Rep. McCollum Statement on Interior Appropriations Rider to Delist Gray Wolves
Washington, DC – Today, the Interior and Environment Appropriations Subcommittee released their draft bill for FY2016. Included in the legislation is a rider which would require the Secretary of the Interior to delist gray wolves in Wyoming, Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan from the list of endangered species. This rider, Section 121 of the Interior and Environment Appropriations bill, provides for the delisting of gray wolves and would prohibit that rule from being subjected to future judicial review. Last year, a federal judge ordered that gray wolves in Wyoming and the Great Lakes region be returned to the list of endangered species.
Congresswoman Betty McCollum (D-MN), the ranking Democratic member of the Interior and Environment Appropriations Subcommittee, released the following statement regarding the delisting of gray wolves.
“This rider is a tremendous overreach that would interfere in the federal listing of endangered species. Our committee’s role is to appropriate the necessary funds to allow the expert staff of scientists and professionals to do their jobs working to protect endangered species. This bill should not be mandating which species do or do not require protection.
“The judicial branch exists to provide oversight and review of our nation’s laws, and the idea that this Republican Appropriations bill would try to circumvent that constitutionally critical process is wrong.
“If the committee would like to see greater attention paid to the wolf population in the Great Lakes region, it should reconsider this bill’s proposed 50% cut to the Fish and Wildlife Service’s listing program for determining which species need protection. This is one of many attacks on the Endangered Species Act within this bill – all of which threaten the recovery and survival of important species in our country.
“I will work throughout the committee process to see this provision removed and to restore funding for the important work that the Fish and Wildlife Service does to protect our endangered species.”
The relevant section of the bill can be found on page 60 of the Interior and Environment Appropriations bill here.
Congresswoman McCollum is the ranking Democratic member on the Interior Appropriations Subcommittee and the Democratic co-chair of the Native American Caucus.