House Passes Bill to Drop Legal Protections for Gray Wolves

The Republican-controlled House passed a bill Friday to drop legal protections for gray wolves across the lower 48 states, reopening a lengthy battle over the predator species.

Posted: Nov 16, 2018 10:06 AM

By MATTHEW DALY , Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Republican-controlled House passed a bill Friday to drop legal protections for gray wolves across the lower 48 states, reopening a lengthy battle over the predator species.

Long despised by farmers and ranchers, wolves were shot, trapped and poisoned out of existence in most of the U.S. by the mid-20th century. Since securing protection in the 1970s, wolves have bounced back in the western Great Lakes states of Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin, as well as in the Northern Rockies and Pacific Northwest.

About 5,000 wolves live in the lower 48 states, occupying less than 10 percent of their historic range.

The Fish and Wildlife Service is reviewing the wolf's status and is expected to declare they've recovered sufficiently to be removed from protection under the Endangered Species Act.

The House bill would enshrine that policy in law and restrict judicial review of listing decisions. The measure was approved, 196-180, and now goes to the Senate, where prospects are murkier.

The bill's chief sponsor, Rep. Sean Duffy, R-Wis., said farmers in Wisconsin and other states are "one step closer to having the legal means to defend their livestock from gray wolves."

States should be responsible for managing wolf populations, "not Washington bureaucrats," Duffy said.

Environmental groups and many Democrats slammed the bill as a last-ditch effort by Republicans to push a pro-rancher agenda after losing control of the House in this month's midterm elections.

"This final, pathetic stab at wolves exemplifies House Republicans' longstanding cruelty and contempt for our nation's wildlife," said Brett Hartl, government affairs director for the Center for Biological Diversity, an Arizona-based environmental group.

"The American people overwhelmingly support the Endangered Species Act and the magnificent animals and plants it protects," Hartl said. "We don't expect to see these disgraceful anti-wildlife votes next year under Democratic control of the House."

Livestock industry associations representing ranchers who have to contend with wolves scaring and attacking cattle and sheep supported the bill. They said in a letter to Congress that wolf populations have recovered to the extent that the animal would have been removed from the endangered species list if not for "activist litigants" who "used the judicial system to circumvent sound science and restore full ESA protections to these predators."

A spokeswoman for the Fish and Wildlife Service said the agency is completing a review of the wolves' status in the lower 48 states and expects to make a recommendation in coming months. The agency did not take a position on the House bill.

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 191774

Reported Deaths: 2533
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah38030585
Washington25362229
Marion21859306
Clackamas17262209
Lane12861146
Jackson10739135
Deschutes875974
Umatilla814084
Linn485267
Yamhill442875
Klamath433061
Polk371352
Malheur350461
Josephine331669
Douglas323170
Benton306019
Jefferson217434
Coos205033
Columbia172726
Union144423
Lincoln137120
Wasco137128
Hood River118330
Morrow110115
Crook107620
Clatsop9768
Baker94714
Curry6459
Tillamook6423
Grant5065
Lake4447
Harney3418
Wallowa1825
Gilliam621
Sherman581
Wheeler281
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 3760303

Reported Deaths: 62334
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles123582824026
Riverside2991734588
San Bernardino2966554707
San Diego2781823725
Orange2708005008
Santa Clara1189322086
Kern1090521373
Sacramento1044911676
Fresno1017291682
Alameda876371546
Ventura809051011
San Joaquin731741391
Contra Costa68638806
Stanislaus620081056
Tulare49579839
Monterey43595382
San Mateo41903568
San Francisco36669543
Santa Barbara34323456
Solano32864250
Merced31821459
Sonoma30002318
Imperial28388722
Kings22977246
Placer22610291
San Luis Obispo21293260
Madera16444242
Santa Cruz16238206
Marin14040228
Yolo13897209
Shasta12110226
Butte11985199
El Dorado10141113
Napa985781
Sutter9421111
Yuba625346
San Benito605663
Lassen570124
Tehama556362
Nevada473675
Tuolumne412966
Mendocino407249
Humboldt398040
Amador365547
Lake347143
Glenn238225
Colusa223216
Siskiyou220523
Calaveras212553
Inyo142838
Del Norte13808
Mono12804
Plumas7106
Modoc4984
Mariposa4477
Trinity4005
Sierra1120
Alpine880
Unassigned390
Medford
Clear
71° wxIcon
Hi: 79° Lo: 41°
Feels Like: 71°
Brookings
Clear
65° wxIcon
Hi: 83° Lo: 52°
Feels Like: 65°
Crater Lake
Partly Cloudy
71° wxIcon
Hi: 59° Lo: 31°
Feels Like: 71°
Grants Pass
Partly Cloudy
71° wxIcon
Hi: 80° Lo: 43°
Feels Like: 71°
Klamath Falls
Clear
60° wxIcon
Hi: 72° Lo: 40°
Feels Like: 60°
Heating up on Wednesday
KDRV Radar
KDRV Fire Danger
KDRV Weather Cam

Community Events

Latest Video

Image

Tuesday, May 11th Evening Weather

Image

Tuesday, May 11 morning weather

Image

Monday, May 10th Evening Weather

Image

Monday, May 10 morning weather

Image

Sunday, May 9th Morning Weather

Image

Saturday, May 8th Evening Weather

Image

Saturday, May 8th Morning Weather

Image

Friday, May 7th Evening Weather

Image

Oregon Dept. of Education: Grants Pass SD

Image

Friday, May 7 morning weather