April 23, 2015 Press Release
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Rep. Dan Newhouse (R-WA) introduced H.R. 1985, the Pacific Northwest Gray Wolf Management Act of 2015 to remove the gray wolf from the “List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife” under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) and return management authority for the species back to the individual Pacific Northwest states. Rep. Greg Walden (R-OR) and Rep. Chris Stewart (R-UT) joined Rep. Newhouse to introduce this legislation as original co-sponsors:
“This is a commonsense bill that would allow states to provide a more flexible management program and move forward with the implementation of the gray wolf delisting efforts, which are long overdue,” said Rep. Newhouse. “States are fully qualified to manage gray wolf populations responsibly and are better equipped to meet the needs of local communities, ranchers, livestock, and wildlife populations. Delisting the gray wolf under ESA would allow state wildlife officials to manage wolf populations more effectively.”
For the text of the legislation, click here.
On June 13, 2013, the U.S. Department of Interior and U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (FWS) released a proposed rule that would have removed the gray wolf from the “List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife.” This determination was made after FWS “evaluated the classification status of gray wolves currently listed in the contiguous United States and Mexico under the Endangered Species Act of 1973” and found the “best available scientific and commercial information indicates that the currently listed entity is not a valid species under the Act,” according to the proposed rule.
The statutory purpose of Endangered Species Act (ESA) is to recover species to the point where they are no longer considered “endangered” or “threatened.” The gray wolf is currently found in nearly fifty 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). Ample populations in the United States and Canada have already led to the delisting of the gray wolf from ESA in the Northern Rocky Mountain and Western Great Lakes region.