The proposed bill would remove protections on wolf populations in four states.
Wolves in three Great Lakes states and Wyoming may soon no longer be protected.
Wyoming Senator John Barrasso included an amendment in the Bipartisan Sportsman’s Act of 2015 that, if approved, will result in wolves being de-listed from protection under the Endangered Species Act in Michigan, Minnesota, and Wyoming, as reported. The bill will go to the U.S. Senate after passing through the Senate Environment Committee.
The bill is likely to be a hot topic. Courts have stopped attempts by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to take away protections for wolves four different times in the past. But the new bill would prevent this sort of intervention. It didn’t take long for the bill to be criticized by groups that believe wolf populations are still recovering.
“This is yet another special-interest attack on gray wolves that will lead to the vicious and cruel slaughter of thousands of these magnificent animals,” said Brett Hartl. He is the policy director at the Center for Biological Diversity.
Supporters of the bill, however, argue that with a population of around 3,700 wolves between Michigan, Wisconsin and Minnesota, the change is long overdue. If passed, the de-listing of wolves would mean states would gain regulatory control of the populations.
In including the amendment to the bill, Barrasso said he wants these states to focus resources on other endangered species instead.
If the bill is passed, it might mean the establishment of wolf hunting seasons in these four states in the future.