Fate of Wolves To Be Decided By Politicians by December 21
Republican and Democratic leaders on Monday agreed to a two-week stopgap spending measure through Dec. 21, a move that pushes Friday’s deadline for funding the remaining seven unfinished spending bills (and a possible partial government shutdown) to within a few days of Christmas.
Among the seven bills remaining on the table is the 2019 Interior/EPA appropriations bill, in which damaging anti-wildlife amendments (riders) that undermine the Endangered Species Act (ESA) remain in play. One provision in the House goes as far as to remove protection for gray wolves nationwide, a move which will open trophy hunting of wolves in several states as early as 2019.
In a positive move, the Senate moved its FY2019 Interior-Environment bill (S. 3073) without the addition of anti-wildlife budget riders poised to threaten wolves. Moreover, thirty-two Senators, ninety-seven House Members, and 252 groups all agree: government spending bills are no place for attacks on our nation’s imperiled wildlife.
It’s critical that these Endangered Species Act champions on the Hill and remain strong in support of wolves and the ESA. If not, wolves won’t have anything to celebrate come Christmas this year.