Stauber, Peterson introduce wolf legislation
On Thursday Congressman Pete Stauber (MN-08) and Congressman Collin Peterson (MN-07) introduced the Gray Wolf State Management Act of 2019, which would return the management of the gray wolf to state control.
“Despite its evident recovery, the gray wolf remains listed due to arbitrary judicial decisions made thousands of miles away from gray wolf territory. In Minnesota, keeping the gray wolf on the Endangered Species List threatens our very way of life, as the animal cannot be deterred while attacks on family-owned livestock and pets increase,” said Stauber.
“Minnesotans know better than Washington bureaucrats on how to manage their own wildlife populations, which is why I am proud to join Congressman Peterson in introducing legislation that will empower state and tribal agencies to tailor a management plan that meet local needs.”
“Choosing between protecting their livelihood or complying with a federal judicial decision is a choice no farmer should have to make,” said Peterson.
“The gray wolf population should be managed by the states, where it belongs. This is practical, bipartisan legislation that balances safety with gray wolf population management and urges states to consult with tribes early and often when crafting management plans.”
Of this legislation, Executive Director of the Minnesota Deer Hunter’s Association Craig L. Engwall said, “The gray wolf has recovered in Minnesota by all reasonable measures, particularly those provided in the Endangered Species Act. The federal recovery plan for the gray wolf identified a recovered population number of 1,251 – 1,400 wolves. The Minnesota DNR winter wolf population survey in 2015-16 estimated the population to be approximately 2,300.
“MNDNR concluded there has been no biologically or statistically significant change in the size of the statewide mid-winter wolf population over the past 4 years of surveys. An appeal of the District Court ruling has been heard, but the appeal process is lengthy and leaves no effective wolf management in Minnesota. A legislative fix is a more suitable solution to the problem.”
In 2013, the gray wolf was removed from the Endangered Species Act under President Obama’s Fish and Wildlife Service because it had fully recovered and no longer qualified to remain under federal protection, returning management to the states.
Unfortunately, a federal judge based out of Washington, D.C. decided to move the wolf back onto the Endangered Species list, tying the hands of states like Minnesota.