Settlement, legislation, or legal challenges?
I expect an overreach by the people who are angry about the relisting of wolves. There are many who are pinning their hopes on legislative action taken in the House and Senate to remove all protections from wolves under the Endangered Species Act but I think that will likely fail due to the make up of the committees that they have to pass. Who knows though?
There will also be legislation in the Idaho State Legislature intended to “scare the b’jeez out of the environmental loons”. That would look great in court when the judge reviews the next delisting proposal and it probably would give even the USFWS pause in delisting wolves in the Northern Rockies.
The “good ole’ boys” network of ranchers, hunters, and now game agencies is also forming a coalition to overreach too.
The problem they have is that they have to deal with Federal laws that have become very popular with the nation as a whole. If they are considering removing just a single species from protection of the Endangered Species Act, regardless of it’s status (eg. the Mexican wolf), it probably won’t sit well with the American people who will be awoken to the irrationality of Western politics.
They are also considering legislation which would allow delisting based on state lines as proposed in the last delisting rule. That would leave the ESA gutted as well because it would mean that the best available science would be trumped by political considerations when delisting or listing a species.
While IDFG has committed to managing for 518 wolves once it gets management authority, the Idaho Legislature has shown that it surely wants fewer than that. They want the IDFG to maintain only the minimum of 15 breeding pairs that the Legislature’s plan calls for and they are willing to force the IDFG to do that.
Groups form coalition on wolf issue.
By EVE BYRON Helena Independent Record