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senate Bill S. 831

Should the Gray Wolf be Taken Off the Endangered Species List?

Argument in favor

The gray wolf population has recovered, so there’s no longer a need for the species to remain on the Endangered Species List. Removing gray wolves from the ESA list will allow states, tribes and federal agencies to manage the gray wolf population appropriately.

Just.Dave's Opinion
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11/05/2019
Yeah, if it's no longer endangered, remove it from the list. If it becomes endangered again, put it back on the list. What is endangered? Life in the big city. People are fleeing over taxed blue cities. Not even the libs that voted for these idiot dem politicians want to pay their insane taxes. Go ahead, move to Texas and Florida. The larger cities there are already blue. You should fit right in. And once you vote in more idiot dems that raise your taxes, you'll have to move again... democrats ruining one Flint, Michigan after another, never learning your lesson. Not until you've really turned the rest of the US against you. It's fine. The Republicans will fix it, Making America Great Again, or as I like to say: Making America Red Again.
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Vanessa's Opinion
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11/05/2019
A dumb move by government to reintroduce such a predatory animal. It is beyond time that this mistake is corrected and this specie be controlled.
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Doug's Opinion
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11/05/2019
I live in Idaho with these wolves they are a invasive species imported from Canada that destroyed what was left of the Timber wolf population and now has drastically diminished the Elk population, and the Rangers tell me that there are many male Grizzlies that do not hibernate because they follow the wolf packs all winter and eat their kills and the packs run off and kill something else and the grizzlies follow... and they are becoming huge because they eat year round, and the Moose who are normally solitary animals herd up for protection, if they would have just brought back the Timber Wolf, the whole ecosystem would not be so messed up.... so yes remove them so they can be kept in check.
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Argument opposed

While there’s been progress towards the recovery of gray wolf populations, there’s still work to be done. If gray wolves are removed from the Endangered Species List hunting and other stressors could undo years of conservation efforts.

larubia's Opinion
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11/05/2019
The courts already overturned this decision once, because taking the gray wolves off of the endangered list will undo years of conservation efforts to save this animal. The hunters can wait!
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burrkitty's Opinion
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11/05/2019
This bill prohibits future conservation and is based on biased sources that want to protect their own interests, (money, ie cows) rather than the actual recovery of the species. You cannot call less than 10% of their former range “recovered”. How would you feel if the home insurance you were reliant on only rebuilt 8% of your house and said you were fine and they would never help you again? Oh wait, that’s like health insurance more than property insurance isn’t it? It’s Wrong either way. Protect our environment and our endangered species!
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jimK's Opinion
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11/05/2019
I agree with larubia: The courts overturned this once because it was not clear that the gray wolf was not still endangered. Environmentalists opposed the legislation based on the conclusion that the gray wolf population measurements and conclusions were not scientific and not credible. The court agreed. So, in classic political double speak and political double standards- we see this same bill being submitted again- but critically legislating that it cannot be subject to judicial review. I am starting to hate all Republicans for their repeated blatant obfuscations and attempts to push their will with underhanded legislative tricks to work around any reasonable challenges from the people. We are not all so stupid that we do not notice!
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What is Senate Bill S. 831?

This bill would remove the gray wolf from the endangered species list in the Western Great Lakes Region (Wisconsin, Michigan, and Minnesota), allowing the animal to once again be hunted in those states. It’d also prohibit a court from overturning the decision again. Additionally, this bill would exempt a reinstated rule that removes the gray wolf in Wyoming from the endangered and threatened species list from judicial review.

This bill would require the Dept. of the Interior to reinstate a rule that removed the gray wolf in the Western Great Lakes region from the endangered and threatened species list. This bill would also exempt the reinstated rule from judicial review.

Impact

Gray wolves; ESA; Wisconsin; Michigan; Minnesota; Wyoming; and the Dept. of the Interior.

Cost of Senate Bill S. 831

A CBO cost estimate is unavailable.

More Information

In-DepthSen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) — who has worked to remove the gray wolf from the endangered species list in the Western Great Lakes region since 2015 — reintroduced this bill from the 115th Congress to delist the gray wolf in Wisconsin, Michigan, Minnesota and Wyoming under the Endangered Species Act of 1973 and allow wolf management plans based on federal and state wildlife expertise to move forward without legal ambiguity

“Gray wolf listing decisions should come from state wildlife experts, not partisan federal judges. As the Interior Department moves forward with its rule to delist the gray wolf from the Endangered Species Act, the process will inevitably be tied up in the courts by activists who want Wisconsin’s wolves to remain protected so their numbers and territory can continue to expand. Congress should pass legislation to allow certain states and tribes to move forward with wolf population management plans without legal ambiguity, and I’m pleased my bill has bipartisan support to do just that.”

