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house Bill H.R. 6784

Should Endangered Species Protections for Gray Wolves in the Lower 48 States Be Removed?

Argument in favor

Populations of gray wolves in the lower 48 states have recovered since they were first added to the Endangered Species list over 40 years ago and are no longer endangered (in some cases preying on livestock). The time has come to allow states across the gray wolf’s range to manage their populations, which has already been occurring in the Northern Rockies states.

James 's Opinion
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11/16/2018
Are they endangered? If not, they should be removed.
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Brian's Opinion
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11/16/2018
Wolf and bear populations definitely need to be managed by hunting. If the numbers have rebounded to the point where they are preying on livestock, that means they are reducing herd numbers of their typical prey so much that they need to move closer to civilization and that will create many more issues. Hunt them!
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Taylor's Opinion
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11/16/2018
Up here in Minnesota we have the largest Grey Wolf population in the nation, they have recovered about 80-90% of their population that used to live in the state. Due to protection laws both federal and state, they have become a growing problem as they prey on pets and cattle, as well as the occasional very young child. In parts of Northern Minnesota leaving a small or medium sized dog outside on a leash for more than 10 minutes often results in a nice meal for 2-3 grey wolves. They have grown to numbers that are having disastrous consequences on the natural habitat, threatening the sustainability of native Elk that have shared the woods for centuries. The federal and state laws forbid the killing of a grey wolf in defense of a pet, of cattle, or even a child, and the legal definition only allows the individual attacked to defend themselves. While it is apparent the species must be protected, a culling is called for, if not then at least looser restrictions in terms of defending pets, cattle, and your own children from the grey wolf packs that have started penetrating major metropolitan areas outside of their natural habitat.
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Argument opposed

While progress has been made, gray wolf populations aren’t yet robust enough to justify their being delisted from the Endangered Species Act across the lower 48 states. In states where their protected status has been removed, gray wolves have been hunted for sport and killed by farmers protecting livestock so a broader delisting would lead to more wolves being killed.

Amanda's Opinion
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11/12/2018
What part of rolling back protections for keystone species like grey wolves is good? Please consider the environmental degradation (as well as cultural and economic consequences) which occurs when natural predators like wolves are hunted to extermination. https://www.nature.com/scitable/knowledge/library/keystone-species-15786127?error=cookies_not_supported&code=cd20d0be-e0b6-4d94-bb4d-1a7c387e083e
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Apebrains's Opinion
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11/12/2018
These are the progenitors of our own favored companions, and the single most important predator in every region they occupy. Yet somehow we can't come up with any more creative means of livestock protection than "shoot 'em?" These animals are an iconic American species, absolutely integral to our North American ecosystems (just ask anyone who's had to deal with their local deer overpopulation problems). The Gray Wolf used to stretch all the way from Washington to Florida. Now, through extensive repopulation efforts, they have a tiny patch of the Northwest back. We've finally made some progress at reestablishing this species and you want to just turn that around? Seriously guy, let's rethink this for a moment. Apex predators should be protected before most any other, as they are the key to a functional ecosystem with well-controlled pest numbers. Keep these animals protected and keep the United States' wilderness as the wild and beautiful place it's always been, from our generation to the next.
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cmbays's Opinion
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11/16/2018
No they are the apex predator in most ecosystems and are nature’s regulator to sustain the environment. Removal of grey wolves leads to cascade effects that have drastic economic and environmental consequences. For instance, reduced wolves leads to lower numbers of elk. This is because wolves kill coyotes and maintain their population and behaviors. Coyotes with free range hunt the babies and youth, killing off the population before they can mate. These cascade effects have significant commerce consequences and the effect carries across state lines. Thus the commerce clause states this is a federal issue as one state’s actions are not isolated and affects others.
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bill Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The senate has not voted
  • The house Passed November 16th, 2018
    Roll Call Vote 196 Yea / 180 Nay
      house Committees
      Committee on Natural Resources
    IntroducedSeptember 12th, 2018

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What is House Bill H.R. 6784?

This bill — the Manage our Wolves Act — would remove the gray wolf in the contiguous 48 states from the protection Endangered Species Act (ESA), effectively allowing states to manage their populations of wolves as has been occurring in Montana, Idaho, and Wyoming since the species was delisted in the Northern Rockies. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service would issue a rule that delists gray wolves from the ESA in the lower 48 states.

The gray wolf was initially listed as “endangered” in 1974 when only a few hundred wild gray wolves remained in Michigan and Minnesota. Reintroduction began in 1995 and they were reclassified to “threatened” in 2003 across the lower 48 states but a 2005 court ruling reversed the change. Since then, the Northern Rockies gray wolves have been delisted from the ESA because of their recovery. Populations are currently estimated at about 3,700 in the Great Lakes region and 1,675 in the Northern Rockies (Alaska has an estimated 7,000 to 11,200 gray wolves that aren’t threatened or endangered).

Impact

Gray wolves; farmers; hunters; and state wildlife agencies.

Cost of House Bill H.R. 6784

The CBO estimates that enacting this bill would cost less than $500,000.

