Usually the way off the Endangered Species List does not head through legislators, but Congress let the Rocky Mountain wolf off the list, angering environmentalists who believe the reclassification was inappropriate.
The New York Times reports the wolves, which reside in Montana and Idaho, will be taken off the list and managed by state wildlife agencies, thanks to a rider attached to the Congressional budget. Opponents are concerned the move could start a dangerous precedent, with politicians rather than scientists determining the animals on the list. Previously, a federal judge barred the Interior Department from attempting to do the same thing.
Said an official with the group Defenders of Wildlife:
“Now, anytime anybody has an issue with an endangered species, they are going to run to Congress and try to get the same treatment the anti-wolf people have gotten.”
Those who supported the rider, which will allow the states to control the wolf population with hunts, are concerned about declines in moose and elk populations, as well as the wolves’ threats to livestock.
Congress, in a First, Removes an Animal From the Endangered Species List [The New York Times]