This week, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) completed initial reviews of two petitions from special interest groups to list the gray wolf under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) in the western United States. USFWS announced it will be conducting a 12-month comprehensive status review, despite robust state-led efforts to manage the species.
“Once again, radical special interest groups have hijacked the ESA and are wasting taxpayer resources. Forcing agencies to conduct meaningless reviews to examine recovered species is not accomplishing any long-term goals when state wildlife experts are already managing and caring for species local to their communities. It is also disappointing that the Biden administration is caving to these groups and giving credence to these petitions instead of proactively working with states on actual recovery mechanisms. Absent political interference, this review will almost certainly show state management is more than adequate in preserving wolves across the West.” – House Committee on Natural Resources Ranking Member Bruce Westerman (R-Ark.)
“The gray wolf is an Endangered Species Act success story. Through partnerships between states, local communities, tribes, private landowners, and the federal government, we have worked to restore gray wolf species throughout the western United States and celebrated their recovery by removing them from the endangered species list. Less than a month ago, the Biden Administration upheld the Trump Administration’s delisting, allowing local species managers to continue their successful efforts. While it is disappointing – but not at all surprising – to see litigious environmental groups once again waste resources that could be used to aid species that are actually endangered, I look forward to the wolf’s delisting being upheld as the best available science and comprehensive state and local management plans are reviewed.” – Congressional Western Caucus Chairman Dan Newhouse (R-Wash.)
“Wolf reintroduction has a long and controversial history, both at the federal and state levels. Idaho’s comprehensive wildlife management policies consider critical economic factors, from big game hunting to ranching, and should not be second guessed by Washington D.C.” – U.S. Rep. Russ Fulcher (R-Idaho)
U.S. Senator John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) released the following statement in response to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife’s announcement that it will initiate a comprehensive status review of the gray wolf in the western U.S.
“The state of Wyoming has long demonstrated it can effectively manage and protect the state’s wolf population. Both the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the courts have determined the gray wolf has recovered enough to be delisted in the state.
“Today’s actions are just more of the endless political antics from Washington bureaucrats and extreme environmentalists who have no interest in doing what’s right for Wyoming. Wyoming, not Washington, continues to be in the best position to manage the state’s wolf population.”
In addition, Montana Representative Matt Rosendale issued the following statement in regards to the Biden administration announcing the reintroduction of a status review to determine if the gray wolf population is at risk.
“Montana’s gray wolf population has effectively been managed through state-ran efforts. There is no reason why Washington should involve itself at the behest of radical environmental groups,” Representative Rosendale said. “This is the Biden Administrations first step toward classifying the gray wolf as threatened or endangered under the Endangered Species Act. A designation would be disastrous for the state of Montana and I oppose it.”