Peterson, Bishop introduce bill to delist Gray Wolves in lower 48 states

February 28, 2020
Press Release

WASHINGTON– Representatives Collin C. Peterson, D-Minn. and Rob Bishop, R-Utah, today introduced the American Wild Game and Livestock Protection Act, which would delist the grey wolf from the Endangered Species Act in the lower 48 states and give states the ability to make their own rules about hunting and culling of gray wolf populations.

This legislation would require the Secretary of the Interior to delist the gray wolf from Endangered Species Act protections in the lower 48 states by finalizing the proposed rule entitled “Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Removing the Gray Wolf (Canis 7 lupus) From the List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife” (84 Fed. Reg. 9648 (March 15, 4 2019)) and make the issuance of the rule not subject to judicial review.

Management of the gray wolf population was transferred from the state to the federal level following two 2014 U.S. District Court decisions that reinstated gray wolves under the protections of the Endangered Species Act. These designations leave farmers and ranchers in those states without a legal avenue to protect their livestock from problem wolves.

“Gray wolf populations have reached sustainable levels and it is well past time to return authority over their management to the states,” said Peterson. “This bipartisan legislation will allow states to protect the livelihood of their livestock owners and preserve a healthy balance of wild animal populations.”

“I’m happy to co-lead with Congressman Peterson on introducing this critical piece of bipartisan legislation,” said Bishop, Ranking Republican, Committee on Natural Resources. “Gray wolves have been recovered for a long time now, and this bill will bring finality to the issue by allowing states to manage.”

 

Roger Johnson, President, National Farmers Union -

“It’s time to allow farmers and ranchers to lawfully defend their livestock against predatory animals. The American Wild Game and Livestock Protection Act would advance the process to put the management and regulation of gray wolves in the hands of the states. We strongly support this latest effort from Rep. Collin Peterson and Rep. Bob Bishop and thank them for their important work.”

 

Jim Mulhern, President & CEO, National Milk Producers Federation -

“We commend Chairman Peterson and Rep. Bishop for putting forward this balanced, bipartisan approach to ease farmer concerns in many regions of the country while reflecting the current science on the gray wolf population.”

 

Mike Landuyt, President, Minnesota State Cattlemen’s Association -

“We are grateful for Congressman Collin Peterson’s leadership on an issue so important to our members. The gray wolf met and exceeded recovery numbers while successfully managed by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. This legislation returns the management of the gray wolf to Minnesota, where it should be.  We want to thank Congressman Collin Peterson for continued leadership on this issue by introducing and working to get this great bill passed. Nationwide delisting of the gray wolf is long overdue.”

 

Benny Cox, President, American Sheep Industry Association -

“The American Sheep Industry strongly supports the American Wild Game and Livestock Protection Act and thanks Chairman Peterson and Representative Bishop on their continued leadership on this issue. By any measure, gray wolf populations have recovered, and we should celebrate this success story for the Endangered Species Act by removing them from the list. This bill would ensure that happens and restore the future management of gray wolves to the states.”

 

John Dvorak, Past President of Minnesota Lamb and Wool Producers, Past ASI Region lll Director -

The Minnesota Lamb and Wool Producers are truly grateful for the leadership of Collin Peterson, along with Representative Bishop on an issue that is not only important to our Minnesota producers but also to the whole country. The gray wolf met and exceeded recovery numbers, and it is now time to take the next step to manage the population of the gray wolf. The American Wild Games and Livestock Protection Act will ensure that it takes place. This will allow state to manage the population of the wolf in their own states as it should. Thank you, Collin Peterson, for your continued leadership by introducing this important bill. National delisting of the gray wolf is long overdue.

 

Craig Engwall, Executive Director, Minnesota Deer Hunters Association -

The Minnesota Deer Hunters Association has been tracking the grey wolves endangered species designation for decades and by all reasonable measures, particularly those provided in the Endangered Species Act, the grey wolf population has recovered. The American Wild Game and Livestock Act will allow states to develop a management plan that is beneficial to the sportsmen’s community. Thank you and your colleagues, Rep. Peterson, for championing this effort.