New Endangered Species Act considerations could impact wolves

“The wolf population in Idaho will be healthy next year, 10 years from now, really into eternity”
Updated: Jun. 11, 2021 at 9:17 AM MDT
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TWIN FALLS, Idaho (KMVT/KSVT) — Wolves could land back on the Endangered Species List.

The U.S Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Marine Fisheries Service have a plan to adjust the implementation of the Endangered Species Act.

One of the ratifications could revise whether animals are listed as endangered, (Revise regulations for listing species and designating critical habitat) and this could apply to wolves, which were de-listed back in 2020 by the Trump administration.

“The former administration aggressively pursued undermining protections for wildlife for our air, for our water, for our climate,” said Noah Greenwald, director of the Center for Biologic Diversity.

While the Center for Biological wants wolves to be re-listed, the Vice President of the Idaho Cattle Association, Cameron Mulroney, doesn’t think wolves are near being endangered in the Gem State.

“The wolf population in Idaho will be healthy next year, ten years from now, really into eternity, there will be a healthy wolf population in Idaho,” said Mulroney.

Greenwald says wolves have less of an impact on killing cattle than dogs, or even lightning, but one rancher says the daily struggle is more than just numbers.

“The biggest disruption that can be caused by them is just trying to keep our cattle where they’re supposed to be in the correct pastures, said Travis Skaar, a rancher near Mackay. “With wolves in them, it’s impossible.”

Skaar doesn’t want wolves re-listed, especially after the progress was made this year with Senate Bill 1211.

“If they’re re-listed that would cause a lot of issues because then that opens up legislation to take away a lot of the progress that we’ve made in the management process of these wolves,” Skaar said.

But Greenwald says there are ways for ranchers to coexist with wolves.

He also adds he is hoping economic considerations when assigning an animal on the Endangered Species List will go away.

“It was inconsistent with the statute, the statute says that when they are determining if something is at risk of extinction, they should just stick to the science of whether it’s at risk of extinction and that’s all,” Greenwald said. “I think that provision is an example of something that will certainly change.”

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