Lawmakers in Congress have advanced a proposal to strip protections from gray wolves across the contiguous U.S. amid a push by Republicans for broad changes to the Endangered Species Act.
The U.S. House Natural Resources Committee approved the measure from Wisconsin Republican Rep. Sean Duffy on Wednesday, sending it to the full House.
It’s a signal of growing frustration among Republicans over court actions restoring protections for species that government scientists declared to be recovered.
The latest case is a ruling this week restoring protections for grizzly bears in and around Yellowstone National Park, blocking public hunts of the bears in Wyoming and Idaho.
Federal officials removed protections for wolves in the Great Lakes region in 2011, before a court restored protections in 2014.
Wolves are not federally protected in the Northern Rockies.
A court ruling that blocked grizzly bear hunts in the Northern Rockies is galvanizing Republicans eager to overhaul the Endangered Species Act. But Congress is poised first to deal with a separate animal — gray wolves.
U.S. Rep. Liz Cheney is proposing to remove protections for grizzly bears in the Northern Rockies, but that won’t be discussed at a Wednesday House hearing as had been expected.
Lawmakers instead will consider a measure to remove protections for gray wolves across the Lower 48 states. That bill from Wisconsin Rep. Sean Duffy would prevent lawsuits that could overturn the move.
Monday’s ruling restored grizzly protections in and around Yellowstone National Park.
Wyoming Sen. John Barrasso says it’s “the prime example” of why broad changes to the endangered act are needed.