Lame duck may be too soon for Congress to act on wolves


A.J. Balukoff, Democrat candidate for governor, and a couple of national health care policy analysts disagree on the impact expanding Medicaid would have on emergency room visits.

Idaho Republicans serving in Congress say that it’s uncertain whether Idaho will regain the authority to manage its gray wolf population this year. All of Idaho’s delegation supports the state’s claims that wolves shouldn’t be protected by the endangered species list, but legislative efforts could run up against the lame duck Congress’s deadline.

“Due to the limited time remaining this year and the number of items that have to be addressed, it is very unlikely that the wolf issue will be brought to the floor during the lame duck session,” Sen. Jim Risch said via e-mail. Earlier this fall, Risch spoke on the Senate floor saying that the federal government has no business dealing with wolves in the state of Idaho, except for the hook of the Endangered Species Act.

Action by Congress could return management of wolves to northern Rockies states. At a meeting Monday, three western governors reportedly agreed with Interior Department Secretary Ken Salazar to let Salazar ask Congress to hand the reins on wolves back to the states.

Risch and Sen. Mike Crapo are sponsoring legislation to delist wolves in Idaho, Montana, and parts of Utah, Oregon, and Washington. Montana’s senators, Democrats Max Baucus and Jon Tester, are backing a similar plan that only delists them in Idaho and Montana. Risch said he’d prefer his broader plan, but would support Baucus and Tester if his legislation couldn’t gain approval.

Crapo’s spokesman, Lindsay Nothern, said he wouldn’t rule out legislative action during the lame duck session and said there could be legislative action this week. He said there are currently discussions about whether to keep the wolf management issue as a stand-alone issue or to attach it to other legislation that’s being debated. Nothern said the decision depends on which path would lead to approving a plan that would put Idaho back in charge of wolves.

Rep. Mike Simpson said the August court decision that put wolves in Idaho and Montana back on the endangered species list has led to increasing problems that he’s trying to solve. “I am continuing to work with my colleagues in Congress and in Idaho to find a long-term legislative solution to the problem of wolf management,” Simpson said via e-mail.

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Idaho could be looking to Congress for help to restore wolf management, Idaho could be looking to Congress for help to restore wolf management
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4 Comments

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  2. Josh

    Only amongst the civilized could such an ignorance of ecological accords exist and be perpetuated to this extreme. The foaming contempt of a predator due to either a contempt or ignorance (or both) of any sound understanding of the most basic elements of ecology. While we are taught in school from the earliest ages about an ecosystem, and about the predator/prey relationship, grown people have lost their ability to think back to that simplest understanding.

    The most frightening part of this all is that this is testimony to the attitude of civilized humans that the world is ours to conquer and exploit, and that we are free from any consequences which may come out of destruction of the natural world. While our beliefs may be strong, beliefs and faith alone will not save us from the consequences that we are dealing with presently, and will continue to deal with as we continue to put at risk the very biosphere which supports us.

    We call this forward death march of civilization “progress”. Yes, because it’s progress to destroy the very earth that you require for your survival. Civilization exterminated the original inhabitants of this continent, the natives that knew how to coexist with the rest of the inhabitants on this planet, and now we have come from our roots of “savagery” all the way to being childish adults that have no ability to perceive the consequences of our actions.

    The Wolves are just one piece of our wreckless decimation of the life systems on this planet. Our technology will not save us, and neither will our hubris. Our ecocide will catch up to us soon.

  3. Cpottz

    Really, wonder how this world even survived when the wolves were exterminated from the rockies for more than 50 years. According to your theory, by eliminating wolves we deprived the ecosystem of it’s natural order and bad things should have happened. But, alas they didn’t.

  4. Bebe

    Josh,

    You sound like someone who’s head is well, your ‘civilized’ views belong with the rest of the city slickers in San Francisco, Los Angeles and New York.

    Trust me on this – you don’t get it, there is a whole different world out there beyond your high rises and concrete. It can never be explained to you, you need to live it for generations, get up at 4:30 every morning to tend to your herd, only to find a years worth of work and income destroyed by a predator.

    There is a balance in everything, they can be managed to the point that they don’t destroy everything else. They breed like rabbits and are incredibly resilient, not to mention your “civilized” logic re-introduced a non native wolf.

    Oh yeah, you’ve got it all figured out.

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