In the wake of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announcing its plan to review whether the gray wolf should be re-listed under the Endangered Species Act, Congresswoman Liz Cheney has said that Wyoming, not Washington, should be the ones to decide whether that should happen.

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"Efforts from the radical environmentalist left to re-list the Gray Wolf demonstrate the importance of reforming the Endangered Species Act once and for all," Cheney stated. "In Wyoming and across the West, we know that the species has successfully been recovered and that states have demonstrated their proficiency to manage the species."

Cheney continued, stating that, "Activists should not be able to take advantage of the ESA's loopholes. We must update this law to prevent this from happening and ensure that local stakeholders and states, as opposed to the federal government, are calling the shots when it comes to these decisions. I will continue to fight for needed reforms to the ESA to protect the people and interests of Wyoming."

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service reported that on June 1, 2021, they received a petition (dated May 26, 2021) to list the gray wolf Northern Rocky Mountain Distinct Population Sefment or a new western DPS as a threatened or endangered species, under the Endangered Species Act.

According to their website, "The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) has completed the initial review of two petitions filed to list gray wolves (Canis lupus) in the western U.S. as threatened or endangered under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). The Service finds that the petitions present substantial, credible information indicating that a listing action may be warranted and will initiate a comprehensive status review of the gray wolf in the western U.S."

The Service reports that the next steps in the process include "in depth status reviews and analyses using the best available science and information to arrive at a 12-month finding on whether listing is warranted."

The Services notes that the actual listing of a species to the EDA is done through a separate rulemaking process and it includes public notice, and comment.

"The public can play an important role by submitting relevant information to inform the in-depth status review through www.regulations.gov, Docket Number: FWS-HQ-ES-2021-0106, beginning September 17, 2021, upon publication in the Federal Register and will include details on how to submit comments."

Governor Mark Gordon has also offered comments regarding the gray wolf/EDA situation, and said that he is confident the review by the EDA will find Wyoming's wolf management program has been "highly successful."

“Wyoming has managed wolves according to our plan, and that plan has been sufficient to satisfy wolf population targets while allowing producers to take appropriate measures to protect livestock," Gordon said in a released statement. "Ours was a hard-fought and careful process that resulted in a unique plan that works. If it’s not broken we don’t need to fix it. Wyoming will stand by our plan, which is supported with unassailable data.

We respect all state’s abilities to manage wildlife within their borders. This is just another example of a Federal action which attempts to usurp states’ authorities.”

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