November 19, 2018

House Passes State Management Authority Legislation

On November 16, the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 6784, the Manage our Wolves Act on a bipartisan vote of 196-180.

H.R. 6784 was introduced by Congressman Sean Duffy (WI) in order to reinstate the final rules that were issued by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to remove Federal protections for gray wolves in Wyoming (2012) and the Western Great Lakes (2011) under the Endangered Species Act, giving state agencies the authority to manage the species. Similar legislation to H.R. 6784 passed out of Congress in 2011, but was limited to gray wolves in Idaho and Montana. Since that time, wolf populations in these states have continued to grow, demonstrating state agencies’ commitment to recovery and management.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service states that, “the gray wolf has rebounded from the brink of extinction to exceed population targets by as much as 300 percent. Today, there are estimated to be 5,691 gray wolves in the contiguous United States. Wolf numbers continue to be robust, stable and self-sustaining.” The recovery of the gray wolf is a success story and now their management needs to be rightfully transferred to the professionals at the state wildlife management agencies – the primary managers of our nation’s fish and wildlife resources.

Gray wolf populations in the Rocky Mountains and Great Lakes region have long exceeded their recovery goals. This legislation will simply help codify that state wildlife agencies are the primary managers of our nation’s fish and wildlife. Thank you in advance for your support of our nation’s state wildlife agencies.

H.R. 6784 now heads to the Senate where it awaits further action.

Studies conducted at both the state and federal level have found that the number of hunters and trappers have been on a generally declining trend over the past several decades. To increase recruitment, retention, and reactivation (R3) of hunters and trappers, which initiative do you think would have the greatest impact?

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