WASHINGTON — Reps. Jim Matheson, D-Utah, and Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, have signed onto legislation that would allow the Western states to manage the now-recovered gray wolf populations themselves.
Both congressmen are cosponsoring HR 6028, sponsored by Rep. Chet Edwards, D-Texas, which prohibits the treatment of the gray wolf as an endangered or threatened species.
"Federal wolf recovery experts have said that the reintroduction of the gray wolf is a success," Matheson said in a news release. "It's time to let state wildlife professionals do their job and balance the needs of predator and prey to maintain a healthy balance."
Wildlife biologists estimate there are 1,700 wolves in several Western states, according to a statement from Chaffetz.
Matheson said a diverse group of scientists and sportsmen groups have studied and documented that not only have gray wolves recovered, their numbers have caused a dramatic drop in elk, deer and moose populations, hurting hunting opportunities and — as a result — harming rural economies that rely on money spent by sportsmen in the West.
"This is a vital issue to farmers, ranchers, sportsmen and outdoor recreationists," Chaffetz said in a statement. "It is appropriate to have the wolf delisted at this time."
Matheson said the legislation is partially a response to legal challenges by some environmental groups who have argued the gray wolf should not be removed from the Endangered Species Act until it has been re-established in all 50 states.
— Joseph M. Dougherty
- 5 places your money might be hiding
- Top 7 money-saving tips for summer travel
- Ballet West artists prepare original works...
- Weber County deputies investigating possible...
- A family's faith and a mother's legacy shine...
- Festival celebrates cultural traditions
- Photos: Here comes the sun
- Police suspect arson in house fire that...
- Utah and 10 states sue Obama... 34
- Teacher on leave after telling students... 30
- Lightning damages Angel Moroni statue... 20
- National conservative group backs... 18
- Herbert says Sec. Jewell offered... 17
- Are you willing to pay a fee to use... 17
- Group targets Utah's public lands fight... 12
- A family's faith and a mother's legacy... 11