Lummis offers wolf clause
by Cat Urbigkit, Pinedale Online!
July 12, 2011
U.S. Representative Cynthia Lummis has offered a rider to a spending bill that would protect Wyoming’s eventual wolf delisting bill from legal challenges. Lummis (R-Wyo.) announced the inclusion of key language into the 2012 Interior and Environment Appropriations bill which will amount to important victories for Wyoming.
Lummis, a member of the House Interior and Environment Appropriations Subcommittee, successfully included provisions that will immediately transfer the control of wolves to the State of Wyoming once the Department of the Interior (DOI) and Wyoming officials reach a successful conclusion in the ongoing wolf delisting negotiations. Importantly, the language will protect any agreement reached between the State of Wyoming and the DOI from judicial review.
"The best way to ensure the success of any negotiation is to back it up with the force of law. This language does exactly that. This provision is a crucial puzzle piece to the long-awaited conclusion of the delisting of the fully-recovered gray wolf. For more than eight years, wolves in Wyoming have met or exceeded the federal government’s recovery goals, and without proper management have thrived at the expense of Wyoming’s ranchers, farmers and big game herds."
The wolf language reads:
"Sec. 119. Hereafter, any final rule published by the Department of the Interior that provides that the gray wolf (Canis lupus) in the State of Wyoming or in any of the States within the range of the Western Great Lakes Distinct Population Segment of the gray wolf (as defined in the rule published on May 5, 2011 (76. Fed. Reg. 26086 et seq.)) is not an endangered species or threatened species under the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.), including any rule to remove such species in such a State from the list of endangered species or threatened species published under that Act, shall not be subject to judicial review if such State has entered into an agreement with the Secretary of the Interior that authorizes the State to manage gray wolves in that State."
In total, the bill includes $27.5 billion in spending – a reduction of $2.1 billion below last year’s level and $3.8 billion below the President’s budget request. Overall, this funding level is $106 million below fiscal year 2009 spending levels.