Montana’s two senators have matched legislation from the state’s lone congressman calling for the delisting of gray wolves in Montana and Idaho.
Last week, Republican Rep. Denny Rehberg drafted legislation to amend the Endangered Species Act to delist wolves in the two states in response to a federal court ruling that overturned last year’s decision that removed wolves from protection under the ESA. Idaho’s Republican Sens. Mike Crapo and Jim Risch did the same.
And this week, Montana Democratic Sens. Max Baucus and Jon Tester drafted similar legislation.
“This bill provides a common sense solution that will put wolves in Montana back in Montana’s control,” Baucus said in press release. “No one -- especially the federal government -- knows how to manage wolves in Montana better than Montanans. Montana’s successful management plan and wolf hunt have protected ranchers and wolves. The debate has gone on long enough.”
This plan is a real, lasting solution that gives our Montana ranchers and hunters the certainty they deserve while recognizing the good science and management practices on the ground.”
A ruling from U.S. District Judge Donald Molloy found that last year’s delisting of wolves violated the ESA because Wyoming’s wolf population was not included.
“The Endangered Species Act shouldn’t allow one state to hold another hostage,” said Tester. “This legislation is a sensible proposal for a complicated issue that directly affects a lot of folks sin Montana. It restores Montana’s ability to manage wolves in a way that works for ranchers, hunters and wolves, and it includes fair safeguards should Montana’s wolf numbers ever get too low.”
The Montana Wildlife Federation, the Montana Farm Bureau and the Montana Stockgrowers Association all weighed in support of legislation from Baucus and Tester.