Wolf Delisting Language Contained in 2011 Fiscal Year Budget Bill

New language protects Wyoming ruling over the State’s management plan.

Just when you think it couldn’t get any worse, new language was added to the rider which delists wolves in the Northern Rockies at the insistence of Wyoming’s delegation.  The new language intends to make it easier for Wyoming’s plan to pass muster or make it so that a plan that is being negotiated will pass muster with the USFWS.  There are reports that Governor Mead has been holding meetings behind closed doors among only groups who have little respect for wolves.  The deal being considered would slightly decrease the free-for-all kill zone and provide for “dispersion routes” so that wolves could possibly disperse to Colorado or Utah.

Cody Coyote commented on the Wyoming negotiations here.  The pulled article he mentions was here.

This is the language contained in the Final FY 2011 Budget Bill.

SEC. 1713. Before the end of the 60-day period beginning on the date of enactment of this Act, 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 reissuance (including this section) shall not be subject to judicial review and shall not abrogate or otherwise have any effect on the order and judgment issued by the United States District Court for the District of Wyoming in Case Numbers 09–CV–118J and 09–CV–138J on November 18, 2010.

What does this all mean? Well, first, this language requires the Secretary of Interior to reissue the 2009 delisting rule which leaves out Wyoming but delists wolves in Idaho, Montana, eastern Oregon, eastern Washington, and northern Utah. This cannot be challenged in court. And, as I pointed out above, it also protects the decision that the judge in Wyoming made which requires the USFWS to re-examine Wyoming’s wolf management plan.

If it passes this could happen at any time during the following 60 days.

Wolves at a Crossroads: 2011

The Endangered Species Act in Peril

Yesterday I received an envelope containing a report which was hand-delivered to every member of the U.S. Congress. The report was prepared by the group Living with Wolves which was founded by filmmakers Jim and Jamie Dutcher.

Their mission statement reads:

Living with Wolves is dedicated to raising awareness about the social nature of wolves, their importance to healthy ecosystems, threats to their survival and the essential actions people can take to help save wolves.

I think the report is very worthy reading and does a good job of explaining why legislative delisting of wolves should be opposed.

Wolves at a Crossroads: 2011
The Endangered Species Act in Peril.

Hearing in Idaho Senate Resources and Environment Committee today on wolf disaster declaration

The Senate Resources and Environment Committee will be holding a hearing today at 2:00 pm on H343 in room WW02 of the Capitol building. There will likely be crowd present so be there early if you want to testify.

This bill, which is likely to pass and be signed by the Governor, demonstrates exactly why Idaho cannot be trusted to manage wolves. Even if the IDFG desires to set management goals for wolves above the minimum of 10-15 breeding pairs or 100-150 wolves, the legislature is showing that it can, and will, override them. This legislation seems to even strike at their own 2002 plan which allows wolves to persist in areas where they are not even causing conflict. This would define conflict in such a way that even their presence on a mountain top far away from anyone is a conflict because it might scare some weakhearted berry picker.

Senate Resources and Environment Committee hearing schedule.

You can watch or listen here: Idaho Legislature Live (Idaho Public Television).

Language of the “Wolf Disaster Declaration” published.

Language of the “Wolf Disaster Declaration” published.

Bill Status: H0343.

It is not the same language as contained in the legislation we posted in February.

It essentially provides for a disaster declaration if there are more than 100 wolves in Idaho.

“[T]he legislature finds that public safety has been compromised, economic activity has been disrupted and private and public property continue to be imperiled. The uncontrolled proliferation of imported wolves on private land has produced a clear and present danger to humans, their pets and livestock, and has altered and hindered historical uses of private and public land, dramatically inhibiting previously safe activities such as walking, picnicking, biking, berry picking, hunting and fishing. The continued uncontrolled presence of gray wolves represents an unfunded mandate, a federal commandeering of both state and private citizen resources and a government taking that makes private property unusable for the quiet enjoyment of property owners.”

Read the rest of this entry »

Bill to delist species that haven’t increased in population and impose economic hardship.

A bill has been introduced to the US House of Representatives by Representative Joe Baca of California which would declare a species extinct if it hasn’t increased in population during the 15 years since it was listed and imposes an economic hardship on the communities located in the range of the species.

Below is the text of the language to be added to the ESA if the legislation is successful:

H.R.1042.
THOMAS (Library of Congress)

    Section 4(a) of the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (16 U.S.C. 1531 et sq.) is amended by adding at the end the following new paragraph:
    `(4) Treatment of Certain Species as Extinct- (A) A limited listed species shall be treated as extinct for purposes of this Act upon the expiration of the 15-year period beginning on the date it is determined by the Secretary to be an endangered species, unless the Secretary publishes a finding that–
    • `(i) there has been a substantial increase in the population of the species during that period; or
    • `(ii) the continued listing of the species does not impose any economic hardship on communities located in the range of the species.
    `(B) In this paragraph the term `limited listed species’ means any species that is listed under subsection (c) as an endangered species for which it is not reasonably possible to determine whether the species has been extirpated from the range of the species that existed on the date the species was listed because not all individuals of the species were identified at the time of such listing.’.

Poll Finds Strong Public Support for ESA… and Wolves

With all of the vitriol surrounding wolves in the Northern Rockies you would think that more and more people are opposed to wolf recovery and the Endangered Species Act. Not so fast according to a recent poll which found that Americans strongly support the Endangered Species Act and wolf recovery.  They also feel that scientists, rather than politicians should manage wildlife.

Endangered Species Act Summary

Poll Finds Strong Public Support for ESA… and Wolves.
Ag Weekly Online: Twin Falls, Idaho

Budget bills rejected in the Senate.

Wolves still protected under the Endangered Species Act

Both of the budget bills which contained language which would have delisted wolves were defeated in the Senate this afternoon. It appears that another short term continuing resolution will be brought up to fund the government once the current CR expires on March 18th.

Senate rejects rival GOP, Democratic budgets.
By ANDREW TAYLOR – The Associated Press