July 15, 2011
From Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation
Washington, DC – A coalition of sportsmen’s groups working toward delisting of recovered gray wolf populations from the Endangered Species Act (ESA) sent a letter to Rep. Mike Simpson, Chairman of the Subcommittee on Interior and Environment, and committee member Rep. Cynthia Lummis last week, supporting their efforts in advancing Sec. 119 of the 2012 Interior-Environment Appropriations bill, approved yesterday by the House Appropriations Committee, to address the issue of recovered wolf populations in Wyoming and the Great Lakes region.
In the letter (HERE), the coalition, which includes the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation (CSF), National Rifle Association (NRA), Safari Club International (SCI), Boone and Crockett Club, Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation (RMEF), Wild Sheep Foundation, American Sheep Industry Association, Public Lands Council, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, and Pope and Young Club, states, “We will continue to support any legislative efforts which take us closer to complete delisting of recovered populations, including delisting entire states that include or border core populations in order to allow the state(s) to more easily carry out their professional wildlife management responsibilities.”
“Like the provision dealing with delisted wolves in Montana and Idaho that our coalition supported and was passed into law this spring, this is another step in returning management of this species back to state wildlife managers where it belongs,” said CSF President Jeff Crane.
“Removing recovered wolf populations from Wyoming and the Great Lakes Region will reduce risks to both people and wildlife in these areas and return balance to these ecosystems, further advancing our goal to delist all recovered gray wolf populations,” said Chris W. Cox, NRA’s chief lobbyist.
Sec. 119 of the 2012 Interior-Environment Appropriations bill would remove gray wolves delisted under ESA in Wyoming or in any of the states within the range of the Western Great Lakes Distinct Population Segment from judicial review if the state has entered into an agreement with the Secretary of the Interior to authorize state management.
"This is a states' rights issue now and it is time for the states to manage wolves as other wildlife,” said David Allen, President and CEO of RMEF. “Science clearly shows that gray wolves have recovered".
“We are appreciative of the Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus members who have worked tirelessly to ensure that management of wolves is returned to the states,” said SCI President Kevin Anderson. “We’ve already seen that the delisted area is too small to contain the large and growing wolf population, so we welcome this further progress.”