From EARTHJUSTICE:”Congress v. Endangered Species – Wolves Up For A Vote”

“Duma, a wolf at the UK Wolf Conservation Trust, rolls to capture a scent atop a mound. She’s rolling on some aftershave sprinkled on the ground a few minutes earlier.” (2005) Wiki


The endless battle to save wolves plays out every day. They are under siege, similar to the atmosphere that existed during the first Western extermination.

Recently wolves have been under attack in Congress by two wolf delisting riders attached to the budget bill. Both the House and Senate versions of the budget, that included the “wolf delisting riders” were defeated in the Senate last week. BUT  like a bad penny they keep turning up. Expect more attacks on wolves and the ESA before April 8th, when time runs out on the current budget extension.


Marty Hayden

Congress v. Endangered Species – Wolves Up For A Vote

17 March 2011, 11:09 AM

At any time, Congress could remove species from endangered list

The fate of gray wolves—and of the Endangered Species Act itself—may be voted on at any time in the climax of an historic struggle in Congress over budgeting and political philosophy.

Congress took its first stab at approving a full fiscal year 2011 budget on Feb. 19, and unfortunately the House GOP majority and some Democrats proposed slashing billions in public funding and eliminated safeguards for our air, water and wildlife, as well as two dozen anti-environmental policy provisions (riders).

The Senate alternative, unveiled March 4, excluded all of the these anti-environmental riders except one: a rider ordering the Interior Secretary to reinstate a court-overturned 2009 rule. The rule delisted wolves within portions of the northern Rockies, including Montana, Idaho and portions of Utah, Oregon and Washington. It insulated that rule from court review. If enacted, this would be the first time in the ESA’s history that Congress has legislatively delisted a species.

However, on March 9 the Senate rejected both proposals to fund the federal government for the remainder of FY2011. For now, the wolf has been granted a temporary reprieve, but the inclusion of even one anti-environmental rider in a bill eventually passed by the Senate would greatly complicate negotiations for both them and the White House when facing the revolutionaries of the House with their basket full of harmful provisions.

For years, Earthjustice has gone to court to ensure that wolves can recover from the brink of extinction in the northern Rocky Mountains.

Wolves in the lower-48 states were essentially wiped out a few decades ago and have made a slow comeback in the northern Rocky Mountains after reintroduction into Yellowstone National Park in the mid-1990s. There are now just over 1,600 gray wolves in this region, but the proposed delisting would allow the Rocky Mountain states to maintain at most 300 to 450 wolves—far short of the 2,000 to 3,000 number needed for a sustainable, fully recovered population.

Earthjustice and other conservation groups are concerned because when Congress enacted the law in 1973, it specifically stated that delisting decisions are to be made by wildlife experts in the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and National Marine Fisheries Service—not by politicians.

The very idea that congressional leaders are targeting the gray wolf sets an alarming precedent and could spell disaster for other “politically unpopular” animals—grizzly bears, salmon and polar bears among them.

Although the short-term spending bills that are keeping the government running for now are devoid of anti-environmental policy riders, the fight to protect our air, water, and treasured wildlife is not over. The current resolution expires April 8, so we can expect another round of attacks in the imminent future.

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Photo: Courtesy Wikimedia Commons

Posted in: Wolf Wars

Tags: wolf persecution, Congress playing politics with wolves, attack on the ESA, wolves under siege

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10 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Western Watersheds Project has it right. This is NO time to compromise on the ESA because of political or legislative pressure. Wolves should not be a bargaining chip just because douchebag Butch Otter and slimy Schweitzer won’t do the right thing here. Why doesn’t anyone shine the spotlight where it belongs—WYOMING


    • No body seems to want stand up to wyoming,not even the the U.S. government. They are now back on the table trying to get an acceptable wolf management plan,but knowing Wyoming,it wants to shoot on sight.Everyone is caving in on the temper tantrums.If they get some management plan agreed apon,than hunting will resume in the Rockies, for by the judge’s ruling everyone then will have a management plan.Am I wrong or reading it right?


      • Unfortunately Rita, Montana and Idaho are hardly any better then Wyoming, At least Wyoming was honest about what they want to do. Montana and Idaho have shown their true colors this last year. We know exactly what’s waiting for wolves if they’re returned to their “management”.



    • The way this issue is playing out you have to wonder what the Dept of the Interior’s position would be without a rancher in charge. How could any group that cares about wolves and animals agree to something that gives you no assurances at all? This is like giving a pedophile (Id and MT)access to a child and hoping that the child doesn’t get molested. You are relying on their goodwill?


      • I sort knew this might be coming but I didn’t want to believe it. There was an article on Oct 7 or 9th that quoted the governor of Montana saying they might be able to work out a deal with the environmental groups. I actually named the post “Let’s Make a Deal” and then I just saved it as a draft didn’t post it. I think it’s because I thought it was more blithering on his part then anything but guess what he was right.

        As for putting a rancher in charge of the Interior the buck stops on Obama’s desk. Even George Bush didn’t do this much damage and that’s saying something. I am utterly disgusted with both parties and I already said I will never vote for another Democrat again, they let us down big time. I’ll either write someone in or vote third party.



    Bad news. Good to see some organizations aren’t caving in.


    • Just what I was afraid of Jon. Unbelievable!



  3. Futhermore,From the take of what Jon posted on Ralph’s site, the enviormental groups that splintered off are,more or less,in fear that Congress will damage,change or tamper with the ESA.They feel futher ligations would only hurt the integrity of the ESA and it will only come down to politics and not science. We will find out more on it later.It’s a mess.


    • It’s absolutely ridiculous that they did that. You don’t back down from this fight. It just shows the other side weakness. Now we have to battle each other? This played right into the antis hands…divide and conquer.



  4. Extreme sadness in my heart. I think I could throw up. … hopefully judge Molloy will not agree to the settlement and the court case could be on its way to the 9th circuit….


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