U.S. House Passes Two Anti-Wolf Amendments to Interior Spending Bill
The U.S. House just passed two anti-wolf amendments to the Interior Appropriations bill. Newhouse National Wolf Delisting Amendment was came up to a vote first. This rider will block all Endangered Species Act (ESA) protections for gray wolves (with the exception of the Mexican wolf) in the continental United States by 2017. This species is currently listed as endangered in most of the lower-48 states. While the return of gray wolves in the northern Rocky Mountains and the Great Lakes has been an incredible success story, this iconic American species still only occupies a small portion of its former range and wolves have only just started to re-enter areas like northern California, where there are large swaths of suitable habitat. A national delisting for wolves would reverse the incredible progress that the ESA has achieved for this species over the past few decades and once again put the gray wolf at risk of extinction.
Minutes later the House passed the Pearce (R-NM) Mexican Gray Wolf Delisting Amendment. This rider will block federal funding for the critically endangered Mexican gray wolf even though a mere 97 remain in the wild. It will also limit recovery to “historic range,” a range that the political community interprets as “90% in Mexico.”
The final House appropriations package will next be sent to the Senate for consideration. After changes made by the Senate are reconciled by the House, the package will be sent to the President to sign it in to law.
Tune in for developments.