November 16, 2019

Wyoming Considers Delisting Wolves the Way Idaho and Montana Got Theirs Done

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Yes, the precedent was set when certain members of Congress attached a “rider” bill to a Congressional budget bill in 2011 that put wolves in Idaho and Montana off the Endangered Species Act List, also providing a clause that disallowed any legal challenges. Was it the right thing to do? Was it the best thing to do? You decide.

But because it appeared at the time that it was the only way anybody was going to get beyond unrelenting, oppressive lawsuits to get some kind of control over a rapidly growing wolf population, the action of attaching a rider to a budget bill resulted in “delisted” wolves and something that sort of resembles wolf control.

At the time of the rider bill fiasco, Idaho and Montana tossed Wyoming under the proverbial bus leaving them to fend for themselves to gain management over wolves. Wyoming was successful in time but only for awhile, until a Washington, D.C. judge ruled in a recent lawsuit that Wyoming’s wolf management plan was inadequate for further and sufficient protection of the gray wolf. Now Wyoming’s gray wolf population is back under federal protection and Wyoming government and citizens are frustrated because they did everything necessary to gain approval from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Now it appears that some legislators in Wyoming are considering taking the route Idaho and Montana did in 2011, and getting wolves delisted for good and to put a stop, once and for all, to the rash of continued, money-making lawsuits.

“I think we have to consider legislative action now. I don’t see any other recourse,” said U.S. Rep. Cynthia Lummis. “We have done everything the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service asked of us and more.”

In revealing some of her frustration, Lummis said that it seems that no matter what Wyoming has done, it’s never enough.

“The fact is that no matter what we do and no matter how successful we are at recovering the wolf, certain groups remain unsatisfied and unwilling to accept victory,” Lummis said. “Now it is time to pursue a legislative solution.”

Whether you agree or disagree that attaching a bill to a larger congressional bill, or creating stand-alone legislation, is the right way to go, one has to consider the corner that environmental and animal rights groups have put the rest of citizenry in. Historically, the majority of outdoor sportsmen, landowners, ranchers, etc. are not the protesting sort of people, looking to take every person who looks at them funny, to court and/or insisting the rest of the world live like they do. Environmentalists and their ilk are. Maybe the environmentalists should reconsider where to draw their dictatorial lines in the sand.

A lawyer for Earthjustice doesn’t like the idea of congressional action to stop the lawsuits.

“There are always situations where people in specific areas want to get exceptions from the act for their own localized interests,” Preso said. “But that doesn’t serve the interest of the nation as a whole, which is blessed with an incredible wildlife heritage that still exists today largely as a result of the Endangered Species Act.”

Perhaps Preso should have considered that before running to the activist judges for help making money. Serious argument could be made as to any actions his organization has done has proven to “serve the interest of the nation as a whole.”

Preso also states that we enjoy “incredible wildlife” because of the Endangered Species Act. I, and I know there are thousands more, who would rightfully say that we enjoy this wildlife despite the ESA, but more importantly in spite of fascists organizations like his.

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