On Tuesday, Representatives Dan Newhouse and Minnesota’s Collin Peterson led a bipartisan letter calling for the gray wolf to be removed from the Endangered Species List in the lower 48.  The letter sent to Interior Secretary David Bernhardt and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Principal Deputy Director Margaret Everson express strong support for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife’s proposed rule to delist the gray wolf.


The letter was signed by 34 bipartisan Members of Congress and will be submitted as an official public comment in the Federal Register.  The letter was also signed by Washington’s Cathy McMorris Rodgers, Oregon’s Greg Walden and Idaho’s Michael K. Simpson  and Russ Fulcher.


Those wishing to submit public comments can do so Here.


“The gray wolf should be considered a success story of the Endangered Species Act,” said Newhouse. “Federally delisting the gray wolf will allow Washington state to implement the comprehensive wolf management plan that will give relief to farmers, ranchers, and communities that are affected by growing wolf populations. It is time to listen to the experts and scientists who have determined the gray wolf is no longer endangered or threatened and give power back to the states.”



“The delisting of the gray wolf from the Endangered Species Act (ESA) is something I’ve been working on for a long time,” said Peterson. “Scientific research clearly shows that the gray wolf population in this country has recovered, especially in the state of Minnesota. State agencies are better equipped to manage wolf populations and should have been doing so years ago.”


Here is the full text of the letter:


Dear Secretary Bernhardt and Principal Deputy Director Everson:


We write to express our strong support for the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service’s (USFWS) proposed rule, published March 15, 2019, titled “Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Removing the Gray Wolf (Canis lupus) From the List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife” (Docket No. FWS–HQ–ES–2018–0097).  We urge you to move forward with the implementation of this proposed rule in an expeditious manner.


We fully understand and support the statutory purpose and intent of the Endangered Species Act (ESA).  When the gray wolf was reclassified as “endangered” in 1978, the best available science was used to demonstrate the species was at risk for extinction.  Now, we must use the best available science to delist the gray wolf and allow states to manage wolf populations at the local level.


Gray wolves can now be found across the United States and in nearly fifty countries around the world.  We should acknowledge the scientific findings of USFWS and celebrate their recovery.  State and local governments, tribes, and other stakeholders are best suited to develop effective, local management plans for gray wolf populations.  We should be empowering them to do so – not hindering them with unscientific, burdensome federal regulations.


In 2013, USFWS’ review found gray wolf recovery goals had been achieved and proposed a rule to remove them from the endangered list.  After objections from environmental groups, the effort to delist the species based on scientific evidence stalled and states were left with growing gray wolf populations that threaten agriculture and livestock, hunting and recreation, and other wildlife.  We cannot let scientific findings fall victim to politically-motivated attacks. As the proposed rule demonstrates, the gray wolf is a success story of the ESA.  


We understand that we have the responsibility to protect species across the country – including the gray wolf – and that these efforts to protect wildlife should be based on sound science and an open, transparent process.  For these reasons, we support the proposed rule to delist the gray wolf from the List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and urge you to finalize this proposed rule swiftly.


The letter was signed by Reps. Dan Newhouse (R-WA), Collin Peterson (D-MN), Rob Bishop (R-UT), Ken Buck (R-CO), Paul Gosar (R-AZ), Doug LaMalfa (R-CA), Doug Lamborn (R-CO), Andy Biggs (R-AZ), Steve King (R-IA), Kevin Brady (R-TX), Chris Stewart (R-UT), Michael K. Simpson (R-ID), Scott R. Tipton (R-CO), Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA), Tom Emmer (R-MN), Greg Walden (R-OR), Russ Fulcher (R-ID), Dusty Johnson (R-SD), Ken Calvert (R-CA), Louie Gohmert (R-TX), Bruce Westerman (R-AR), Pete Stauber (R-MN), Greg Gianforte (R-MT), Sean Duffy (R-WI), Adrian Smith (R-NE), Mark Amodei (R-NV), Henry Cuellar (D-TX), Ron Kind (D-WI), Kelly Armstrong (R-ND), James Comer (R-KY), Bill Flores (R-TX), Gary Palmer (R-AL), Vicente Gonzalez (D-TX), and Don Young (R-AK).



If you have a story idea for the Washington Ag Network, call (509) 547-1618, or e-mail gvaagen@cherrycreekradio.com



If you have a story idea for the Washington Ag Network, call (509) 547-1618, or e-mail gvaagen@cherrycreekradio.com

More From PNW Ag Network