The House of Representatives recently passed the Sportsmen’s Heritage and Recreational Enhancement Act of 2015 (H.R. 2406), and in doing so approved an amendment to strip wolves of Endangered Species Act (the Act) protections in Wyoming, Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Michigan. If passed by the Senate and enacted into law, this legislation would return management of wolves to these states. Federal courts have repeatedly ruled that the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service and these states states did not follow the law in previous attempts to delist gray wolves and have ordered that they be protected. 

In 2014, a U.S. district court ruled that wolves in the Great Lakes region must be protected due, in part, to the “virtually unregulated” killing of wolves in the area. Prior to regaining these protections, wolves in Wisconsin were subject to brutal and indiscriminate trapping and the use of packs of dogs to pursue wolves to their death. Aggressive hunting and trapping led the wolf population in Wisconsin to plummet, and scientists found the state likely to be drastically underestimating the number of wolves killed. In issuing her ruling, the judge wrote, “at times, a court ‘must lean forward from the bench to let an agency know, in no uncertain terms, that enough is enough.'” This case, she wrote, “is one of those times.”

Another court found that Wyoming’s kill-on-sight approach to wolf management violated federal law and ordered wolves in the state again protected under the Endangered Species Act.

This abysmal state management of wolves–and recent congressional efforts to return management responsibility to these states–led a group of 70 scientists to publish an open letter calling for the continued protection of wolves around the country.

yell-wolf-web_greateryellowstonescience_2All of this was known to members of the House when they passed the Ribble Amendment seeking to delist wolves in these four states. We know this because tens of thousands of you spoke out in person and online to deliver this message. The representatives that supported this reckless legislative rider put both the Endangered Species Act and the future of gray wolves at risk. The Act calls for species to be listed or delisted based on science, not on the feckless whims of politicians seeking reelection. 

If there is a silver lining, it is that this bill is so laden with assaults against wildlife and wilderness that it is unlikely to become law. In addition to the legislative delisting of gray wolves, the bill seeks to:

  • Prevent the regulation of lead ammunition and fishing equipment under the Toxics Substances Control Act. Despite millions of birds suffering slow, painful deaths annually due to lead, the SHARE Act blocks the federal government from regulating this deadly material (s. 203).
  • Create a loophole in federal law to allow trophy hunters to import polar bear “trophies” into the United States. In a giveaway to big money lobbying groups like the Safari Club, the House created an exception to federal law for the purpose of allowing hunters to bring polar bear parts into the country. This action encourages the killing and stockpiling of soon-to-be-listed species with the knowledge that anti-wildlife members of Congress will create new law for the benefit of wealthy big game hunters (s. 302).
  • Block the enactment of restrictions on the bloody ivory trade. Elephants are being pushed closer to the brink of extinction every hour by poachers profiting from the sale of elephant ivory. Recent restrictions put into place by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service would be halted should the SHARE Act become law (ss. 1003, 1006).
  • Redefine hunting to include trapping. This redefinition would potentially open millions of acres to indiscriminate and outdated leghold traps and snares. These devices are banned in many countries, put wildlife in peril, and jeopardize public safety. Rewriting the definition of hunting to include this barbaric practice will put endangered and threatened species at new risk for the benefit of an extreme minority that continue to pursue this dying activity (s. 603).

We expect more reluctance to passing the SHARE Act’s companion law in the Senate and will advocate forcefully for a veto should legislation of this sort clear that chamber.


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24 comments on “Anti-Science Wolf Delisting Bill Passes House of Representatives

  1. Dear Sirs, Please keep the protection on the Grey wolves for they are a keystone creature who do a lot of good for the enviroment they are in!!!!!!!! It has bee a proven fact.

    1. I am not going to polite. Why should I be when you people have no respect for life. You are the worst example of mankind. I hope the Creator has a special place for you in hell

  2. Please do not take the wolves off the endangered and protecded list as they are wonderful animals and an important part of the balance of nature. It has been proven that the environment will collapse without them. Thank you.

      1. Totally agree with you did you see the photo of an entire wolf pack killed by two hunters recently? I was in tears over it

  3. It has already been proven in Yellowstone National Park that the reintroduction of the wolves is creating a healthier environment, to include the waters, the trees, the the health of the herds of elk an deer. Wolves were created by nature and deserve our respect, as the animals that they are, and indeed a part of the natural environments in which we live.

  4. Wolves are a keystone species and crucial for the health to the fauna and flora and the environment where they live, it’s detrimental that they are protected.
    Please stop the wolf haters that hunt and kill them.

  5. Protect wolves without them there soul be more polution wolves are very special to me and. Would hate to see a species wiped out because of some trigger happy individuals

  6. Our answer for everything seems to be catch em and kill em.

    Lift the protections for wolves, grizzlies, wild horses, bison, threatened and endangered species.

    Always the same soulless BS, stripping the planet of everything pure and beautiful, causing damage, like a cancer.

    Never ending hate, greed, violence, war, we are destined to fail.

    1. Mike, hi.

      PLEASE provide me and other folks who read the words on this blog some ESSENTIAL CLARITY to tell me–to tell us–that what I write in my first paragraph below. — Thanks

      Mike, your message–especially the first half or so–sounds very REACTIONARY when it comes to the DELIBERATE CREATION and CONTINUANCE of the 21st-CENTURY GLOBAL HOLOCAUST long-visited upon animals and Earth

      In the lower part of your message, however, it seems as if you’ve wiggled around your words so much that your readers (well at least I ) have very little option but to “understand” what you’ve written as not simply REACTIONARY but, indeed, very, very SAD), .

      PLEASE, Mike, tell us all that IT JUST AIN’T SO!

      PLEASE tell me–tell US– THAT I’M TERRIBLY MISTAKEN and THAT I TOTALLY and MISREAD YOUR MESSAGE–or even, perhaps, that what you wrote just didn’t come out in your writing the way you wanted it to.

      Thanks for reading, Mike. I hope you respond to me–to us– so that I and other readers can, perhaps, receive some CLARITY from you because I WOULD VERY MUCH LIKE TO BE MISTAKEN ABOUT WHAT YOU SEEM TO BE COMMUNICATING.

      DIRECT-ACTION ANIMAL & EARTH LIBERATORS–those COURAGEOUS, NON-VIOLENT, COMPASSIONATE, and HIGHLY ETHICAL and MORAL (admittedly from my perspective)–are REVOLUTIONARY MODELS for us when it comes to the LIBERATION of TORTURED NONHUMAN ANIMALS and the conscious and deliberate RAPE of our EARTH–a place that should–in part–be NATURAL ANIMAL HABITATS.

      Well, gotta go, Mike. Hope to hear from you or anyone else who cares to respond,


  7. I love wolves; They are beautiful and intelligent and I find their slaughter extremely unjust. It seems to be the answer to men who are only interested in their fur – an easy way to make money and a delightful way to spend an afternoon. Wolves are living beings and deserve our respect. Moreover, they are part of the ecosystem, which is a considerable advantage.

  8. Please, save the wolves, give them the protection, what they needed. Without wolves the whole ecosystem will going down. You saw, what happened, when the YNP was without wolves. And how important wolves are. Please, help the wolves!

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