U.S. Senate passes wolf delisting rider

Wolf advocates accuse Sen. Tester (D-MT) of politically intervening in a scientific decision

MT Fish, Wildlife & Parks photo

From this morning’s local paper:

“Our provision does not undermine the Endangered Species Act,” said Montana Sen. Jon Tester, who led the effort to delist the wolf in Congress. “It recognizes the ESA as a success.”…

“Wolves in Washington, Oregon and Utah will also be put under state control by the rider. Those states have relatively tiny wolf populations, numbering in the low dozens.”…

“With the bill’s passage, however, legal experts warned the Obama administration’s support for lifting wolf protections opens the door to future meddling by lawmakers catering to anti-wildlife interests.

“The Endangered Species Act has long been reviled by conservatives who see it as a hindrance to economic development. Now, the administration’s support for the wolf provision signals that protections for even the most imperiled animals, fish and plants are negotiable given enough political pressure, experts said.

“The president could have used some political capital to influence this and he didn’t,” said Patrick Parenteau, a professor of environmental law from the Vermont Law School. “The message to the environmental community is, don’t count on the administration to be there” to protect endangered species.

“Environmentalists still count Obama as an ally on other issues, ranging from climate change and wilderness preservation to oil and gas exploration. Yet experts in wildlife law say that in the scramble to pass the budget, the administration is circumventing one of the country’s bedrock environmental laws.”…

“We are having the worst attack on the Endangered Species Act in 30 years while we have a Democratic Senate and a Democratic White House,” said Kieran Suckling with the Center for Biological Diversity. “They are trying to shut citizens and scientists out of the endangered species process.”

Full article here.

5 Responses

  1. A lot of comments are being made on this issue The Wildlife News blog: http://wolves.wordpress.com/2011/04/14/senate-and-house-pass-budget-bill-with-wolf-delisting-rider

    I asked some questions, dittoed a couple people, and recommended (see April 15, 1:04 p.m.) listening to this 37-min. interview of our greatest animal-and-environment-and-peace ally in Congress, Rep. Dennis Kucinich:


    BTW, if you’re interested in voting on the idea of having a third party under this scenario:

    If the next election allowed something like instant run-off voting, so you could vote for your first choice AND your second and third choice candidates, would you vote for a third party candidate? … check out this poll: http://www.opednews.com/Poll/If-Conditions-Were-Right–by-Rob-Kall-110410-532.html

  2. Another perennial issue rises to the top of the red-meat, guns and glory agenda as the dwindling roster of presumed protectors/conservators again gets caught off guard. Is there some line of defense against this? Or is this outrage now law with Senate approval?

  3. The Northern Rockies wolves are off the list in 60 days.

    To drive the point home, Idaho is already planning the hunt:

    ” “We will be ready to have another hunting season,” said Jim Unsworth, deputy director of Fish and Game.
    “He said the meeting will determine whether the state can use the plan devised and used for the 2009 wolf hunt. That season the state set a harvest quota of 220 wolves with the aim of reducing the population in Idaho from about 800 wolves to 518 over five years. Currently, an estimated 800 wolves live in Idaho.”

    Full article here http://missoulian.com/news/local/article_fba92eee-6852-11e0-b580-001cc4c002e0.html

  4. Here is a wonderful essay on the ethics of learning to live with wolves, by professor of ethics, environmental studies and public policy William Lynn:

    http://www.CreatureQuotes.com, Chapter 25, pp 21-24.

    The text is interspersed with some beautiful photos of wild wolves. The photo credits are at the bottom of the chapter.

    You can simply click on my name to access the URL.

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