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U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Delists Wyoming Grey Wolves and Returns Management to the State

Friday, May 5, 2017

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Delists Wyoming Grey Wolves and Returns Management to the State

For years, the NRA has been working to ensure that sound wildlife management practices implemented by the states, and not federal politics, govern the control of wolf populations in the United States. 

Anti-hunting groups, including the Humane Society of the United States, have been on the other side of this issue. They know that excessive wolf predation of elk, deer and moose reduces hunting opportunities in the American Northwest. Fewer opportunities to hunt mean fewer hunters, which is key to their long-term goal of eradicating America’s outdoor sporting traditions. 

During the mid-1990s, dozens of wolves from Canada were released into Yellowstone Park and Idaho under the auspices of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), which had included grey wolves on the list of Endangered and Threatened Species under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). The FWS’s Wolf Recovery Plan sought to establish minimum breeding pairs in three different zones, at which point the wolves would be delisted from the ESA and managed by the states. 

The wolves quickly exceeded established population targets, but anti-hunting groups challenged their delisting in court. The NRA, Safari Club International, and other pro-hunting organizations gained intervenor status in these suits to help vindicate the scientific management of the wolves through state fish and wildlife agencies. While Idaho and Montana regained authority to manage wolves within their borders, Wyoming was blocked from doing so by a 2014 federal district court decision.

In March, a unanimous three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit overturned the earlier decision that rejected the delisting of the Wyoming grey wolf. The decision in that case, Defenders of Wildlife v. Zinke, vindicated the states’ ability to properly manage their wolf populations. In Wyoming, this includes authorization for relatively unconstrained hunting in a designated “predator area” that does not constitute a significant portion of the wolves’ range in order to reduce the wolves’ conflicts with humans, including livestock predation. The court also noted that two years after wolves were delisted in Idaho and Montana, their populations remained many times larger than the states’ designated minimums. 

Wyoming Governor Matt Mead hailed the Circuit court’s decision in a statement posted to Wyoming Game & Fish Department website. “I am delighted that the Circuit Court recognized Wyoming’s commitment to manage a recovered wolf population,” Governor Mead stated.

On Monday, the FWS acted on the court’s decision by publishing a final rule that delists the grey wolf in Wyoming from the ESA and returns their management to the state. 

The NRA is pleased to see this long-running controversy resolved favorably and is proud to have played a role in ensuring that radical attempts to eliminate hunting and diminish state authority over wildlife management were defeated.

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Louisiana: House Passes Constitutional Carry, Now Headed to Gov. Landry’s Desk for His Signature

Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Louisiana: House Passes Constitutional Carry, Now Headed to Gov. Landry’s Desk for His Signature

Today, the House voted 75-28 to pass Senate Bill 1, the NRA-backed constitutional carry legislation that passed the Senate last week.

Washington: Two Anti-Gun Bills Advance Through the Legislature

Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Washington: Two Anti-Gun Bills Advance Through the Legislature

On Tuesday, February 27th, HB 2118, the “FFL Killer” passed the Senate, and SB 5444, "sensitive places" expansion, passed the House. Both bills were amended in the second chamber and now must return to their ...

Louisiana: Constitutional Carry Advances to the House Floor – Final Vote Imminent

Monday, February 26, 2024

Louisiana: Constitutional Carry Advances to the House Floor – Final Vote Imminent

Today, the House Administration of Criminal Justice Committee passed the NRA-backed constitutional carry legislation, Senate Bill 1, by a 10-3 vote. The bill now heads to the House floor for a final vote this week. SB 1 ...

Minnesota: Two Anti Gun Bills Scheduled to be Heard in Committee

Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Minnesota: Two Anti Gun Bills Scheduled to be Heard in Committee

On Thursday February 28th at 10:30 am, House File 601 and House File 4300 will be heard in Room 200 of the State Office Building by the Public Safety Finance and Policy Committee and the Children and ...

Maine: PETITION: Stand with Maine Gun Retailers

Monday, February 26, 2024

Maine: PETITION: Stand with Maine Gun Retailers

Gun Control groups are launching an all-out assault on the Second Amendment in Maine. Their most recent tactic?

Maine: Gun Registries, Red Flags, Universal Background Checks and more.

Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Maine: Gun Registries, Red Flags, Universal Background Checks and more.

It has been a busy week for Maine’s anti-gun politicians. From releasing a new bill that would implement Universal Background Checks and Red Flag laws in Maine, to Rep. Jared Golden (ME-02) pushing for a ...

Colorado: Anti-Gun Bills Continue to Move through the State Legislature

Thursday, February 29, 2024

Colorado: Anti-Gun Bills Continue to Move through the State Legislature

Two anti-gun bills continue to move in the Colorado State Legislature. HB24-1174, introduced by Majority Leader Monica Duran (D-HD 23),  is set to be heard next week in the House Finance Committee. HB24-1310 , introduced by ...

Indiana: Pro-Gun Bills Pass the Senate

Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Indiana: Pro-Gun Bills Pass the Senate

Yesterday, the Senate passed House Bill 1084, The Second Amendment Privacy Act, a bill to prohibit the use of firearm-related Merchant Category Codes.

Colorado: Semi-Auto Ban Introduced in General Assembly

Wednesday, February 14, 2024

Colorado: Semi-Auto Ban Introduced in General Assembly

Anti-Gun extremist State Reps. Tim Hernandez (D-04) and Elisabeth Epps (D-06) introduced House Bill 24-1292, a bill banning the manufacturing, importing, purchasing, selling, offering to sell, or transferring ownership of so called “assault weapons”. 

South Dakota: Enhanced Conceal Carry Legislation Headed to Governor Noem's Desk

Thursday, February 29, 2024

South Dakota: Enhanced Conceal Carry Legislation Headed to Governor Noem's Desk

On February 27th, Senate Bill 203 received final passage on the House floor on a vote of 62-8. The legislation will now head to Governor Noem's desk for her consideration.

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Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the "lobbying" arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.