Monday, April 11, 2011

Gray wolf delisting included in budget bill, but anti-EPA measures are not; public radio spared

Proposed bipartisan legislation to remove gray wolves from the Endangered Species Act was among the few environmental policy riders to survive last week's intense congressional budget negotiations. U.S. Rep. Mike Simpson, R-Idaho, and Sen. Jon Tester, D-Montana, proposed the rider to "bring relief to hunters, ranchers and wildlife officials in their states who have warned that wolves are preying on livestock and causing serious declines in big-game herds," Phil Taylor of Greenwire writes for The New York Times. (First People photo)

The budget bill, House Resolution 1, which is still being put into legislative language, has angered some environmentalists because it interferes with a proposed settlement between 10 environmental groups and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The settlement "would have delisted wolves in Montana and Idaho but retained protection in Wyoming until an acceptable management decision is reached," Taylor writes. "The settlement is definitely far superior to the Simpson language that was in HR 1, which would simply delist wolves throughout the northern Rockies," Bill Snape, a lead attorney for Center for Biological Diversity, one of the 10 settling parties, told Taylor. "If Tester really cares about wolves and about settling this problem once and for all, he will embrace and lead the administrative conservation measures identified over the past several months rather than inflaming the situation further with a bogus political delisting." (Read more)

Riders aimed at limiting the authority of the Environmental Protection Agency to limit greenhouse gases and the impact of montaintop-removal coal mining died, apparently along with other anti-EPA riders.

On other topics, National Public Radio and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting were spared, good news for public radio stations in rural areas, which rely more heavily on CPB to buy NPR programming. But a rural broadband loan program was eliminated, as we reported was in the works Friday.

1 comment:

somchai said...

The reason the wolf rider passed is because legislators in both parties realized that the current state of affairs was disastrous for wild ungulate populations across a thousands of miles long swath of the northern United States from Wisconsin and Minnesota to Oregon and Washington.

It was a legislative solution to a political problem.

If litigious groups had allowed the scientists at the various government agencies to do their jobs we wouldn't have come to the impasse we were in.

I only wish the delisting included all of North America, as continent wide the species is listed as one of "least concern".