Peterson, Duffy, Cheney Introduce Gray Wolf Legislation

January 11, 2017
Press Release

WASHINGTON – Representatives Collin C. Peterson, D-Minn., Sean Duffy, R-Wis., and Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., today introduced legislation that would return management of the Western Great Lakes and Wyoming gray wolves to state control.

Management of these gray wolves 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.

“Choosing between protecting their livelihood or complying with a federal judicial decision is a choice no farmer should have to make. The gray wolf population should be managed by the states, where it belongs. This is practical, bipartisan legislation that balances safety with gray wolf management,” Peterson said.

“Judicial activism has caused a multitude of problems in our nation, and a Washington judge claiming to know what’s best for Wisconsin’s ecosystem is another egregious example. In Wisconsin, we cherish our wildlife and work diligently to conserve our natural resources, but the Endangered Species Act has allowed courts to misuse judicial oversight to stop science-based wildlife management from moving forward to delist the gray wolf. Wisconsin farmers deserve to be able to protect their livestock from gray wolves, and we will protect Wisconsin farmers from activist judges,” Duffy said.

“Wyoming should be able to manage the gray wolf without outside interference. This bill will stop the "management by litigation" culture that has done so much damage to our state. This bill instructs the Fish and Wildlife Service to delist and prohibits judicial review of that determination. Wyoming will once again be able to manage the gray wolf population in a way that serves the best interests of the citizens of our state,” Cheney said.

In December 2011, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service issued a final rule to delist Western Great Lakes gray wolves from federal protections. This decision was based on strong evidence that gray wolf population numbers had adequately recovered and states demonstrated suitable management plans to provide for the long-term conservation of a viable gray wolf population. The conservation agency made a similar determination for Wyoming gray wolves in September 2012.

Reps. Richard Nolan, D-Minn., Tom Emmer, R-Minn., Raul Labrador, R-Idaho, Jim Sensenbrenner, R-Wis., Mike Simpson, R-Idaho, Bill Huizenga, R-Mich., Mike Gallagher, R-Wis., Ron Kind, D-Wis., John Moolenaar, R-Mich., Tim Walberg, R-Mich., Glenn Grothman, R-Wis., and Jack Bergman, R-Mich., are original cosponsors.