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Press Release

Investigating the Biden Administration's Unscientific Efforts to List Gray Wolf Under ESA

WASHINGTON, D.C., February 1, 2024 | Committee Press Office (202-225-2761)
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Today, House Committee on Natural Resources Chairman Bruce Westerman (R-Ark.) led a letter to U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Director Martha Williams regarding the agency's recent creation of a "National Dialogue Around Working Landscapes and Gray Wolves and Thriving Communities and Cultures" and the significant impacts an endangered listing would have on western communities. In part, the members wrote:

"Delisting the gray wolf in the lower-48 states has traditionally garnered bipartisan support. In 2013, the Obama administration proposed delisting the gray wolf in the lower-48 states, but the rule was never finalized due to backlash from environmental groups. This Congress, the Committee has favorably reported H.R. 764, the 'Trust the Science Act,' which would reinstate the 2020 rule delisting the gray wolf in the lower-48 states. In the 115th Congress, the House of Representatives passed similar language to H.R. 764 with bipartisan support by a vote of 196-180. Identical language to H.R. 764 was also included in H.R. 4821, the Department of the Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year 2024, which passed the House by a bipartisan vote of 213-203...

"The Committee is concerned that the 'National Dialogue Around Working Landscapes and Gray Wolves and Thriving Communities and Cultures' could potentially impact areas where wolves are delisted and currently under state management, like in the Northern Rockies Ecosystem. States in the Northern Rockies Ecosystem have a proven track record of success in managing healthy wolf populations, with current populations being stable and even slightly increasing year to year. Yet under the vague parameters of the Service‚Äôs proposal, the Service could begin to dictate to states what their management approaches should be. Perhaps more concerning, they could utilize this proposal as a proxy to relist wolves in the Northern Rockies without the support of the impacted States."

Read the full letter here.