Original cosponsor Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) adds that there’s a scientific conclusion that the wolf population in the Great Lakes has recovered, justifying the return of management to the state of Wisconsin: 

“I have supported a bipartisan effort to delist the gray wolf in Wisconsin since 2011 because of the scientific conclusion that the population has recovered in the Great Lakes region and that is why we should return management to the State of Wisconsin. This bipartisan legislation is the best solution because it is driven by science and is focused on delisting in the Great Lakes region, including Wisconsin. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has started a long process that requires review of the wolf population across many states beyond the Great Lakes region, which will raise new questions and likely draw legal challenges making it all the more important that we pass this bipartisan legislation.”

Sen. Baldwin adds, “I've heard from farmers, sportsmen and wildlife experts and they all agree. The wolf has recovered and we must return its management back to the State of Wisconsin, both for the safety and economic well-being of Wisconsinites and the balance of our environment."

Wisconsin Farm Bureau President Jim Holte provided public comments in favor of delisting the gray wolf in the lower 48 states on May 3, 2019. In his comments, given at a meeting hosted by Sen. Johnson, Holte emphasized the need for ESA modernization to protect farmers’ livelihoods

“Although wolf numbers in our state have long recovered past the point of needing federal protection, lawsuits from extreme animal rights groups have kept this issue in a back-and-forth legal limbo. Our farmers struggle to protect their livestock from the growing population of these predators… The time is now to delist wolves from the Endangered Species Act so farmers won’t have their hands tied when it comes to defending their livestock and livelihoods.”

The Endangered Species Coalition maintains that gray wolves remain endangered in the areas where this bill would delist them due to threats like poaching, being hit by cars and other wolves. Melissa Smith, the Great Lakes director of the Endangered Species Coalition, says

“If you take away hunting, the number one threat to wolves are other wolves. So they have a self limiting population. They can’t have an explosion of population. They’re too territorial for that. So as pray goes down, wolves get competitive. Their pups almost all die every year. They have a really high mortality rate.”

Similarly, the Sierra Club and a number of other environmental groups oppose delisting the gray wolf, as they argue it’s premature to do so and would pull resources away from full recovery efforts. Jodi Sinykin, an attorney with the Sierra Club Wisconsin (John Muir) Chapter, said

“State governments across the Lower 48 are not prepared to manage wolves in the absence of national protections. Without a compelling reason for delisting, nor the resources needed for full recovery, we call on the US Fish and Wildlife Service to halt the delisting of the gray wolf until conditions better prompt such action."

This bill has three bipartisan cosponsors, including two Republicans and one Democrat. Last Congress, it had four bipartisan cosponsors (two from each party) and didn’t see committee action.

This bill is supported by the Wisconsin Farm Bureau and the Wisconsin Farmer Union. It’s opposed by the Center for Biological Diversity, Sierra Club, American Wolf Foundation, Wolfwatcher, Friends of the Wisconsin Wolf, and the Endangered Species Coalition.

Earlier this year, Sens. Johnson and Baldwin attempted to remove the gray wolf from the ESA list through an amendment to the Natural Resources Management Act — but the amendment was defeated. After the final bill passed the Senate without Sen. Johnson’s approval, he said he couldn’t support the legislation in the absence of a solution to the wolf issue, which he called “too important to Wisconsin farmers, ranchers, loggers and sportsmen” to ignore.


Of NoteThe gray wolf was removed from the endangered species list in 2011 and hunted for three hunting seasons. From 2012-2014, the Wisconsin Dept. of Natural Resources conducted hunting and trapping seasons for wolves. In 2014, a judge in Washington, D.C. overturned the decision and put the gray wolf back on the endangered species list. This decision overruled a management plan for the gray wolf that’d been agreed to by the Dept. of the Interior and several states.

On March 14, 2019, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service affirmed the gray wolf population’s recovery with a proposal to remove all gray wolves (excluding Mexican gray wolves, which would remain listed under the ESA) from protection under the ESA. Under the proposal, gray wolves would be managed by states, tribes and federal agencies on their lands. David Bernhardt, Acting Secretary of the Dept. of the Interior, said

“The facts are clear and indisputable—the gray wolf no longer meets the definition of a threatened or endangered species. Today the wolf is thriving on its vast range and it is reasonable to conclude it will continue to do so in the future. Today’s action puts us one step closer to transitioning the extraordinary effort that we have invested in gray wolf recovery to other species who actually need the protections of the Endangered Species Act, leaving the states to carry on the legacy of wolf conservation.”

In its press release, the Fish & Wildlife Service noted, “Peer-reviewed studies on a range of factors including habitat and prey availability, gray wolf adaptability (including to changing climate conditions), recovery activities and post-delisting regulatory mechanisms, and predictions about how these may affect the wolves in the future are consistent in guiding the Service’s decision to delist. By any scientific measure, wolves no longer meet the ESA’s standard for protection.”

