SALT LAKE CITY — The Utah Senate passed a resolution Wednesday urging Congress to remove wolves from the Endangered Species List.
"We have replaced ourselves at the top of the food chain with the wolf," said Senate Majority Leader Scott Jenkins, R-Plain City.
Jenkins said wolves have wiped out a favorite elk hunting ground in the Jackson Hole area, robbing hotels and restaurants of business.
The proliferation of wolves the past few years threatens the Utah economy, particularly in agricultural areas, said Sen. Allen Christensen, R-North Ogden. Not only are wolves hurting rural jobs, they are taking a toll on wildlife and livestock, killing pets and threatening people.
Sen. Chris Buttars, R-West Jordan, said animals have "ups and downs, but a wolf is a killing machine, is a killing machine, is a killing machine. That's it."
Senators approved the measure 26-1, with Sen. Ross Romero, D-Salt Lake, casting the dissenting vote. He said he wasn't comfortable with what he saw as inflammatory language in the resolution, which calls groups blocking the delisting "extremists."
Sen. Gene Davis, D-Salt Lake, too, has a problem calling people who disagree on the wolf issue extremists, but said he voted in favor to send a message to Congress.
Christensen said state wildlife agencies are better prepared to manage wolves than the federal government. A similar resolution was introduced in Washington on Wednesday, he said