Tester’s wolf provision ‘will get us back on the responsible path’

Senator releases language of his bipartisan plan to delist Montana wolves

(U.S. SENATE) – U.S. Senator Jon Tester, chairman of the Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus, today released the following statement regarding his bipartisan provision in the 2011 budget agreement that will remove Montana’s wolves from the Endangered Species List, and return their management to states:

“Right now, Montana’s wolf population is out of balance and this provision will get us back on the responsible path with state management.  Wolves have recovered in the Northern Rockies.  By untying the hands of the Montana biologists who know how to keep the proper balance, we will restore healthy wildlife populations and we will protect livestock.  This provision is best for our wildlife, our livestock and for wolves themselves.”

The language, by Tester and Rep. Mike Simpson, R-Idaho, “rolls back the clock” to restore a 2009 rule by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service that delisted Montana’s and Idaho’s wolves.  The language also clarifies a 2010 ruling on Wyoming’s management plan.  This allows the State of Wyoming to move forward with its own plan to delist wolves.

Here is the wolf language, as it appears on page 290 of the legislation, online HERE:

“SEC. 1713. Before the end of the 60-day period beginning on the date of enactment of this Act, the Secretary of the Interior shall reissue the final rule published on April 2, 2009 (74 Fed. Reg. 15123 et seq.) without regard to any other provision of statute or regulation that applies to issuance of such rule. Such reissuance (including this section) shall not be subject to judicial review and shall not abrogate or otherwise have any effect on the order and judgment issued by the United States District Court for the District of Wyoming in Case Numbers 09–CV–118J and 09–CV–138J on November 18, 2010.”