PLC, NCBA Support Introduction of Legislation to Delist the Gray Wolf
WASHINGTON - The Public Lands Council (PLC) and the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) support the State Sovereignty Wildlife Management Act, which would return management authority of gray wolves to the states and remove them from the endangered species list. The legislation was introduced by U.S. Representatives Rob Bishop (R-Utah); Mike Simpson (R-Idaho); Denny Rehberg (R-Mont.); Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo.); Trent Franks (R-Ariz.); Wally Herger (R-Calif.); Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah); and Dean Heller (R-Nev.). PLC and NCBA support their efforts to return wolf management to states and bring relief to livestock producers.
“Wolf depredation of livestock is becoming increasingly prevalent in areas where wolves have been introduced under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). We lost a couple of calves and a cow this summer,” said NCBA President-elect and Montana rancher Bill Donald. “When the pack on our ranch grows to more than eight, wolf depredation of livestock starts. If the pack remains small it doesn’t bother cattle. This is evidence that wolves no longer need to be listed under the ESA. However, instead of delisting wolves, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) continuously increases ESA Recovery Plan goals, making delisting impossible.”
According to PLC President and federal lands rancher John Falen, unlike many species listed under the ESA, wolves pose a serious threat to wildlife, humans and private property, especially livestock. Falen said the FWS does not have resources to manage continued listing of the gray wolf under the ESA. More specifically, he noted that studies have shown for every confirmed kill of livestock there are seven to eight that go unconfirmed.
“Rather than continuing to allow the distant federal government to dictate how ranchers manage and care for their herds, the State Sovereignty Wildlife Management Act would return authority to the states where it rightly belongs,” Falen said. “Wolf depredation threatens ranchers’ livelihoods and rural communities and economies relying on a profitable agricultural industry. It is time to end the unwarranted listing of the gray wolf. We urge more members of Congress to support this legislation.”