When Congress passes the budget bill funding the government for the rest of the fiscal year, they’ll also be passing a rider that takes gray wolves in Idaho and Montana off the Endangered Species List.
Idaho senator Mike Crapo doesn’t take credit for the budget rider that delists wolves.
He gives that to fellow Idaho Republican Congressman Mike Simpson who wrote the legislation along with Montana’s Democratic Senator Jon Testor. But Crapo definitely likes the rider that overturns a federal judge’s decision.
Mike Crapo: “The rider will basically provide that the rule that was in place before judge Malloy in Montana overturned it will be put back in place. And effectively will then put the state of Idaho and the state of Montana back into control over management of wolves.”
If the rider passes it will mean Idaho and Montana can implement their management plans which include a public hunting season.
Wyoming is not included, but the rider would open the door for that state to make a future arrangement with U.S. Fish and Wildlife.
Returning to 2009 state management plans is precisely what conservation groups who sued last year did not want to happen.
Suzanne Stone with the organization Defenders of Wildlife says those plans were too far reaching.
Suzanne Stone “It takes those minimum standards that we were opposing so strongly because they were not based on scientific research. And it basically allows the states to now kill all but a hundred to a hundred and fifty wolves in each of the states. I don’t think it gives anybody any legal recourse at all. Essentially Congress is saying this is bullet proof and you can’t challenge it.”
Stone says she thinks it’s inevitable that the rider will pass.