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
- 'Inseparable' Clinton brothers killed in...
- Embattled doctor surrenders Utah medical license
- Union Pacific train makes special delivery...
- Dancing stars Julianne and Derek Hough visit...
- Pioneer Day celebrations set throughout Utah
- Utah State Fairpark and Real Salt Lake team...
- West Nile activity discovered in three Utah...
- Protesters from across U.S. arrested at Utah...
- Supreme Court issues stay in Utah gay... 78
- Utah unemployment rate second lowest in... 19
- South Jordan councilman wants school... 17
- Brain injury changes the lives and... 15
- Anti-porn rally aims at keeping... 14
- Ex A.G.s John Swallow, Mark Shurtleff... 14
- Union Pacific train makes special... 13
- Unaccompanied children from Central... 12