A measure removing gray wolves from the federal endangered species list made it into the must-pass U.S. Senate budget bill late Monday night.
Senators Jon Tester and Max Baucus, both R-MT, at the last minute placed a rider in the unrelated 2011 Appropriations Bill that would reauthorize a 2009 U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service rule delisting the gray wolf in the Northern Rocky Mountains.
The rider would give Montana and Idaho management authority over their wolves, which would essentially allow the return of public wolf hunting in those states. It would also block any further court action on the FWS rule.
A coalition of 14 environmental and conservation groups successfully blocked the original rule in U.S. District Court, returning the wolf to the endangered species list. This new congressional move would overturn that ruling.
Complete text of the rider:
“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.”
Does this sound sneaky to you? Tell your representative and senators that you are outraged by the inclusion of the wolf provision and urge them to remove this provision before the bill is approved. You can take action online right now via Defenders of Wildlife’s web site.