Tester successfully delists wolves in Montana, returns management to the state

Congress approves Senator’s bipartisan measure to remove recovered wolves from Endangered Species List

(U.S. SENATE) – Congress today approved Senator Jon Tester’s plan to remove gray wolves in Montana from the Endangered Species List and return their management to the state.

Tester’s bipartisan measure now goes to the President, who is expected to sign it into law.

“This is more than a victory for Montana,” said Tester, Chairman of the Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus.  “It’s a win for rural America, for jobs, and for our wildlife—and it’s what’s right for the wolves themselves.  This was never going to get done with partisan games or grandstanding.  We fixed this problem with Montana values—by putting aside our differences and working together on a responsible, common sense plan.

“I thank Representative Mike Simpson for his leadership on this issue in the House of Representatives,” Tester added.

Governor Brian Schweitzer praised Tester’s successful efforts.

“I welcome the delisting of the wolf in Montana through this budget resolution,” Schweitzer said.  “This is a common sense measure that will ensure good management of wolves through Montana’s existing plan, which allows for healthy numbers of wolves and safeguards the interests of ranchers and sportsmen.  I appreciate Senator Tester’s efforts to shepherd this resolution through Congress for the benefit of all Montanans.”

Gray wolves in the northern Rockies met their recovery goals in 2002 and wolves were delisted in 2009 in Montana and Idaho.  After a judge’s ruling against Montana’s wolf management plan last year, Tester has fought hard to put wolves back under the management of the state.

The language, by Tester and Simpson, R-Idaho, restores 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.

Tester’s wolf language as it appears in the federal budget agreement is available on Tester’s website HERE.

Tester is also the author of the bipartisan Wolf Kill Bill, which repays Montana ranchers the full market value of animals killed by wolves and helps ranchers prevent future wolf attacks.