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
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
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
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.