House Decision: Gray Wolves Delisted in Lower 48 States Sparks Controversy

Thayne Muthler

By a slim margin of 209–205, the House just voted to end federal protections for gray wolves in the lower 48 states. Even with bipartisan support, the measure is presently being reviewed by the Senate. According to Time Magazine, even if the law makes it past Congress, President Biden has the authority to veto it. In a statement, the White House stated that it was against gray wolf delisting and that Congress should not have the power to decide on species recovery.

Because there has been an increase in wolf assaults on livestock and large game, proponents of wolf delisting contend that wolf populations are stable. They support the right to lawfully hunt wolves using state-managed hunts and other permitted techniques.

According to Time Magazine, opponents argue that because wolves' populations are still precarious following their near extinction due to hunting in the 1960s, they should remain protected. Because of reports of recently released wolves attacking cattle in Colorado, reintroduction efforts—like the one that was approved—have generated differing views among the general population.

By 2022, it is estimated that there would be around 8,000 wolves in the lower 48 states, with roughly 3,000 of them living in Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Utah, and Wyoming, and sometimes in Arizona and New Mexico. At the moment, Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho permit wolf hunting. The measure is now being reviewed by the Senate.