Less than 24 hours after Judge Dana Christensen’s order restoring Endangered Species Act protections to Yellowstone-area grizzly bears, Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo. introduced a bill that would reverse the Yellowstone-area grizzly court ruling, despite the fact that Rep. Cheney’s attempt to add the bill to a wolf delisting bill (H.R. 6784) in the House Resources Committee was quashed as “non-germane”. Rep. Cheney’s attempt to amend the wolf delisting bill to add a provisions that would remove federal ESA protections from grizzly bears and prevent any kind of judicial review of that removal is worrisome and the problem is not over.
The Humane Society Legislative Fund and the Humane Society of the United States are criticizing the move and eyeing a vote in the U.S. House of Representatives Natural Resources Committee that would remove Endangered Species Act protection for wolves, despite a similar court ruling that restored protection for wolves.
Kitty Block, acting president and CEO of the Humane Society of the United States, issued the following statement:
“Some members of Congress and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service are moving to remove federal protections from wildlife threatened with extinction. This is shameful pandering to a vocal minority of special interests and an affront to American taxpayers who have supported and underwritten decades of efforts restoring these species. The duty of the federal government is to protect threatened and endangered species, not to pander to trophy hunters and predator-control agents. Cutting off citizens’ access to our judicial system is just not the American way.”
Sara Amundson, president of the Humane Society Legislative Fund, said:
“The Humane Society Legislative Fund is pleased the House Natural Resources Committee struck Rep. Cheney’s attempt to legislatively delist grizzly bears from the Endangered Species Act. However, we are concerned Rep. Cheney’s standalone bill is an added marker in the quest to delist, but we will continue to fight for these bears to remain protected under the ESA from cruel trophy hunting. Any legislative attempt to overturn a court decision is blatantly disregarding the American public’s wishes. Congress and the Administration continue to attempt to dismantle the ESA irrespective of the majority of American’s support for providing protections for imperiled species.”