Progress On Delisting The Wolf

Reps. Tom Tiffany (WI-07) and Lauren Boebert (CO-03) led 22 additional Members of Congress in a letter to Department of the Interior Secretary Haaland encouraging her to appeal a recent decision by an activist California judge that failed to follow the best available science and instead, through his decision, restored Endangered Species Act protections for the gray wolf in most states, despite the wolf being fully recovered. 

Rep. Tom Tiffany stated, “Unelected bureaucrats and California judges do not know what is best for Wisconsin’s wolf management – state officials do. Farmers, sportsmen, and families are tired of being seesawed from listings to de-listings. If the Biden administration truly wants to follow the science, then they need to start by looking at the recovery facts and return gray wolf management back to where it belongs, in states’ hands.” 

Rep. Lauren Boebert said, “The gray wolf is fully recovered, should remain delisted in the lower 48 United States, and should be managed by the States. It’s really that simple. Some activist judge from California shouldn’t be able to overturn the best available science and contradict the law based on his own leftist political beliefs. The same career bureaucrats that worked at the Department of the Interior under the Trump administration that found the gray wolf is fully recovered are still working at the Department. The science hasn’t changed, and Secretary Haaland should appeal the unlawful decision by the California judge. I will continue to fight for our ranchers and to protect their livestock from these dangerous predators.”

House Committee on Natural Resources Ranking Member Bruce Westerman said, “It’s high time we trust the science with regard to ESA delisting. The gray wolf is recovered. Despite ample scientific and commercial evidence indicating the gray wolf is truly recovered, a federal court intervened and ignored the evidence. DOI must appeal this decision so that the science can prevail with the gray wolf and into the future.”

Chairman of the Western Caucus Dan Newhouse stated, “As we have said all along — and as the science dictates — states, rural communities, and private conservationists have done a far better job at recovering gray wolf populations than the federal government ever could. I am proud to join Reps. Boebert and Tiffany in calling on the Administration to defend the rule created by their own career employees and allow these successful localized recovery efforts to continue.”

Rep. Tom Emmer said, “Gray wolves are no longer endangered, and pose a very real threat to Minnesota’s more than 16,000 beef farmers and ranchers. Minnesotans have proven that we are responsible stewards of our own wildlife. We urge the Biden administration to trust us to manage the gray wolf population, instead of threatening our agriculture community with a one-size-fits-all approach.”

Rep. Russ Fulcher said, “Relisting of the gray wolf has a long and controversial history, both at the federal and state levels. It is disappointing to see the Trump Administration’s rulemaking decision reversed. Idaho’s comprehensive wildlife management policies consider critical economic factors, from big game hunting to ranching, and should not be second guessed by Washington D.C. It is my hope to see that state management plans are honored in regard to management of the gray wolf.”

Rep. Pete Stauber stated, “Secretary Haaland needs to appeal the court decision made in California that ignores science and fact. The gray wolf is recovered. The Biden, Trump, and Obama Administrations all agreed. In fact, these wolves are now a danger to our domestic animals and livestock. It’s more important now than ever to support state led conservation and management of the gray wolves, and not let unelected judges and bureaucrats from D.C. and California decide how we protect our livestock, support our deer herds, and manage our gray wolves.”

Rep. Matt Rosendale said, “Gray wolves have well surpassed their recovery targets and it is high time we follow the facts and delist the species from the Endangered Species Act. In Montana, Gray Wolf populations were under 100 in the late 1990s. Today, our state is home to more than 1,200 wolves—greatly exceeding federal management objectives. The recovery of wolves in Montana is just one of many examples of state conservation success stories. I urge the Biden administration to allow states to lead conservation and management efforts, which have been proven to be highly successful in the past.”

Rep. Ken Buck stated, “After 45 years of successful population recovery and rehabilitation, the Trump administration made the right decision when it delisted the gray wolf from federal protections. By caving to radical environmentalists, the Biden administration is hurting farmers and ranchers in Colorado who have to deal with the threats posed to their livelihood by the gray wolf, not to mention undercutting the important work done by state, local, and private conservation groups.”

