to strip federal Endangered Species Act protections from wolves in several states. Rep. John Kline, R-Minn., introduced HF 843 that would prohibit the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service from listing wolves under the Endangered Species Act in Minnesota,… Duluth, 55802Duluth Minnesota 424 W. First St. 55802

2015-02-12 15:56:22

Two bills have been introduced in the U.S. House this week to strip federal Endangered Species Act protections from wolves in several states.

Rep. John Kline, R-Minn., introduced HF 843 that would prohibit the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service from listing wolves under the Endangered Species Act in Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan.

Meanwhile, Rep. Reid Ribble, R-Wis., introduced HF 884, broader legislation that would restore wolves to their earlier unprotected status under a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service rule from 2012 in not just the Great Lakes states but also Wyoming.

Reps. Collin Peterson, D-Minn., and Sean Duffy, R-Wis., are among several co-sponsors on both bills.

Kline, who manages a fifth-generation family farm in southeastern Minnesota, where few if any wolves exist, said individual states should be able to manage the big predators without federal interference.

A summary of Kline’s bill says that “the overpopulation of gray wolves in the Western Great Lakes region contributes to the decline of livestock, pets and other animals in the wild.”

“Wolf attacks are a concern for farmers and livestock producers in Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Michigan, where the overpopulation of gray wolves is directly linked to the decline of livestock and other animals,’’ Kline said in a statement Thursday. “This bipartisan legislation will remove the gray wolf from the federal endangered species list and return management to the states, providing greater flexibility and giving states exclusive jurisdiction over the wolves within their own borders.”

The proposed legislation is in response to a federal judge’s ruling in December that wolves in the Great Lakes states be immediately placed back under full protection of the Endangered Species Act, under the government’s original 1978 ruling to protect the animals which had been hunted, trapped and harassed to near-extinction at the time.

The judge ruled the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s 2012 rule delisting wolves in the Great Lakes region, handing wolf management back to states and tribes, was improper. The federal agency has not yet decided whether to appeal the judge’s order. But thecopyrighted Hayden wolf in lodgepoles legislation introduced this week, if passed and signed into law by the president, would take precedent over the judge’s ruling.

The legislation is supported by groups such as the Minnesota Farm Bureau and Minnesota Farmers Union.

Wolf supporters, however, say wolves are in integral part of thriving ecosystems and that the legislation is an overreaction by politicians and wolf opponents who continue to wrongly cast the animals as storybook demons.

“This legislation is an end-around a series of federal court rulings that have determined that state and federal agencies have acted improperly” in managing wolves in recent years, said Wayne Pacelle, president and CEO of the Humane Society of the United States, in a statement Thursday. “This bill is just the latest act of political bomb-throwing and gamesmanship, and lawmakers who want balance on the wolf issue should reject it.”

In January the Humane Society and 21 animal protection and conservation organizations petitioned the Fish and Wildlife Service to list grey wolves as officially “threatened’’ across most of the U.S. That would continue federal oversight but enable some wolves to be trapped and killed by federally-approved trappers if the animals cause problems near pets or livestock.

3 thoughts on “Bills to end Endangered Species Act protections for wolves introduced in Congress

  1. Political Wolf Jihad Mismanagement, The Rider Strategy and Unethical Political Mismanagement

    Jon Tester (D) Senator MT and Mike Simpson (R) Representative ID in April 2011 opened a Pandora’;s Box to political management and political shenanigans when they attached a rider to a defense appropriation bill in 2011 to delist wolves in MT and ID. On September 23, 2014 a federal judge put wolves back on the protected list in WY. On December 19, 2014 put wolves back on the protected list in the midwestern states of WI, MI, MN. Now Midwestern politicians and WY are trying the same thing again: circumvent federal authority through ESA or court rulings (September 23, 2014 in WY and last December December 19, 2014) which put wolves back on the endangered list because of state mismanagement and in effect scolding USFWS for not doing its job of protecting wolves from traditional enemies of wolves, hunters and ranchers and bedfellows in state wildlife agencies and conservative state legislatures and their ilk in congress and the senate. It amounts to political management of a wildlife species not scientific management. A rider is a stinky, shenanigans way of pushing through parochial legislation that would not likely stand the full light of open scrutiny in politicians’ own states or congres.Tester likes this tactic. He and other politicians used it recently on a smorgasbord of land bills attached as riders to another defense appropriations bill (2015). Wolves do not need to be managed by hunting and trapping seasons, a wolf jihad strategy by the ignorant wolf haters that is counter productive. Wolves will fill up available niches and manage themselves and they are good for the wilderness that is still available, whereas hunters and ranchers are not. Wolves should not be in the hands of state management, especially in MT, WY, ID and the Midwest states that have killed hundreds into the thousands since delisting. Wolves will manage their own populations and stabilize if left alone from state wildlife agency management in general and hunting and trapping are asinine management strategies, really just excuses for killing and catering to a minority of ignorant and mistaken, selfish and barbaric, retrograde interests.

  2. I can’t even stand to read about this. I see a huge train wreck coming, and I feel powerless to stop it or even get out of the way. I feel like my psyche is being trampled and maimed, along with the wolves.

  3. Excellent comments, Roger, as usual. Livestock boards, commissions, farm bureaus, etc, are all behind these bills, This will not be the last of it, I’m afraid. Here in New Mexico, ranchers, hunters, trappers and energy companies are forming “coalitions,” networks, to establish an even more united front, to continue to rape, and domesticate the remaining public lands. The problem is, these folk know exactly where they stand. Too many on the “wildlife side” do not, and many do not recognize an Enemy. This is why any wildlife protections are being whittled away. Until those who are “on the side” of other species see this as a War Against Wildlife, and get serious about it, and stop our whining and compromise, these beautiful animals will lose.

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