Hunters and states snubbed: Peltola sides with feds by voting against bill to delist gray wolf

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Photo credit: Alaska Department of Fish and Game

The U.S. House of Representatives passed Wisconsin Rep. Tom Tiffany and Colorado Rep. Lauren Boebert’s “Trust the Science Act,” House Resolution 764, which would remove the gray wolf from the list of endangered species and prevents a judicial review of the delisting.

Rep. Mary Peltola of Alaska voted against the measure, which passed on a vote of 209-205. The bill gives individual states and their wildlife management agencies the right to manage gray wolf populations within their borders. It’s a states’ rights issue.

Alaska is home to an estimated 7,000-11,000 wolves and is the only state in which wolves were never included on the Endangered Species List. Many Alaskan hunters consider wolves to be a problem, especially in Southeast Alaska, where the carnivorous canines kill deer.

“Wolves do have an impact on moose and caribou populations, and this impact, in combination with factors such as severe winter weather or bear predation, can depress moose and caribou populations to very low levels leaving little harvestable surplus for humans,” according to the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, which occasionally thins out wolf populations so that humans can have access to wild meat.

“These programs are designed to reduce predation by wolves or bears and increase moose, caribou, or deer populations that are a needed food source for Alaskans,” Fish and Game says on its website.

Wolves can also be a problem the Lower 48 for ranchers, and elk and deer hunters. Sheep ranchers in Washington State are finding that they are essentially growing livestock to feed wolf packs. One rancher reported that wolves had killed 22 of his 2,000 sheep.

“There have been repeated, documented wolf kills; non-lethal methods have not stopped the predation; the attacks are likely to continue, and the livestock owner has not done anything to attract the wolves,” one state wildlife official said in 2019, as the state approved the killing of wolves in Stevens County. There are 260 known wolves in 42 known packs in Washington State.

“The science is clear, the gray wolf has met and exceeded recovery goals. Today’s House passage represents an important first step towards restoring local control over the skyrocketing gray wolf population in Wisconsin. I will continue to fight to get this legislation through the U.S. Senate to protect livestock and pets from brutal wolf attacks,” said Rep. Tiffany of Wisconsin.

“There have been numerous gray wolf attacks in Wisconsin’s Seventh District over the last few years. You can view some examples herehere, and here (warning of graphic content),” Tiffany wrote on his official page. And yes, the links are pretty gory.

Gray wolves were put on the endangered species list in 1974, but they are no longer considered endangered, although only 13 states have wolf packs, mostly in the north.

During the Trump Administration, the Department of the Interior and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service delisted the gray wolf in the lower 48 United States after reviewing the science. But a California judge reversed the ruling in 2022.

Among groups supporting the bill was Hunter Nation, an advocacy group for hunters.

The recovery of the gray wolf is a remarkable conservation success, and the time has long since passed to manage their exploding population based on science,” said Keith Mark, founder and president of Hunter Nation. “This is an important achievement for American hunters, game animals, pets, livestock, and wolves. Keeping liberal activist judges out of wildlife management decisions is an important component to this legislation.”

“The delisting of the gray wolf reflects sound science and will bring balance to the habit and carrying capacity in those areas that have been decimated by unmanaged wolf populations,” said Ted Nugent, spokesman for Hunter Nation.

Peltola deflected, writing on social media: “The Second Amendment is integral to the Alaska way of life. For many households, hunting is their only way to guarantee food security. That’s why I’m doing everything possible to protect 2A and make sure our rights aren’t eroded by politicians living thousands of miles away.”

15 COMMENTS

  1. Oh of course, why should she favor Alaska over the people who fund her reselection campaign?
    She certainly wont bite the hand that feeds her cash.

    • This rule doesn’t apply to Alaska. Just the lower 48. We can kill wolves up here. In fact, ADFG hands out permits so teams can shoot them from airplanes. Aerial predator control.

  2. Alaskan citizens have learned that whatever our desired outcome Mary will vote the opposite. God knows we need a FOR ALASKAN congressional representative not a deep state pawn!

  3. How ironic when someone like Boebert writes a piece of legislation entitled “Trust the Science”. Talk about cognitive dissonance.

    • Quite.

      However, that does not change the fact that in this case, at this time, the bill (and its sponsors) is correct.

      “The greatest lesson in life is to know that even fools are right sometimes.” –Sir Winston Churchill

    • Cognitive dissonance? Seriously?
      Can you tell me one thing that Lauren Boebert said or did that indicated she does not trust the science?

  4. The state should tranquilize a thousand or so Alaskan wolves and transfer them to New England and So Cal. Share the bounty.

    • Supper 1,
      Ever since Farley Mowat penned his, ” Never Cry Wolf”, Enviro Whack Jobs have claimed that Wolves actually subsist upon mice and organic leafy greens and are not the senseless killers of Eurocentric folklore.
      I’ve often advocated that to prove Mowat’s theory the Ak Dept. Of F & G should embark on a Dental Modification study of wolves , whereby Wolves have their canine teeth filed down. Loss of these giant rippers shouldn’t harm Wolves according to Mowat and his devoted flock of bleating followers.

  5. Not news to Alaskan paying attention. The result of RANK choice (non)voting, PelTOOLa is simply a pulse with a vote for the left, who couldn’t care less for what is good for Alaska and Alaskans. She is what happens when voters choose skin color over wisdom..

    • “……….She is what happens when voters choose skin color over wisdom.”
      She’s the ‘More Fish’ woman, and apparently the ‘More Wolves’ woman, too. She might end up like Little Red Riding Hood this November if she continues her focus on party politics instead of representing Alaskans.

  6. The biggest problem in this debate is the cost, and lack of science. The only time a credible effort was made to understand the logic for killing all the predators was by the National Academy of Science. They found Alaska was wasting millions of dollars on predator control. Millions wasted by morons in state government. Another failed “we’re from the government and here to help” program.

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