Peterson Testifies in Support of Legislation to Delist Gray Wolves

Jul 20, 2017

Yesterday, Congressman Collin C. Peterson (D-Minn.) testified in front of the full House Committee on Natural Resources in support his bill, the Gray Wolf State Management Act of 2017. H.R. 424 would delist gray wolves in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, and Wyoming from federal protections and return management to the states.

“I want to thank the House Committee on Natural Resources for holding a hearing on my gray wolf bill which will bring much needed relief to farmers and ranchers,” Peterson said. “Protecting their livestock while the gray wolf is federally protected creates an impossible situation. Gray wolves should be managed by state plans which maintained more than adequate wolf population numbers. This practical, bipartisan legislation would bring peace of mind to farmers and ranchers who are concerned about protecting their businesses from devastating losses associated with gray wolves.”

The State of Minnesota created an adequate state management plan that balanced the gray wolf population with economic and safety concerns from 2011 until 2014. State management was shifted back to the federal government after a single judge in Washington, DC decided that gray wolves needed federal protection.

This decision was made despite scientific arguments presented by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), an agency primarily responsible for administering the Endangered Species Act. The agency conducted population surveys in Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Michigan and determined that gray wolf population numbers no longer required federal protection and that these states were more than capable of managing the species.