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Broader Implications of Delisting Wyoming Wolves – Nationwide Delisting

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Congresswoman Liz Cheney (WY) introduced HR 424 yesterday, a bill that would permanently remove federal Endangered Species Act (ESA) protections from gray wolves in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, and Wyoming, and thus allow trophy hunting of wolves to immediately resume within the regions. To add insult to injury, the bill prohibits judicial review thus preventing any legal challenge. More…

If passed into law, wolves far beyond the state border are due to suffer the consequences. A decision to return wolf management to Wyoming paves the way for USFWS to issue their national wolf delisting rule — meaning all wolves in the lower 48 (except Mexican wolves and red wolves) can lose protection at a time when they have claimed less than 10% of their historic range.

Moreover, Wyoming’s wolf management policies can influence expectations about wildlife management in other states.

“USFWS caved to Wyoming’s insistence on keeping the predator zone,” said Wolf Conservation Center’s Maggie Howell. “With the service on the cusp of delisting wolves across the United States, any concessions that are allowed in Wyoming by the federal government could set a precedent for other states to bargain with.” It’s both wrong and dangerous to allow a state with a history of hostile and extreme anti-wolf policies to set an example for other states to follow. This is why U.S. District Judge Jackson’s 2014 ruling to reinstate federal protections for Wyoming’s wolves was also good news for wolves beyond the state’s borders.

There are 14 cosponsors of HR 424 so far. Stay tuned for updates.