Tipton Votes to Empower States to Manage Gray Wolf Population
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Congressman Scott Tipton (CO-03) voted to pass legislation to return the management of the gray wolf to states in response to the determination by the US Fish and Wildlife Service under the Obama Administration that the species is no longer endangered. H.R. 6784, the Manage Our Wolves Act passed the House with a bipartisan vote of 196-180.
“Under the Obama Administration, the Fish and Wildlife Service determined the gray wolf no longer warranted an endangered species designation, but despite the evident recovery, the gray wolf remains listed as endangered under the Endangered Species Act (ESA),” said Tipton. “Without an effective method of managing the species in place, the gray wolf poses a threat to livestock as well as other native species habitats. It is long past time that the gray wolf be officially de-listed, so state agencies can responsibly manage the population, better tailor management plans to meet the unique circumstances and conditions in each state, and ensure they continue to thrive in a healthy and balanced ecosystem.”
Bonnie Brown, the Executive Director of the Colorado Wool Growers Association, highlighted the importance of H.R. 6784:
“H.R. 6784 is long overdue; wolf populations have been fully recovered for years. H.R. 6784 halts the abuse of the Endangered Species Act, and the tactic of using the judicial system to manipulate a process that is supposed to be grounded in and guided by scientific facts. The ability of state wildlife agencies to appropriately manage wolf populations will remain severely restricted as long as healthy, recovered wolf populations are allowed to remain listed under the Endangered Species Act. We look forward to the implementation of H.R. 6784 which will enable our states to appropriately manage wolf populations while mitigating the impacts of wolves on livestock and big game herds.”
The ESA was passed in 1973 to preserve and recover species that are on the brink of extinction. In 1974, the gray wolf was listed endangered under the ESA.
On June 13, 2013, the Department on the Interior and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) published a proposed rule that would remove the gray wolf from the “List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife.” This determination was made after the USFWS “evaluated the classification status of gray wolves currently listed in the contiguous U.S.” and found the “best available science and commercial information indicates that the currently listed entity is not a valid species under the ESA.”
The gray wolf is found in nearly 50 countries around the world and has been placed in the classification of “least concern” globally for risk of extinction by the Species Survival Commission Wolf Specialist Group of the International Union for Conservation Nature (IUCN).
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