I’ve been a long-time supporter of wolf protection nation-wide and was shocked to learn today that a bi-partisan group of Senators are cosponsoring two bills (HR424 & S.164) – that dramatically reduces protection for wolves throughout a number of state. The bills undercut efforts to keep the Endangered Species Act strong amid an increasing number of congressional attacks on our most important wildlife conservation law.
If S.164 becomes law, Endangered Species Act protections for wolves in Michigan, Minnesota, Wisconsin and Wyoming will once again disappear. In Wyoming, this would allow the state to resume a hostile management program that allowed for unregulated, shoot-on-site killing of wolves within a “predator zone” that comprised over 80% of the state’s lands, and permitted sport hunting in the rest of the state. A federal court determined that this plan was inadequate to secure legally required population levels of the gray wolf in absence of Endangered Species Act protections. The appeals process of the two federal court decisions that restored federal protections to wolves in these four states are still underway. Decisions on those cases are expected imminently, making this legislation particularly untimely.
While things don’t look promising for any of our nation’s wildlife if Zinke is appointed Secretary of Interior, we will likely be much worse off, if senators in congress are also working to dismantle protections for our vulnerable wildlife. If this issue is of interest to you or others in your community/area, please contact your representatives and let them know your opinion.
Here is an link to S 164: https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/senate-bill/164/text
Link to H.R 424: https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/house-bill/424/all-info
And a link to an appeal and letter: https://secure.defenders.org/site/Advocacy?cmd=display&page=UserAction&id=3145&s_src=3WDW1704JHTXX&s_subsrc=hr424