National wolf-delisting bill passes U. S. House


WYOMING – A new nationwide gray

wolf-delisting bill passed in the U.S.

House of Representatives on Friday, Nov.

16, with a slim – but very partisan – majority

vote.

The bill, H.R. 6784 “Manage Our

Wolves Act,” calls for delisting gray

wolves across the country from the Endangered

Species Act, would cover all 48

contiguous states – including where they

are currently under federal oversight.

This legislation does not include the

subspecies of the Mexican gray wolf,

which remains ESA-listed by the U.S.

Fish and Wildlife Service.

The House vote for the act was 201

ayes, 187 nays and 42 non-votes. Of the

ayes, 195 are Republicans including Wyoming

Rep. Liz Cheney and six Democrats.

The nays included 172 Democrats and 16

Republicans; the non-voters counted 25

Republicans and 17 Democrats.

The act, introduced in September, also

states that no delistings would be “subject

to judicial review” or court challenges,

specifically naming Wyoming and the

Great Lakes region.

It states, “Before the end of the 60-day

period beginning on the date of enactment

of this Act, the Secretary of the Interior

shall reissue the final rule published on

Dec. 28, 2011 (76 Fed. Reg. 81666), without

regard to any other provision of statute

or regulation that applies to issuance

of such rule. Such reissuance (including

this subsection) shall not be subject to judicial

review.”

Wyoming’s gray wolf population was

delisted in 2017 and under state management

since by Wyoming Game and Fish,

with a trophy-game zone centered on

Grand Teton and Yellowstone national

parks and an outer predator zone. Game

and Fish manages the trophy-game zone’s

hunting season; in the predator zone,

wolves can be taken at any time.

Along with Wyoming, the U.S. Fish

and Wildlife Service also delisted in the

Western Great Lakes region of Michigan,

Minnesota and Wisconsin – but in December

2014 a court ordered them to be

returned to ESA protections.

The Pacific Northwest states of Oregon

and Washington have split management,

with western Oregon and western Washington

wolves under federal protections.

California with a small wolf population

is covered by the ESA. In the eastern portions

of Washington and Oregon, they are

managed by state wildlife or tribal agencies.

H.R. 6784 would proceed next to the

U.S. Senate.

Environmental groups protested the

passage of the “Manage our Wolves Act.”

National Wildlife Federation CEO Collin

O’Mara said in a statement that wildlife

conservation should be guided by

sound science and collaboration.

“While gray wolf populations have recovered

in the Great Lakes and Northern

Rockies and merit delisting, any suggestion

that wolf populations are healthy

nationwide is simply wrong,” he said.

“Congress must not substitute its judgment

over professional wildlife biologists.

Eric Molvar of Western Watersheds

Project was critical of being unable to

file delisting lawsuits against Wyoming,

which he called “a bloodthirsty opponent

of wolf recovery from day one.”

Details of H.R. 6784 “Manage Our

Wolves Act” can be found at www.congress.

gov/.


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