Wolf delisting proposed
by Analysis by Cat Urbigkit, Pinedale Online!
March 17, 2019
The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (FWS) has issued proposed rules to remove gray wolves in the Lower 48 states from federal protection of the Endangered Species Act. The Trump-administration proposal is the latest in a string of similar proposals issued under the Bush, Obama and Clinton administrations that all ultimately failed after litigation by wolf advocates. With a variety of conservation organizations already pledging to sue to keep wolves protected, it can be expected that the new proposal will befall the same fate as its predecessors.
It's the ongoing cycle of delisting-lawsuits-relisting that has prompted Wyoming Senators John Barrasso and Mike Enzi to serve as co-sponsors of a bill that would order wolves delisted in the Western Great Lakes States and in Wyoming, and would prohibit judicial review of the decision. The bill has been proposed in numerous Congressional sessions, and was introduced again last week as Senate bill 831.
The gray wolf has already been delisted in the Northern Rocky Mountains, and are subject to regulated hunting in Wyoming, Idaho, and Montana. While wolf delisting in Idaho and Montana is protected from judicial oversight, Wyoming's delisting was negotiated with federal officials, and the FWS must be satisfied with Wyoming's management of wolves in this state or its wolves may once again be placed back under federal protection.
The FWS proposal to delist the gray wolf throughout the contiguous United States was published in the Federal Register on Friday, March 15th, and comments on the proposal will be accepted until May 14, 2019. See the link below for more information.