More Information

In-Depth: Rep. Sean Duffy (R-WI) introduced this bill to return management of gray wolves to state control by removing the animal from the endangered species list because populations have recovered since their reintroduction:

“Wisconsin deserves the opportunity to use science-based wildlife management for our own gray wolf population, because we know what’s better for our state’s ecosystem better than activist judges in Washington. I’m proud to introduce bipartisan legislation to delist the gray wolf because Wisconsin farmers deserve to be able to protect their livestock, and they should not suffer because of the decisions made by an overreaching federal government a thousand miles away.”

House Democrats opposed this bill in the Natural Resources Committee, writing:

“While the population of the gray wolf has increased, the species currently only occupies five percent of its historic range in the lower 48 states. Gray wolves can only be found in the Great Lakes, northern Rockies, and Pacific Northwest. Wolves still face persecution from hunters and agricultural interests and are only beginning to recolonize areas where they were long a critical part of ecosystems. This legislation would strike a damaging blow in the continued recovery of gray wolves in the contiguous 48 states.”

This legislation passed the House Natural Resources Committee on a party-line 19-15 vote, and has the support of three Republican cosponsors.


Media:

Summary by Eric Revell

(Photo Credit: iStock.com / Andyworks)

AKA

Manage our Wolves Act

Official Title

To provide for removal of the gray wolf in the contiguous 48 States from the List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife published under the Endangered Species Act of 1973.

    Are they endangered? If not, they should be removed.
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    What part of rolling back protections for keystone species like grey wolves is good? Please consider the environmental degradation (as well as cultural and economic consequences) which occurs when natural predators like wolves are hunted to extermination. https://www.nature.com/scitable/knowledge/library/keystone-species-15786127?error=cookies_not_supported&code=cd20d0be-e0b6-4d94-bb4d-1a7c387e083e
    Like (333)
    Follow
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    These are the progenitors of our own favored companions, and the single most important predator in every region they occupy. Yet somehow we can't come up with any more creative means of livestock protection than "shoot 'em?" These animals are an iconic American species, absolutely integral to our North American ecosystems (just ask anyone who's had to deal with their local deer overpopulation problems). The Gray Wolf used to stretch all the way from Washington to Florida. Now, through extensive repopulation efforts, they have a tiny patch of the Northwest back. We've finally made some progress at reestablishing this species and you want to just turn that around? Seriously guy, let's rethink this for a moment. Apex predators should be protected before most any other, as they are the key to a functional ecosystem with well-controlled pest numbers. Keep these animals protected and keep the United States' wilderness as the wild and beautiful place it's always been, from our generation to the next.
    Like (151)
    Follow
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    No they are the apex predator in most ecosystems and are nature’s regulator to sustain the environment. Removal of grey wolves leads to cascade effects that have drastic economic and environmental consequences. For instance, reduced wolves leads to lower numbers of elk. This is because wolves kill coyotes and maintain their population and behaviors. Coyotes with free range hunt the babies and youth, killing off the population before they can mate. These cascade effects have significant commerce consequences and the effect carries across state lines. Thus the commerce clause states this is a federal issue as one state’s actions are not isolated and affects others.
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    10% of their former range doesn’t constitute “recovered”. 80-90% sure. 10% no. Do not delist the wolf.
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    These wolves are vital to restoring balance to our ecosystems and their current range is a tiny fragment of its original in the lower 48 states. Hunters and farmers could easily wipe them out again in a year or two if they lose their endangered status. We must not allow this to happen. Farmers must learn to live with the threats they pose to their livelihood by adapting strategies to keep wolves at bay without harming them. We are the smartest living being on earth and we can find a way to live with wolves and enjoy the benefits they bing if we decide to find a way to do it.
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    I would like to see endangered species protected.
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    As a wildlife veterinarian I strongly oppose removing the wolf in the contiguous 48 states from the list of endangered and threatened wildlife. There is no reliability in individual state decisions and we have just recently gotten a good ecosystem population back in certain areas. It would be a big mistake that could potentially have irreversible consequences.
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    I am extremely against hunting animals but I think in this case, it's not for the federal government to decide. Some states may want to stand together to protect their dwindling population while those near the Northern Rockies may feel overwhelmed with the growing population.
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    Protect our grey wolves. Vote no on HR 6784
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    Can we all please just stop with the killing of animals, particularly apex predators? These guys are at the top of the food chain - mess with their numbers and you throw the whole ecosystem off. Plus - WHY DO HUMANS INSIST ON KILLING EVERYTHING? It’s pathetic and disgusting. How about we enjoy their presence and appreciate the beauty and diversity of life on this planet instead?
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    Love them and protect them 🙏
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    Let the wolves strengthen their numbers. Otherwise, the numbers will quickly reach the endangered numbers of 1978.
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    Wolves are more important than cattle.
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    ABSOLUTELY NOT!!!
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    Wolves need to be protected as we have Already found out the devastation caused when wolves are not around to keep other species from over population. Yellowstone National Park is a prime example.
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    Humans need to stop killing everything. I’m a voter in Ohio’s 12th congressional district and I oppose this bill.
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    Though the population has begun to rebound, they play a vital role in their ecosystem and need greater protections not less.
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    To those people crying about the fed vs states, guess what? Plenty of wildlife resides on federal land AND wildlife doesn't give a shit about state lines.
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    There are other solutions to ranchers and wolves coexisting then declaring open season on a The very species we just spent decades trying to reintroduce to Yellowstone.
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