The wolf bills are probably dead
I’ve rewritten this post as it appears that there is still a chance for a bill to move in the Senate.
The bill that would have removed wolves from the Endangered Species Act has failed and the bill which would have removed protections for wolves in Idaho and Montana introduced by Max Baucus of Montana was not successfully attached to the appropriations bill.
With so much else going on in Washington DC it appears that none of the bills to remove protections from wolves will be successful this congress but there is still a slight chance that the Baucus/Tester bill could move during the lame duck session of congress.
There is another dynamic here to take into consideration, the Baucus/Tester bill, which would require that Idaho and Montana maintain a number of wolves higher than the minimum of 10-15 packs, is opposed by many sportsman’s groups including the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation because it gives wolves even some protection. If this bill is passed it would be considered by some as a win for Tester who is likely to face a very tough reelection battle in 2012. With that, it seems likely that Republicans will try to block it since their whole strategy of late has been to block anything that might benefit Democrats.
That being said, the Baucus/Tester Bill would still set a very bad precedent for the Endangered Species Act. It would set a precedent that would allow delisting of any species if it somehow becomes inconvenient for the powers that be or those who kick and scream the most.
Idaho senators fail in bid to remove federal protection for wolves.
Dan Popkey – Idaho Statesman
State of the species
Anti-wolf bills unlikely to pass before year’s end
By KATHERINE WUTZ – Idaho Mountain Express
Utah bill to delist wolves fails in Senate.
By Laura Lundquist – Magic Valley Times-News