Helena Independent Record: US senators propose new wolf bill

Montana’s U.S. Sens. Max Baucus and Jon Tester introduced legislation Thursday that would once again remove gray wolves in Montana and Idaho from the endangered species list and return them to state management.

The two-page bill seeks to restore management practices as they were before the most recent 2010 ruling by U.S. District Court Judge Donald Molloy that returned wolves to the list. Prior to that decision, wolves in Montana and Idaho were delisted by the Department of Interior’s U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, which had approved the two states’ management plans. They remained listed in Wyoming.

Their bill would also delist gray wolves in portions of Utah, Washington and Oregon.

“We need a solution that delists wolves and gets them back under Montana’s management — and we need that solution now,” said Tester, chairman of the Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus. “Montana’s management plan was working just fine, and this legislation will return us to that plan and let Montanans start hunting wolves again.”

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