Peterson sends letter urging timeliness on gray wolf management issue

Feb 23, 2017

Representative Collin C. Peterson, D-Minn. today sent a letter signed by a bipartisan group of Members of Congress to Speaker Paul D. Ryan, Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, and Chairman Rob Bishop of the House Committee on Natural Resources to encourage Leadership in the House of Representatives to bring H.R. 424, the Gray Wolf State Management Act of 2017, to the floor for a vote as calving season begins in late winter.

“Calving season is a critical period when cows and calves are most vulnerable to gray wolf attacks, and this worry keeps farmers up at night. We hope to soften these fears by encouraging House Leadership to consider my bill to return gray wolf management to the states as soon as possible,” Peterson said.    

Farmers and ranchers depend heavily on healthy calves to maintain their businesses and livelihoods, so the letter notes that timely consideration of the bill is increasingly important.

Reps. Liz Cheney (R-WY), James Sensenbrenner (R-WI), Glenn Grothman(R-WI), Ron Kind (D-WI), Mike Gallagher (R-WI), Tom Emmer (R-MN), and John Moolenaar (R-MI) also signed the letter.

Text of the letter is below:

Dear Mr. Speaker,

We write you today in support of the earliest possible floor consideration of H.R. 424, the Gray Wolf State Management Act of 2017, before calving season begins in late winter. This bill will assist farmers and ranchers in Wisconsin, Minnesota, Michigan, and Wyoming.

Calving season is a critical period when cows and calves are most vulnerable to gray wolf attacks. That season could start as early as late January in the upper Midwest. As you know, cows and their calves can easily be worth several thousand dollars, so each instance of a wolf attack has devastating economic impacts on ranchers and their families. Currently, ranchers and farmers have no legal actions available to deal with gray wolf attacks because these predators are federally protected.

The Gray Wolf State Management Act would delist gray wolves in the Western Great Lakes states and Wyoming from federal protections and return their management to the states, which the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service had originally intended. Our bill is supported by 15 bipartisan, original cosponsors and 21 agriculture and conservation organizations including the American Farm Bureau Federation and National Farmers Union.

We believe this bill can lead as a prime example of bipartisanship working in Congress. We hope you will consider bringing H.R. 424 to the floor as soon as possible to provide relief during calving season. This would bring peace of mind to ranchers who are concerned about protecting their animals and businesses from devastating losses associated with gray wolves.