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Thank you for reading these important updates. We appreciate your support as we educate, advocate and participate on behalf of wolves.
 
In This Issue
New Challenges
Court Ruling
Article Title
Action Needed
Article Title
Buy A Shirt - Enter Contest
About Us
New Challenges Face Wolves 

By now you have probably heard that  the FY 2016 null House Interior/EPA Appropriations Bill includes a rider that undermines the Endangered Species Act (ESA)  and strips gray wolves in the Great Lakes Region and Wyoming of existing federal protections.

Background

In September of 2014, federal protections for gray wolves in Wyoming were reinstated after a federal judge invalidated the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service's (FWS) delisting of wolves in that state.  


 
In December of 2014, federal protections were also reinstated for wolves in the western Great Lakes region (including Michigan, Minnesota, and Wisconsin) after another federal judge invalidated FWS's delisting of wolves in that area.  In both cases, the federal courts held that the state management plans for wolves at issue did not sufficiently protect wolves.  

 

The result of these two recent court decisions is that wolves in Wyoming, Michigan, Minnesota, and Wisconsin are back on the federal Endangered Species Act list. 

 

Section 121 of the FY 2016 House Interior/EPA bill nullifies both of these recent federal court decisions, directing the Secretary of the Interior to reissue the two wolf delisting rules that federal courts found illegal under the ESA.  Thus this rider would hand wolf management authority back over to the very states whose management plans were found to be deficient.  


 

Further, Section 121 includes "no judicial review" clauses covering both court decision overrides - thus stripping the ability of citizens to further challenge these wolf delistings. 


Section 121
would not only undermine wolf recovery, but also the ESA itself.  The ESA is one of our most effective and important

Brandi 1environmental laws, supported by nearly 85-percent of Americans.  No law has been more important in preventing the extinction of wildlife.  

 

In 2011, a rider introduced by Senator Jon Tester (D-Mont.) and Representative Mike Simpson (R-Idaho) was included in the must-pass federal budget bill removing wolves in Montana, Idaho, Washington, Oregon and Utah from the federal endangered species list.  It also banned citizens from challenging the wolf delisting decision while preserving anti-wolf litigation brought by the state of Wyoming and others. 

 

The precedent was set in 2011 & now, as we feared, legislators are pushing forward to do it again.

Other Components of the Appropriations Bill

In addition to the rider that delists wolves, the 134 page draft bill contains more than 20 other policy riders, including provisions that would:
  • Prohibit the EPA from implementing new greenhouse gas regulations for new and existing power plants;
  • Prohibit the EPA from making changes to the definition of "navigable waters" under the Clean Water Act;
  • Prohibit the EPA from making changes to the definition of "fill Brandi 5 material;"
  • Prohibit the EPA from imposing duplicative financial assurance requirements; 
  • Prevent the EPA from regulating the lead content of ammunition and fishing tackle
  • Fund grants to states at $68 million, and rejects a White House proposal to hire more federal regulators to duplicate State inspections. The legislation also includes a provision to stop changes to the "stream buffer rule."
  • Block proposals by the President  to increase oil and gas inspection fees, and a proposal to increase  hiking fees for grazing on federal land.
  • Prohibit the Forest Service or BLM from issuing new closures of public lands to hunting and recreational shooting, except in the case of public safety (currently areas could be closed due to resource damage, protect species etc)
  • Reduce the funding for FWS to $1.4 billion in the bill, which is $8 million below the fiscal year 2015
  • Continue a one-year delay on any further Endangered Species Act rulemaking for the sage-grouse.
  • Hold staffing levels at the EPA to 15,000, the lowest level since 1989
  • Limit the government's ability to regulate ivory 

Alternatives to Delisting

There are alternatives to classifying wolves as federally endangered or providing them with no federal protection as a delisted species.

 

Click to read the letter sent last month to each member of Congress asking that they VOTE NO ON ANY LEGISLATION THAT WOULD DELIST WOLVES .  The letter offered two alternatives:

 

1.  Support the petition to USFWS to list wolves as threatened under the ESA (instead of endangered). 

This is a reasonable compromise endorsed by scientists, researchers and many organizations, including the National Wolfwatcher Coalition. It would afford states the flexibility to remove problem wolves while continuing to provide wolves protection. 

 

2.  Review and use independent scientists'  John Vucetich  and Jeremy Bruskotter, "Framework for Recovery", as a guide to revise and update the wolf recovery plan under ESA.
Action Needed
We can't give up the fight.  Legislators must hear us howl.  We must stop the rider to delist wolves. 

We all care about clean air, clean water, abundant and diverse wildlife, our national parks and wolves.  Demand that the Interior Appropriations Bill be amended.  

The House Appropriations Subcommittee met and voted this week. 

The bill is scheduled for mark-up on Tuesday, June 16th, with the House Appropriations Committee. 

This appropriations bill needs to go before the the full House, Senate Appropriations Committee and the full Senate.  At each step members can add/delete riders, amendments or change the language. The House and Senate will then work to reconcile differences. There is still time - but not much.  This appropriations bill, loaded with policy decisions, is on the fast-track.

Interior Appropriations is a must pass bill, therefore, it is extremely unlikely that President Obama will veto it.

If we are to influence change, we each must make FIVE  contacts:
 
Chair of the House Appropriations Committee, Representative Hal Rogers (R-KY) 202 225-4601  

Your individual Representative in the House.  Click here to FIND YOUR REPRESENTATIVE and their contact information.

Chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Senator Thad Cochran (R-MS)   (202) 224-5054

Each  of your two Senators.  Click here to FIND YOUR SENATORS and their contact information.

Nearly all members of Congress have a twitter account and a Facebook page.  You can call or send an email.  The message is simple:  These cuts are too steep.  Do not delist wolves through Congressional intervention - science not politics should dictate wildlife management.  Policy decisions should be argued on their own merits and should not be included in appropriations.

You can call anytime of the day or night and leave a phone message.

Members of Congress need to hear us Howl! Call, Send a Tweet or email Today!
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We 'educate, advocate, and participate' for the long term recovery and preservation of wolves based on the best available science and the principles of democracy.  We:  

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