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Second Senate bill has wolf delisting amendment

U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., on Friday said he introduced an amendment that would remove wolves from federal Endangered Species Act protections in four states.

Johnson added the provision to de-list wolves in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan and Wyoming to the upcoming Energy Policy Modernization Act that has not yet seen Senate action.

Wolves had been off the endangered list in those states for three years but went back on in December 2014 under orders of a federal judge.

It's the second effort this month to legislate the wolves back off the list. A virtually identical provision is included in the so-called Bipartisan Sportsmen's Act of 2016. The bill, S-659, cleared a committee but still must clear the full Senate. The House has passed a similar bill. Any final, compromise bill would have to be signed by the president before the changes in wolf status would occur.

Johnson's amendment also includes a provision prohibiting the Interior Department from declaring the northern long-eared bat an endangered species. The bat recently received lesser threatened status.

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