7th District Congressman Sean Duffy has introduced a bill to return management of gray wolves to the states.
The wolf was put on the endangered species list in 1974 and stayed there until 2011 when the wolves were delisted from the endangered species list and placed under state management. In 2014, the wolves were again placed on the endangered species list after two federal rulings there were errors in the process to delist them.
There has been an on-going debate about the wolf’s status. About 900 wolves were estimated by Wisconsin researchers in 2017 and 2018.
In placing the legislation forward, Duffy says the current status leaves farmers and ranchers without a legal avenue to protect their livestock from predation. He says these groups should not suffer because of what Duffy called in a press release the “overreaching federal government a thousand miles away”.
Duffy’s Democratic opponent, Margaret Engebretson of Balsam Lake said in an interview earlier this year that she’s following the approach fellow Democrat Tammy Baldwin has taken. Engebretson says she favors the Endangered Species Act
“….If the population is so far over the requisite amount covered under the statute then we are outside the boundaries of the statute and we must reevaluate that. Of course, we need to take into account all the parties and angles. Farmers, folks that care about the wolf population and how wolves fit into the entire ecosystem….”
Baldwin has said she favors delisting the wolf population in the Midwest. Baldwin’s Republican U.S. Senate counterpart, Ron Johnson, also favors wolf de-listing.