WASHINGTON — U.S. Rep. Sean Duffy, R-Wausau, introduced legislation Thursday that would remove gray wolves from protection under the federal Endangered Species Act.
Management of gray wolves was transferred from the state to the federal level following two 2014 U.S. District Court decisions that reinstated gray wolves under the protections of the Endangered Species Act.
The federal designation leaves farmers and ranchers in states with gray wolves without a legal avenue to protect their livestock from the predators, Duffy said in a news release.
“Wisconsin deserves the opportunity to use science-based wildlife management for our own gray wolf population because we know what’s better for our state’s ecosystem better than activist judges in Washington,” Duffy said. “I’m proud to introduce bipartisan legislation to delist the gray wolf because Wisconsin farmers deserve to be able to protect their livestock, and they should not suffer because of the decisions made by an overreaching federal government a thousand miles away.”
Duffy’s opponent in the November election, Democrat Margaret Engebretson of Balsam Lake, said she also favors delisting gray wolves in the Midwest and returning the species to science-based state management. Engebretson said she supports the bipartisan wolf delisting legislation co-authored by Wisconsin Sens. Tammy Baldwin and Ron Johnson and, if elected, would sponsor companion legislation in the House of Representatives.