Reps. Lauren Boebert and Tom Tiffany led 21 Members of Congress in introducing the Trust the Science Act to permanently delist the gray wolf in the lower 48 and ensure that action is not subject to judicial review.
Rep. Lauren Boebert stated, "The science is clear, the gray wolf is fully recovered. It shouldn't be tougher to delist a recovered species than it is to list a species that warrants protection. For far too long, activist judges and extremist environmentalists have weaponized the Endangered Species Act in order to lock up our lands. The gray wolf listing has also led to countless killings of livestock. The Trust the Science Act empowers states and puts people ahead of violent predators based on actual science. Its far past time that we removed leftist politics from listing decisions."
Congressman Tom Tiffany (WI-07) said, "Despite the fact that the gray wolf has recovered well past its recovery goal post, radical environmentalists, with help from a California judge, have re-listed the gray wolf, posing an immediate threat to livestock, farmers, and pet owners in Wisconsin. The Biden administration must follow the science, as they claim to do, by having Secretary Haaland remove ESA protections from species no longer warranting them."
Ranking Member of the House Committee on Natural Resources Bruce Westerman (AR-04) stated, "The current situation with the gray wolf clearly highlights the shortcomings of the Endangered Species Act. Despite ample scientific and commercial evidence indicating the gray wolf is recovered and no longer needs ESA protections, a federal court intervened and ignored the science. It is time we fix the ESA to accomplish its original intent: recovering species on the brink of extinction and delisting them when they recover. The gray wolf no longer needs the robust protections of the ESA, and those taxpayer dollars should be spent recovering wildlife that actually need help. Congresswoman Boebert and Congressman Tiffany have been leaders on this issue for our committee, and I'm proud to join their legislation."
Chairman of the Western Caucus Dan Newhouse (WA-04) said, "Gray wolves have been successfully recovered -- thanks to effective state and local species management plans. Instead of pandering to interest groups with political agendas, we should trust the best available science, which deems the gray wolf an Endangered Species Act success story. I'm proud to join Reps. Boebert and Tiffany in supporting science-based listing decisions that benefit species and local communities."
Congresswoman Michelle Fischbach (MN-07) stated, "The gray wolf is a perfect example of why species management should belong with the states and not the federal government. In Minnesota, gray wolf populations have maintained well above both federal and state recovery goals for decades, and does not need further protection. State management is more than adequate to preserve wolves in the affected areas of the country. I am glad to join my colleagues in this common-sense legislation."
Congressman Doug LaMalfa (CA-01) said, "Farmers and cattle ranchers throughout the lower 48 are at the mercy of the growing gray wolf population. Decades of protections have allowed their population to skyrocket and exceed their expected population growth goals by 300%. The Department of Interior used the data to determine that the gray wolf population has recovered, but environmental extremists used a lawsuit to block this science-based decision. It's time for Congress to step in and set the record straight--the gray wolf is no longer endangered. This will give states flexibility to manage wolves that are wreaking havoc on rural towns and endangering residents and livestock. It's time that the gray wolf be removed from the Endangered Species Act once and for all."
Congressman Jack Bergman (MI-01) stated, "The gray wolf population has successfully recovered, and it's a shame that a California judge can ignore years of scientific evidence to dictate wolf management to folks in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. States are best equipped to manage our gray wolf populations, and I'm proud to join my colleagues in introducing this important legislation."
Congressman Pete Stauber (MN-08) said, "The science and facts show the gray wolf is recovered. In fact, these wolves are now a danger to our domestic animals and livestock. It's more important now than ever to delist the gray wolves and support state led conservation and management of their populations to better protect our livestock and support our deer herds."
Congressman Ken Buck (CO-04) stated, "The gray wolf was first placed on the endangered species list in 1976 and has since made one of the most complete recoveries in history. It is time to trust the science and follow through on the Trump Administration's decision to delist the gray wolf. States, localities, and private stakeholders have proven themselves more than capable of balancing species recovery with protections for hard working farmers and ranchers in Colorado."
Congressman Matt Rosendale (MT-AL) said, "Gray wolves have well surpassed their recovery targets and it is high time we follow the facts and delist the species from the Endangered and Threatened Wildlife list. In Montana, gray wolf populations were under 100 in the late 1990s. Today, our state is home to more than 1,100 wolves--greatly exceeding federal management objectives. I am proud to cosponsor the Trust the Science Act, and I urge the Biden administration to delist the gray wolf from the Endangered Species Act and allow states to lead conservation and management efforts, which have proven to be highly successful in the past."
Congressman Paul Gosar (AZ-04) stated, "Despite efforts by extremist obstructionist groups to ignore the science and facts, scientific evidence conducted by the Fish and Wildlife Service under multiple administrations from both sides of the aisle has shown the gray wolf is recovered and is now thriving. Today, the removal of the gray wolf from the endangered species list is not just a story of conservation success but highlights the effectiveness of the Endangered Species Act when the federal government is able to collaborate and transfer decision-making authority to state and local wildlife officials and land managers."
Congressman Russ Fulcher (ID-01) said, "The Trump Administration trusted states to implement proper wildlife management plans to care for the gray wolf. I too respect the knowledge and firsthand experience of our states and local communities to manage the future of the gray wolf. I support reimplementing this rule to return jurisdiction to the states."
Congressman Mike Gallagher (WI-08) stated, "The science is clear: the gray wolf population has recovered well past its goal. It's past time for the Department of the Interior to acknowledge this reality, end its continued attempts to re-list the gray wolf, and restore states' ability to manage wolf populations."
