They're up to it again on Capitol Hill--dispensing with proper wildlife-management procedure and going directly to brute force to delist the Gray Wolf in the Western Great Lakes DPS.
There was a bit about it in yesterday's paper (Karnowski 2015):
Under a December, 2014 federal court ruling, wolves were returned to "threatened" status in Minnesota and "endangered" in Wisconsin and Michigan under the U.S. Endangered Species Act. Sport hunting and trapping was again banned in all three states. Wisconsin and Michigan government officials are no longer authorized to kill wolves for preying on livestock or pets — only to protect human life.
"Doug Peterson, president of the Minnesota Farmers Union, said he believes the ruling is already affecting farms and ranches..."
Reply to the comment by Doug Peterson, above:
Partly, but not entirely, true in Minnesota, where the court ruling's major affect was on the hunting & trapping seasons. Those were completed as planned in December 2014. They were never part of the MN Predator-Control Program. The MN Predator-Control Program remains authorized to remove problem wolves around livestock. The court ruling did not change this. Minnesota farms and ranches are operating pretty much as they have been.
Granted, Minnesota farmers and ranchers are no longer authorized to remove wolves themselves--they still need to call a predator controller, which in most cases is what they've been doing, anyway. Still, most would agree that livestock producers should be re-authorized to respond quickly to depredations on their livestock. And while we're at it, let's provide them with more support for Best Management Practices (BMP) in integrated livestock-depredation management (off-site carcass disposal, predator-deterrent fencing, remote monitoring, non-lethal response, etc.).
Granted, the situation is different in neighboring Wisconsin and Michigan. Most would agree that their predator-control programs and their quick response to depredation need to be re-authorized. And again, BMP.
So what's the best way to get livestock producers back to normal, and all three States back on track with the continued development and implementation of their legally-defensible and biologically-sound Wolf Management Plans? Dispense with proper procedure? Not.
Karnowski, Steve. 2015. “Bill Would Remove Federal Protections for Wolves in Four States, Including Minnesota.” Star Tribune, January 13. http://www.startribune.com/politics/national/288446441.html.