Thursday, April 14, 2011

Democrat and Republican Team to Delist Gray Wolf

Sens. Mike Simpson, republican of Idaho, and Jon Tester, democrat of Montana, added a rider to the 2011 budget deal delisting the gray wolf as an endangered species. That adds up to a green light on wolf hunting. It's sort of a big deal because Congress has never delisted an animal from the endangered species list. Environmental groups are concerned that it sets a precedent. Tester and Simpson say it's preferable for states to manage wolf populations.
The House is expected to pass the budget deal today. The budget will then go to the Senate, which is expected to pass the bill, and then to Obama, who is sure to sign.
The political tussle over US spending has ensnared an unlikely victim, the gray wolf, whose long-time status as an endangered species will likely be axed due to a late addition to the budget deal.
The annex, or rider, attached by two senators to the federal budget bill after weeks of tumultuous debate, marks the first time that Congress has removed an animal from the endangered species list and is expected to pass in a vote on Thursday.
Added Tuesday, after a deal to prevent the government from shutting down was agreed on Saturday, the move has left environmentalists both seething and admitting defeat.
"There is nothing we can do to sue because the rider actually bans the citizens from suing the government over this issue," said Kieran Suckling, executive director of the Center for Biological Diversity. AP