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US House committee passes bill to delist wolves

The legislation faces slim chances in the Senate.

File: Wolves
A U.S. House committee has passed a bill to delist wolves from federal Endangered Species Act protections.
Contributed / International Wolf center

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The House Natural Resources Committee last week passed a bill that would remove federal Endangered Species Act protections for the gray wolf.

The Republican-controlled House may yet act on the bill this year, but it is unlikely to advance in the Democratic-controlled Senate or be signed by President Joe Biden.

The federal government since the Clinton administration has tried several times to delist wolves in certain geographic areas, including the western Great Lakes, but have been thwarted by court rulings that found the animal still needs protections.

Republicans in Congress also have tried several times to pass a law that would supersede the court rulings, but they, too, have failed.

The latest bill was supported by both U.S. Rep Tom Tiffany, who represents northern Wisconsin, and U.S. Rep. Pete Stauber, who represents northern Minnesota.

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If the bill passed, it would give control over any wolf regulations back to state and tribal resource agencies.

Several hunting and livestock groups say the time is long-overdue to reduce wolf numbers. But wolf supporters say states can’t be trusted to keep wolves at a sustainable level and that the animals haven't recovered over a large enough area of its former range to be considered a recovered species.

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