Missoulian: Tester tells Missoula hunters, anglers group he won’t back down on wolves

Sen. Jon Tester pledged to keep fighting for a quick congressional solution to Montana’s wolf problem even as his Washington, D.C., colleagues appear ready to block the path he wants to use.

In a speech to the Hellgate Hunters and Anglers Club on Saturday, Tester praised a recent proposed court settlement that would return wolf management to Montana and Idaho wildlife agencies. He also said he’d continue with his effort to pass a law declaring wolves in the Northern Rocky Mountains biologically recovered.

That measure has been included as a rider to the current congressional budget negotiations. That bill must pass both houses by April 8 to avoid a federal government shutdown.

But on Friday, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid told reporters that no riders forcing policy changes on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency would be allowed in the spending bill. He also indicated that other conservation and land-management amendments in the House’s continuing resolution wouldn’t survive.

“Neither the White House nor the Senate leaders is going to accept any EPA riders,” Reid said in a conference call. He referred to House Republican measures that would keep the EPA from enforcing regulations on clean water and other industrial actions.

Read the whole article >>