Fulcher and Simpson Applaud USFWS Decision to Delist Wolves

Decision would empower states to manage the recovered population

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Idaho Congressmen Russ Fulcher and Mike Simpson lauded Acting Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt’s announcement that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) will propose a rule to delist the gray wolf in the lower 48 states. This decision would build on the successful recovery of the species and the successful implementation of delisting in the State of Idaho which has responsibly managed the species.

“The excess population of wolves in Idaho has proven detrimental to our economy, ranchers, and natural resources,” said Congressman Russ Fulcher. “I am extremely pleased with Acting Secretary Bernhardt’s decision to delist the gray wolf and I will continue to support efforts to undo federal government overreach.”

“This is a smart, sound, scientific decision that recognizes the successful efforts of states and local partners who have dedicated time and resources to conserving and maintaining a healthy wolf population,” said Congressman Simpson. “No doubt this decision recognizes the State of Idaho and its effective management of the species following delisting in 2011. I applaud Acting Secretary Bernhardt for this decision which will return wolf management back to the states where it belongs.”

Congressman Fulcher was a vocal critic of the 1990’s reintroduction of wolves and has continued to oppose this ruling since.

In 2011, Congressman Simpson inserted language into the annual appropriations bill which overturned the August 2010 decision by a district court in Montana to put wolves in Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Washington, and Utah back on the endangered species list, in spite of the fact that these populations had met and exceeded recovery goals.  The language directed the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to reissue its 2009 decision to delist wolves in Idaho and Montana within 60 days of enactment.

During the Obama Administration, USFWS Director Dan Ashe told Congressman Simpson at a House Interior and Environment Appropriations Subcommittee hearing, that states had responsible management plans, wolves met their recovery goals, and warranted delisting.

The proposed rule is anticipated to be published in the Federal Register which will initiate a public comment period.