The battle over the gray wolf continues

The gray wolf is deemed “recovered” and in January, it will be removed from the Endangered Species List. The decision is still met with controversy.

It has been a little more than two weeks since the federal government removed gray wolves from the Endangered Species List, making many ranchers and livestock owners happy. However, the ruling upsets others, so the battle is far from over.

Washington Farm Bureau’s Tom Davis states, “Unfortunately, we’re seeing groups like the Center for Biological Diversity, they’ll use it as a fundraising effort and they’re going to start filing documents, likely they will, to sue to stop this action by our federal government.”

Animals are put on the endangered list so they can recover, and Davis says that the gray wolf has done just that, and it should be celebrated. He notes that the government made its decision based on science.

According to Davis, “These are career biologists and specialists that work both for the federal government and work here in our own state, that manage wildlife. They predate this Trump administration, they’ll be around, these biologists, around through a full career. So, they provide some continuity of policy implementation and science.”

Delisting of the gray wolf does not mean it is suddenly “open season” on wolves.

“This doesn’t mean that the wolves now have lost all the protections that they have enjoyed under the federal Endangered Species Act,” he adds. “They will now come under transition to state management and our state Fish and Wildlife has developed a tremendous amount of expertise over the last decade, working with the wolves, managing the wolves, and they will continue the protections that are necessary to maintain that viable population.”

Lawsuits are likely, and a final decision could take some time.

“I think it will be a couple of years at least, because, whatever initial court decision we see, there likely will be an appeal,” Davis notes. “So, it will be a while unfortunately.”


Mixed reactions to gray wolf delisting

NCBA on gray wolf delisting

Not much will change in Washington state from delisting the gray wolf