In late October the federal government announced it was removing gray wolves from the Endangered Species List, making many in the Ag community very happy, especially the livestock industries. While the announcement was welcomed news, many in farm country understand the battle is far from over.
The Washington Farm Bureau’s Tom Davis said the removal of the wolf should be celebrated as a victory when it comes to the ESA, but organizations such as the Center for Biological Diversity are going to court to have the decision overturned. Davis added the removal was based on science.
“These are career biologists and specialists that work both for the federal government and work here in our own state, that manage wildlife. They predate this Trump Administration, they’ll be around, these biologists, around through a full career. So, they provide some continuity of policy implementation and science.”
Davis went on to say delisting of the gray wolf does not mean its “open season” on wolves.
“This doesn’t mean that the wolves now have lost all the protections that they have enjoyed under the federal Endangered Species Act. They will now come under transition to state management and our state Fish and Wildlife has developed a tremendous amount of expertise over the last decade, working with the wolves, managing the wolves and they will continue the protections that are necessary to maintain that viable population.”
Because of the legal battles, Davis said it could take years before the dust settles on the gray wolf debate. But he noted he believes this year’s decision will stand allowing for local management of the wolf state to state.
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