Newhouse heads bipartisan contingent in seeking to delist gray wolf as endangered

U.S. Rep. Dan Newhouse (R-WA) this week headed a bipartisan contingent in supporting the U.S. Fish and Wildlife’s proposed rule to delist the gray wolf from the Endangered Species Act (ESA) in the contiguous United States.

“The gray wolf should be considered a success story of the Endangered Species Act,” Rep. Newhouse said on Tuesday.

Because gray wolves now are found across the United States and globally, their populations should be managed in America at the local level by individual states, wrote Rep. Newhouse and 33 other bipartisan members of Congress in a May 28 letter sent to U.S. Department of the Interior Secretary David Bernhardt and Margaret Everson, principal deputy director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS).

“State and local governments, tribes, and other stakeholders are best suited to develop effective, local management plans for gray wolf populations,” the members wrote. “We should be empowering them to do so — not hindering them with unscientific, burdensome federal regulations.”

Among the 33 members joining Rep. Newhouse in signing the letter were U.S. Reps. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA), Tom Emmer (R-MN), Greg Walden (R-OR), Ken Calvert (R-CA), Sean Duffy (R-WI), Mark Amodei (R-NV), Bill Flores (R-TX) and Collin Peterson (D-MN).

Rep. Newhouse and his colleagues wrote that a USFWS 2013 review determined gray wolf recovery goals had been achieved, but the agency’s proposed rule to remove them from the ESA was stalled by objecting environmental groups.

Now, according to their letter, “We cannot let scientific findings fall victim to politically motivated attacks. As the proposed rule demonstrates, the gray wolf is a success story of the ESA.”

The lawmakers want the USFWS proposed rule finalized swiftly, they wrote.

“Federally delisting the gray wolf will allow Washington state to implement the comprehensive wolf management plan that will give relief to farmers, ranchers and communities that are affected by growing wolf populations,” Rep. Newhouse said.