Farm Groups Oppose Court’s Grey Wolf Decision

Sabrina Halvorson Legislative

Farm Groups Oppose Court’s Grey Wolf Decision

Some farm groups are expressing disappointment over a court’s ruling to return the grey wolf to the endangered species list.

American Farm Bureau Federation President Zippy Duvall said in a statement, “AFBF is extremely disappointed in the ruling to return the gray wolf to the endangered species list. The gray wolf exceeded recovery goals and should be celebrated as an Endangered Species Act success story. The ESA is intended to promote species recovery and delisting, not to impose permanent protected status for animals that are now thriving.”

He said the ruling ignored ESA goals and threatened recovery efforts for other animals.

“Farmers and ranchers share the goal of a healthy and thriving ecosystem,” Duvall continued. “Management of the fully recovered gray wolf should be overseen by the states, which can best determine the most appropriate course of action for each region.”

The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) and Public Lands Council also opposed the ruling. NCBA Executive Director of Natural Resources and Public Lands Council Executive Director Kaitlynn Glover said in a statement, “It’s disappointing that environmental activism carried more weight than science in this case. Rather than ruling on due process and adherence to recovery criterion, Judge White chose to remand the rule and undermine one of the most successful ESA recovery stories in the United States history,”.

She said, “This is just another attempt by activist groups to ignore the facts and rewrite the history of gray wolf recovery in the U.S.”

According to the statement, data shows the gray wolf population is recovered and no longer meets the requirements for a listing. Since being listed under the ESA in 1974, the gray wolf population has seen tremendous recovery, exceeding recovery goals by 300 percent.

NCBA and PLC say they plan to continue to fight for science-based decisions regarding ESA listing and look toward the Biden administration to do the same.