In May 2019, fish and wildlife officials at a panel in Hudson, Minnesota said the gray wolf’s numbers have rebounded strongly since the species’ numbers declined to as few as 14 in all of Wisconsin in the 1980s. Panelists said there are now an estimated 925 gray wolves in Wisconsin and over 4,000 in Minnesota. Charles Wooley, acting USFWS regional director for the Midwest, called the gray wolf’s recovery “a heck of a conservation success story.”


Media:

Summary by Lorelei Yang

(Photo Credit: iStockphoto.com / Waitandshoot)

AKA

A bill to direct the Secretary of the Interior to reissue final rules relating to listing the gray wolf in the Western Great Lakes and Wyoming under the Endangered Species Act of 1973.

Official Title

A bill to direct the Secretary of the Interior to reissue final rules relating to listing the gray wolf in the Western Great Lakes and Wyoming under the Endangered Species Act of 1973.

bill Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The house has not voted
  • The senate has not voted
      senate Committees
      Committee on Environment and Public Works
    IntroducedMarch 14th, 2019
    Yeah, if it's no longer endangered, remove it from the list. If it becomes endangered again, put it back on the list. What is endangered? Life in the big city. People are fleeing over taxed blue cities. Not even the libs that voted for these idiot dem politicians want to pay their insane taxes. Go ahead, move to Texas and Florida. The larger cities there are already blue. You should fit right in. And once you vote in more idiot dems that raise your taxes, you'll have to move again... democrats ruining one Flint, Michigan after another, never learning your lesson. Not until you've really turned the rest of the US against you. It's fine. The Republicans will fix it, Making America Great Again, or as I like to say: Making America Red Again.
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    The courts already overturned this decision once, because taking the gray wolves off of the endangered list will undo years of conservation efforts to save this animal. The hunters can wait!
    Like (109)
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    This bill prohibits future conservation and is based on biased sources that want to protect their own interests, (money, ie cows) rather than the actual recovery of the species. You cannot call less than 10% of their former range “recovered”. How would you feel if the home insurance you were reliant on only rebuilt 8% of your house and said you were fine and they would never help you again? Oh wait, that’s like health insurance more than property insurance isn’t it? It’s Wrong either way. Protect our environment and our endangered species!
    Like (82)
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    I agree with larubia: The courts overturned this once because it was not clear that the gray wolf was not still endangered. Environmentalists opposed the legislation based on the conclusion that the gray wolf population measurements and conclusions were not scientific and not credible. The court agreed. So, in classic political double speak and political double standards- we see this same bill being submitted again- but critically legislating that it cannot be subject to judicial review. I am starting to hate all Republicans for their repeated blatant obfuscations and attempts to push their will with underhanded legislative tricks to work around any reasonable challenges from the people. We are not all so stupid that we do not notice!
    Like (66)
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    Protect our wildlife!
    Like (36)
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    I cannot support anything conservative Ron Johnson advocates because the NRA is in his pocket. This smacks of a veiled attempt to permit the hunting of wolves!
    Like (27)
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    Nothing should be taken off this list.
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    No. Leave them on the list!
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    Why do the Trump boys need a trophy?
    Like (18)
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    Hell no!
    Like (14)
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    Put ALL animals ON the endangered list !!! 🙂
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    This bill prohibits future conservation and is based on biased sources that want to protect their own interests, (money, ie cows) rather than the actual recovery of the species. You cannot call less than 10% of their former range “recovered”. How would you feel if the home insurance you were reliant on only rebuilt 8% of your house and said you were fine and they would never help you again? Oh wait, that’s like health insurance more than property insurance isn’t it? It’s Wrong either way. Protect our environment and our endangered species!
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    No, we will waste years of conservation effort to protect this species if we do this. Sorry, hunters!
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    This rush to remove endangered animals seems ruthless. Am concerned that it’s motivated by Donny’s hunter kids and lobbyists?!😢
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    No matter if the gray wolf has somewhat increased its numbers, the truth is that human population and activities continue to place undue pressure on them. Those concerns will only increase over time, not decrease. Continue to keep all protections on this animal!
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    Hell NO!
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    ABSOLUTELY not. They are of strategic importance in nature as is recorded in many studies.
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    Nay
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    Are you KIDDING?!?!? The grey wolf has just barely made a start off getting a leg back into the environment. The people who are killing them for taking their calves or lambs, which BTW is NOT. What happens if the animals are healthy, need to get a couple of llamas for their land and there won’t be more pests getting their animals. We NEED THE GREY WOLVES TO KEEP DOWN mice, rats, and other small animals who reek havoc on crops. Use your heads & for Gods sake DO SOME RESEARCH.
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    A dumb move by government to reintroduce such a predatory animal. It is beyond time that this mistake is corrected and this specie be controlled.
    Like (7)
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