Simpson authored language to delist wolf in Idaho, now joins colleagues in supporting nationwide delisting rule
Idaho Congressman Mike Simpson joined a number of his Western colleagues in supporting the rule recently proposed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to remove the gray wolf from the endangered species list. Simpson authored legislation in 2011 to delist wolves in Idaho, where the population has seen a robust recover since reintroduction in the mid-1990’s. He sent a letter to Fish and Wildlife Service Director Dan Ashe commending the proposed rule to delist wolves nationwide and urging the Service to act quickly to move forward on it.
“The statutory purpose of the Endangered Species Act (ESA) is to recover species to the point where they are no longer considered ‘endangered’ or ‘threatened,’” the letter reads. “The gray wolf is currently found in 46 countries around the world and has been placed in the classification of “least concern” globally for risk of extinction by the International Union for Conservation Nature (IUCN) Species Survival Commission Wolf Specialist Group. This is a clear indication that this species is not endangered or threatened with extinction.
“The full delisting of the gray wolf is long overdue. Since wolves were first provided protections under the ESA, uncontrolled and unmanaged growth of wolf populations has resulted in devastating impacts on hunting and ranching and tragic damages to historically strong and healthy herds of moose, elk, big horn sheep and mule deer.”
The letter continues, “We believe that state governments are fully qualified to responsibly manage wolf populations and are better able to meet the needs of local communities and wildlife populations. Delisting the gray wolf under ESA would allow state wildlife officials to more effectively manage wolf populations, just as Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan have proven is possible.”
Simpson serves on the House Interior and Environment Appropriations Subcommittee, which oversees the budget for the Fish and Wildlife Service. He joined 74 other members of the House and Senate in sending the letter to Director Ashe.