Moses Lake, WA 98837, USA

Rep. Newhouse introduces bill to delist gray wolf from federal protections

By RICHARD BYRD, For the Basin Business Journal

WASHINGTON D.C. — After two U.S. District Court decisions in 2014 reinstated gray wolves for protection under the Endangered Species Act, Fourth Congressional District Rep. Dan Newhouse, R-Yakima, has introduced a bill that would return management of the animal to the states.

The two 2014 decisions transferred management of the gray wolf to the federal government and granted the animals certain protections that are spelled out under the Endangered Species Act of 1973. The declassification bill, referred to as the “Manage our Wolves Act,” was introduced by Newhouse and Rep. Sean Duffy, R Wis., and has been met with broad bipartisan support in an attempt to provide a legal path for farmers and ranchers to protect their livestock from the gray wolf.

“Our bipartisan legislation would take sound science into account. It would return management of the gray wolf to the states according to the needs of the species as well as the needs of farmers and ranchers in central Washington,” Newhouse said.

The gray wolf has been a hot topic in Washington for a number of years.

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) estimates the wolf population in Washington increased by 6 percent in 2016 alone.

“WDFW investigators confirmed eight cattle as being killed by wolves and none as being probable wolf-kills. Five cattle were confirmed to have been injured by wolves. Five packs (23 percent of known packs that existed at some point during the year) were involved in at least one confirmed livestock mortality,” reads a report from the WDFW. “Three wolves were removed through agency removal actions during 2017. WDFW processed two damage claims and paid a total of $3,700.00 to compensate livestock producers who experienced losses caused by wolves during 2017.”

Newhouse’s bill, if passed, directs the U.S. Secretary of the Interior to remove the gray wolf from federal protections in the 48 contiguous states, leaving out the states of Hawaii and Alaska, by the end of 2019. The measure does not have an impact on the Mexican gray wolf, which is a subspecies under the general gray wolf species umbrella.

“According to the U.S. Department of Interior and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s best available scientific evidence, the gray wolf is not endangered and no longer warrants federal endangered species’ protection,” Newhouse said.

RSS WSDA RSS Newsfeed

  • WSDA expands apple maggot quarantine into Methow Valley October 11, 2018
    WSDA is expanding the state`s apple maggot quarantine into parts of Okanogan County, in an effort to slow the spread of this invasive pest and protect commercial apple production.
  • WSDA trappers start annual hunt for pests May 31, 2018
    WSDA has begun its annual hunt for pests that threaten the state`s agriculture industry. Trappers are hitting the road to set traps throughout the state to monitor for the introduction or spread of a variety of invasive pests, including gypsy moths, apple maggot and Japanese beetle.
  • Season to treat invasive Spartina starts in June May 16, 2018
    The Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA) will begin this year`s treatment season for Spartina on June 1 with the treatments continuing through November. Survey and eradication efforts of the aggressive, noxious weed will take place in multiple areas, including Grays Harbor, Hood Canal, Willapa Bay, Puget Sound, the north and west sides of the […]
  • Gypsy moth treatments begin in Kitsap and Pierce counties May 3, 2018
    The Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA) will conduct the first of three treatments to eradicate European gypsy moths next week. In total, WSDA will treat about 1,300 acres with Btk (Bacillus thuringiensis var. kurstaki), which is approved for use on organic food crops and has been safely used in previous gypsy moth eradication projects […]
  • Businesses will need new license endorsement to produce marijuana-infused edibles March 20, 2018
    OLYMPIA -- As of April 1, statutory authority to regulate the makers of marijuana edibles will be added to the administrative responsibilities of the Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA), a move that will require these businesses to apply for a special endorsement on their business licenses.