Well, they’ve done it. They’ve reached an agreement to keep language in the upcoming budget bill which would delist wolves everywhere in the Northern Rockies except Wyoming. (Added to clarify what has happened)
While this process doesn’t immediately delist wolves, it cannot be challenged. It is unclear exactly what the language says but presumably wolves in the Northern Rockies will be delisted in all but Wyoming as previous wording has indicated. Previous language mandates the US Fish and Wildlife Service to republish the rule which delisted wolves in 2009. It does not preclude a petition to relist wolves if their populations become endangered again. The delisting rule still holds the states of Idaho and Montana to their management plans but it seems that, with the most recent “wolf disaster declaration” that they don’t intend to allow more than 100 wolves to persist in the state.
Also, the recent settlement agreement, as some have previously indicated, will likely provide political cover to the USFWS to accept Wyoming’s management plan with little or no changes. It seems that wolves are facing dark days ahead.
Here is the previous language, “SEC. 1709. Before the end of the 60-day period beginning on the date of enactment of this division, the Secretary of the Interior shall reissue the final rule published on April 2, 2009 (74 Fed. Reg. 15123 et seq.) without regard to any other provision of statute or regulation that applies to issuance of such rule. Such re-issuance (including this section) shall not be subject to judicial review.
Budget bill pending before Congress would remove wolves from endangered list.
Matthew Brown – Associated Press
To clarify, the language has not been passed yet. It was not included in the short term budget agreement which funds the government for the next several days but, rather, will be included in the long term budget bill which is being written and will be posted for review for three days as House rules require.