November 30, 2018 – Delisting the Gray Wolf
What is the problem?
The infamous Gray Wolf is one of more than 2,300 species currently listed as threatened or endangered under the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (ESA). It is also one of many that should be removed from the list. The Gray Wolf is currently found in nearly 50 countries around the world and has been placed in the classification of "least concern" globally for risk of extinction.
The improper listing of the Gray Wolf allows unelected bureaucrats, in the name of protecting a wolf that no longer needs protection, to limit the use of public and private lands throughout the country. It also prevents farmers and ranchers from defending their land and livestock against these dangerous predators. Since 2014 alone, the Idaho Wolf Depredation Control Board has spent more than $1.2 million taxpayer dollars responding to wolf attacks on livestock.
Why is the Gray Wolf still listed under the ESA?
Since the Gray Wolf was placed on the endangered species list in 1974, states have implemented successful conservation efforts and recovered the wolf population across the country. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) issued rules to delist the Gray Wolf; however, leftist judicial activists have used the federal court system to advance their agenda and keep the Gray Wolf listed. This agenda is not to protect the Gray Wolf, but to prevent access and use of public lands.
What am I doing about it?
The U.S. House of Representatives recently passed H.R. 6784, Manage Our Wolves Act, by a vote of 196 – 180. This bill directs the FWS to remove the Gray Wolf from the endangered species list and allows states to manage individual wolf populations. It also exempts the Gray Wolf delisting from judicial review to prevent further unnecessary litigation.
I also introduced H.R. 6386, LIST Act of 2018, as part of the Western Caucus ESA Modernization Package. This bill authorizes the Secretary of the Interior to de-list species when he receives an objective, measurable, and scientific study demonstrating a species is recovered, creates a mechanism for FWS to promptly take action when a species is wrongfully listed, rather than letting the problem linger in federal bureaucracy, and penalizes those who intentionally submit false or fraudulent data in order to cause a species listing.
What are they saying?
“We're coming to hunting season in Wisconsin right now, so a lot of us Wisconsinites put on their blaze orange and get their guns and go out to the woods and hunt deer. I have never seen a picture of Barack Obama in blaze orange and his rifle to go out and hunt deer. Not a great outdoorsman, I don’t think. But Barack Obama's administration was the one to first to take the gray wolf off the endangered species list. And Donald Trump, too, agrees. Donald Trump and Barack Obama agree on an issue? They do on gray wolves!" – Rep. Sean Duffy
“Having several layers of critical habitat designations on our property with no proof of life or habitat, clearly shows that the system is flawed. As the law is written today, the Fish and Wildlife Service is forced to rely on existing data however faulty it might be, and petitioners know this and use the lack of scientific evidence to force listings. Species which are actually at risk suffer from the resource drain caused by radical, opportunistic environmental groups. The Cactus Ferruginous pygmy owl is a perfect example to show the need for the LIST Act. A species which the federal, state and local governments in Arizona needlessly spent years of time and resources in the listing process. Meanwhile housing costs went up to mitigate for development and many southern Arizona ranches were sold amid fear of future restrictions and land devaluation. As a landowner, resource manager and conservationist, I applaud Congressman Biggs’s efforts to improve the effectiveness of the Endangered Species Act for species and people.” – Stefanie Smallhouse, President, Arizona Farm Bureau.