Rep. Bentz pushes to delist Gray Wolves

Bentz Leads Letter to Urge U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to Delist Gray Wolves as a Protected Species
Press Release

WASHINGTON – Today, Congressman Bentz led 19 of his Republican colleagues in sending a letter to U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) Director, Martha Williams, urging her to delist the Gray Wolf as a protected species under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). This letter follows the Service’s decision last month to not re-list wolves in the Northern Rocky Mountains because the Service found the wolf was not in danger of extinction anywhere across the Western United States. Despite this finding, the Service has done nothing to allow those bearing the burden of an apex predator’s reintroduction to protect themselves, livestock, or even deer and elk populations from devastation by the predator. The Service should move immediately to delist the gray wolf as a protected species which would allow the use of accepted methods of predator control to be used by ranchers and state agencies.

“The substantial growth in population of gray wolves throughout Oregon and the Western United States poses significant challenges for ranchers, farmers, and outdoorsmen alike. It’s imperative that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service promptly act to delist the gray wolf so that those in the Western United States who are burdened by the reintroduction of an admittedly recovered apex predator species can protect themselves,” Congressman Bentz stated.

“The decision by the Fish and Wildlife Service to keep the gray wolf listed is disappointing and contrary to sound science,” said Congressional Western Caucus Chairman Dan Newhouse (WA-04). “It is clear that gray wolf populations have recovered and that state and local officials should be empowered to manage their gray wolf populations. As Chairman of the Western Caucus and Co-Chair of the ESA Working Group, I will continue to advocate for greater flexibility to manage the wolves and for reforming the ESA to make the law work better for rural communities and species alike.”

Congressman John Duarte (CA-13) added, “The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s own findings indicate that the wolf population is not in danger of extinction across the Western United States. Therefore, it is imperative that we take action to empower those affected by the reintroduction of this apex predator to protect themselves and their livestock. Failing to do so not only jeopardizes the safety and livelihoods of our ranchers, but it also threatens livestock.”

Cosigners: Peter Stauber, Dan Newhouse, Tom Tiffany, Mark Amodei, Paul Gosar, Lauren Boebert, Harriet Hageman, Lori Chavez-DeRemer, Tom McClintock, Eli Crane, Cathy McMorris Rodgers, John Duarte, Andy Ogles, Russ Fulcher, August Pfluger, Matt Rosendale, Adrian Smith, Derrick Van Orden, and Ryan Zinke

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