Wyoming's U.S. Representative Cynthia Lummis is one of several lawmakers sponsoring a bill that would delist wolves in Wyoming and the Midwest. The bill comes just months after a federal judge found Wyoming’s management plan unfit to protect the species.
Wyoming’s management plan protected 100 wolves and ten breeding pairs, but also allowed them to be shot on sight. Attorney Rebecca Riley with the Natural Resources Defense Council says it’s not the job of politicians to decide whether a species should be protected or not.
“The Endangered Species Act is meant to help the Fish and Wildlife Service decide things based on science and based on law,” Riley says. “It’s not supposed to be about politics. So we never think it’s appropriate for Congress to step in and make case-by-case decisions like this.”
In December, the Obama administration tried to delist wolves in the Midwest, but a federal judge blocked that attempt as well. Currently, wolves are delisted from the Endangered Species List only in Montana and Idaho.