Rep. Michelle Fischbach said, “The ESA is intended to be a tool for recovery, not permanent protected status for animals that are now thriving. I am proud to join this letter and hope Secretary Haaland will support state-led management of the gray wolf.”

Colorado Farm Bureau President Carlyle Currier said, “Colorado ranchers know all too well what it means to live alongside predators. Not only are cattle at risk for attacks from mountain lions and bears, wolves are also killing cattle before they’ve even been officially ‘reintroduced’ to the state because of a recent citizen-led ballot initiative. It is the perfect example of why science should lead wildlife management decisions, not bureaucrats or politics. Wildlife management is complicated. Ranchers know that because they live it every day and have to face the consequences of these decisions, fighting to protect their livestock and their livelihoods. The ESA wasn’t meant to be a tool to hold species hostage through regulatory capture, the data is clear – wolves are recovered and thriving. Delist them.”

The Minnesota Farm Bureau stated, “Minnesota Farm Bureau is incredibly disappointed in the ruling to return the gray wolf to the Endangered Species List. The gray wolf is a success story for the Endangered Species List which is intended to be a tool for recovery, not permanent protected status for animals that are now thriving. Management of the gray wolf should remain with the states which can implement specific management plans. It is time for the ESA to work as it was intended and to remove species that no longer warrant its protections.”


In 2020, the Department of the Interior used the best available science and data to remove the gray wolf from the Endangered Species List. At over 6,000 wolves in the lower 48 United States at the time of delisting, the gray wolf has been the latest in a strong list of ESA recoveries with populations in the northern Rocky Mountains and across the mountain West and western Great Lakes regions. Gray wolf populations have been managed responsibly by state and tribal efforts since their delisting.

An activist judge on the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California issued a decision requiring the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to rereview the rule.

The California court exceeded its authority by adding additional standards for delisting a species beyond what the statute requires. Congress has never delegated judges the authority to write sweeping policy provisions under the Endangered Species Act, and it is necessary for the Biden regime to appeal this awful decision in order to preserve the Constitutional separation of powers.  

In Congress, Rep. Tiffany has been a leader on the gray wolf issue. At the beginning of the 117th Congress, Congressman Tiffany introduced H.R. 286, the Managing Predators Act, to permanently remove the gray wolf from the list of federal endangered species and restore management authority to state lawmakers and state wildlife officials. He also sent a letter to Natural Resources Committee Chairman Raul Grijalva and Ranking Member Bruce Westerman demanding that they schedule a hearing on the Managing Predators Act following the recent ruling by a U.S. District Court judge in Oakland, California to unilaterally relist the gray wolf under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). Reps. Tiffany and Boebert will also be introducing legislation in the near future to delist the gray wolf in the lower 48 United States. 

The following organizations support Rep. Boebert and Rep. Tiffany’s letter to the Department of the Interior: American Farm Bureau Federation, Colorado Livestock Association, Colorado Cattlemen’s Association, Colorado Farm Bureau, Colorado Wool Growers Association, House Committee on Natural Resources Republicans, Minnesota State Cattlemen’s Association, Minnesota State Farm Bureau, Montana Farm Bureau Federation, Washington Farm Bureau, Western Caucus, Wisconsin Cattleman’s Association, Wyoming Farm Bureau, and Alaska Farm Bureau Federation.

Rep. Tom Tiffany and Rep. Lauren Boebert (CO-03) led the following members in their letter to Secretary Haaland: Western Caucus Chairman Dan Newhouse (WA-04), House Committee on Natural Resources Ranking Member Bruce Westerman (AR-04), and Reps. Pete Stauber (MN-08), Doug Lamborn (CO-05), Yvette Herrell (NM-02), Cliff Bentz (OR-02), Jack Bergman (MI-01), Andy Biggs (AZ-05), Ken Buck (CO-04), Tom Emmer (MN-06), Michelle Fischbach (MN-07), Russ Fulcher (ID-01), Louie Gohmert (TX-01), Glenn Grothman (WI-06), Scott Perry (PA-10), Matt Rosendale (MT-AL), Jeff Van Drew (NJ-02), Tom McClintock (CA-04), Mike Gallagher (WI-08), Bryan Steil (WI-01), and Ben Cline (VA-06).