Congressman Glenn Grothman (WI-06) said, "Following successful efforts to restore the Gray Wolf population in Wisconsin and across the contiguous United States, it is clear that the management of Gray Wolves should be left in the hands of the states and local wildlife agencies. Their recovery is a success of the Endangered Species Act and the Department of the Interior should once again acknowledge this."
Colorado Livestock Association CEO Zach Riley stated, "Special interest groups have long used the "Equal Access to Justice Act,' lack of oversight in agencies and general lack of understanding of by the public where it concerns biology to wage war on those that live on the land and grow animals. It continues to be an ever-growing war situation between the special interest groups and their attorneys and those few left willing to try to preserve their heritage and way of life. We greatly appreciate Congresswoman Boebert bringing this legislation forward."
Jason Ouimet, executive director for the National Rifle Association's Institute for Legislative Action said, "The NRA applauds Rep. Boebert for introducing the Trust the Science Act, working to return wolf management to the states. This legislation would not only allow states to better manage wolves, but it would also benefit hunters by allowing them to play a more active role in wildlife management."
Wisconsin Farm Bureau President Kevin Krentz stated, "Wisconsin farmers should not be subject to the judicial whims of a judge hundreds of miles away. It's time Wisconsin is allowed to take full control of the management of the state's top predator. Wisconsin Farm Bureau appreciates and supports the efforts of Representative Tiffany and Boebert as they work to allow Wisconsin farmers to defend their livestock. The science is proven. Wisconsin's wolves have been recovered, and it's time for the management phase of this Endangered Species Act success story."
Director of Public Policy- Federal Affairs for Colorado Farm Bureau Ashley House said, "We appreciate Congresswoman Boebert's work to bring a resolution to the status of wolves in the Northern Rockies and Great Lakes. Executive action and the courts have only complicated the issue with a back-and-forth policy on a species that has clearly recovered and is now thriving. Congress acted decisively on wolf-related issues in the past and should do so again with the passage of this measure."
Safari Club International's Executive Vice President of International, Government and Public Affairs Ben Cassidy stated, "Gray wolf populations have met recovery criteria for over 20 years and are an Endangered Species Act success story. The perpetual listing of the gray wolf is just one example of how the federal government and courts have failed to effectively administer the Act. SCI extends a thank you Representative Boebert and Representative Tiffany and fully supports the "Trust the Science Act' as long overdue legislation to definitively delist the gray wolf."
Mid States Wool Growers Association General Manager Dave Rowe said, "We believe the relisting of the grey wolf was a mistake and should have never been done. The reintroduction of the grey wolf into farming and ranching communities put great pressure on those families in terms of their personal safety and the livestock that they care for. Again, Mid States Wool Growers Cooperative Association would like to be counted among the other organizations that have endorsed the Trust the Science Act."
TheTrust the Science Act requires the Secretary of Interior to reissue the 2020 Department of the Interior final rule that delisted gray wolves in the lower 48 United States and ensures that the reissuance of the final rule will not be subject to judicial review.
In 2020, the Department of the Interior and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service delisted the gray wolf in the lower 48 United States through a process that included the best science and data available. At over 6,000 wolves at the time of delisting, the gray wolf has been the latest Endangered Species Act success story with recoveries with significant populations in the Rocky Mountains and western Great Lakes regions.
An activist California judge vacated the final 2020 rule back to the Service thereby restoring ESA protections for the gray wolf across most of United States.
Gray wolf populations have fully recovered according to career officials who work for the Department of Interior currently and made the delisting decision based on the best available science.
In Congress, Rep. Boebert has been actively leading on the gray wolf issue. Last month, Rep. Boebert led 23 Members of Congress in a letter urging the Department of the Interior to appeal the California court's activist decision. In October, Rep. Boebert called on the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to reverse its decision to study relisting the gray wolf. Additionally, Rep. Boebert secured important federal resources for the Wolf-Livestock Loss Demonstration Program to compensate farmers and ranchers whose livestock are killed by wolves through a legislative effort that was signed into law.
Reps. Lauren Boebert and Tom Tiffany led 21 Members of Congress in introducing the Trust the Science Act, including: Andy Biggs (AZ-05), Cliff Bentz (OR-02), Jack Bergman (MI-01), Michelle Fischbach (MN-07), Russ Fulcher (ID-01), Mike Gallagher (WI-08), Louie Gohmert (TX-01), Paul Gosar (AZ-04), Glenn Grothman (WI-06), Doug LaMalfa (CA-01), Doug Lamborn (CO-05), Dan Newhouse (WA-04), Scott Perry (PA-10), Matt Rosendale (MT-02), Pete Stauber (MN-08), Brian Steil (WI-01), Ken Buck (CO-04), John Moolenaar (MI-04), and Tom Emmer (MN-06).
Groups supporting the Trust the Science Act include: Alaska Farm Bureau Federation, BigGame Forever, Colorado Cattlemen's Association, Colorado Farm Bureau, Colorado Livestock Association, Colorado Wool Growers Association, House Committee on Natural Resources Republicans, Idaho Farm Bureau Federation, Mid States Wool Growers Association, Minnesota Farm Bureau, Minnesota Lamb & Wool Producers Association, Minnesota State Cattlemen's Association, National Rifle Association (NRA), New Mexico Wool Growers Inc., Oregon Cattlemen's Association, Safari Club International (SCI), Sportsmen for Fish and Wildlife, Washington Farm Bureau, Washington State Hunter Heritage Council, Western Caucus, Wisconsin Cattleman's Association, and Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation.
The full text of the Trust the Science Act is available here.