MANAGE OUR WOLVES ACT; Congressional Record Vol. 164, No. 182
(House of Representatives - November 16, 2018)

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                              {time}  0915
                         MANAGE OUR WOLVES ACT

  Mr. WESTERMAN. Mr. Speaker, pursuant to House Resolution 1142, I call 
up the bill (H.R. 6784) to provide for removal of the gray wolf in the 
contiguous 48 States from the List of Endangered and Threatened 
Wildlife published under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, and ask 
for its immediate consideration in the House.
  The Clerk read the title of the bill.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore (Mr. Fitzpatrick). Pursuant to House 
Resolution 1142, the bill is considered read.
  The text of the bill is as follows:

                               H.R. 6784

       Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of 
     the United States of America in Congress assembled,


       This Act may be cited as the ``Manage our Wolves Act''.


       (a) Gray Wolves in Wyoming.--The final rule published on 
     September 10, 2012 (77 Fed. Reg. 55530), that was reinstated 
     on March 3, 2017, by the decision of the U.S. Court of 
     Appeals for the District of Columbia (No. 14-5300) and 
     further republished on May 1, 2017 (82 Fed. Reg. 20284), that 
     reinstates the removal of Federal protections for the gray 
     wolf in Wyoming under the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (16 
     U.S.C. 1531 et seq.), and this subsection, shall not be 
     subject to judicial review.
       (b) Gray Wolves in Western Great Lakes.--Before the end of 
     the 60-day period beginning on the date of enactment of this 
     Act, the Secretary of the Interior shall reissue the final 
     rule published on December 28, 2011 (76 Fed. Reg. 81666), 
     without regard to any other provision of statute or 
     regulation that applies to issuance of such rule. Such 
     reissuance (including this subsection) shall not be subject 
     to judicial review.


       (a) In General.--Not later than the end of fiscal year 
     2019, and except as provided in subsection (b), the Secretary 
     of the Interior shall issue a rule to remove the gray wolf 
     (Canis lupus) in each of the 48 contiguous States of the 
     United States and the District of Columbia from the List of 
     Endangered and Threatened Wildlife in section 17.11 of title 
     50, Code of Federal Regulations, without regard to any other 
     provision of statute or regulation that applies to issuance 
     of such rule.
       (b) Limitation on Judicial Review.--Such issuance 
     (including this section)--
       (1) shall not be subject to judicial review; and
       (2) shall not affect the inclusion of the subspecies 
     classified as the Mexican gray wolf (Canis lupus baileyi) of 
     the species gray wolf (Canis lupus) in such list.

  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The bill shall be debated for 1 hour equally 
divided and controlled by the chair and ranking minority member of the 
Committee on Natural Resources.
  The gentleman from Arkansas (Mr. Westerman) and the gentleman from 
Virginia (Mr. Beyer) each will control 30 minutes.
  The Chair recognizes the gentleman from Arkansas.

                             general leave

  Mr. WESTERMAN. Mr. Speaker, I ask unanimous consent that all Members 
have 5 legislative days to revise and extend their remarks and to 
include any extraneous material.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Is there objection to the request of the 
gentleman from Arkansas?
  There was no objection.
  Mr. WESTERMAN. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may 
  Mr. Speaker, this bipartisan bill would accomplish what multiple 
administrations have been attempting to do for over a decade by 
delisting a species the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has deemed 
recovered under the Endangered Species Act. It also empowers the States 
to take a larger role in managing the species population.
  The gray wolf has been protected in its original habitat in the 
western Great Lakes region under the Endangered Species Act since 1974. 
Beginning in 1994, the Federal Government began introducing species to 
the Western U.S. by relocating wolves from Canada and releasing them in 
Western States.
  The reintroduced wolf population in the West expanded more quickly 
than many had anticipated, and as a result, Western States began to 
work with the Fish and Wildlife Service to better manage the species. 
This successful State and Federal cooperation led to the Fish and 
Wildlife Service's first attempt to delist the species under the 
Endangered Species Act in 2009. Litigation activists struck back, 
challenging the agency's delisting decision and halting further agency 
action at that time.
  In 2014, the Fish and Wildlife Service, after noting an even greater 
increase in species population, attempted to once again delist the gray 
wolf. Just as before, litigants immediately challenged the agency's 
decision. That same year, gray wolves in Wyoming and the western Great 
Lakes region were relisted by court order, citing inadequate State 
management plans. This 2014 order was appealed, and in March of last 
year, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals reversed the relisting decision 
for the gray wolf, but in Wyoming only.
  This underscores the extent to which the Fish and Wildlife Service 
has been hamstrung in implementing the objectives of the Endangered 
Species Act. Rather than spending its limited resources protecting 
vulnerable species, litigation activists have forced the agency to 
continuously defend every action.
  In this case, despite scientific evidence collected under multiple 
administrations from both sides of the aisle showing that the gray wolf 
populations have recovered and thrived, the agency remains bogged down 
in costly, never-ending litigation. We should be celebrating this ESA 
victory instead of moving on to the next challenge.
  This bill would prevent the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service from 
wasting further resources in responding to environmental lawfare by 
affirming its previous rules to delist the gray wolf and shielding 
these rules from further review.
  Finally, the bill seeks to empower the States to manage their 
individual gray wolf populations by directing the Secretary of the 
Interior to issue a rule to delist the gray wolf in each of the 48 
contiguous States and the District of Columbia. To ensure that States 
are provided certainty when developing State management plans, this 
bill would also exempt the delisting system from judicial review.
  Mr. Speaker, I urge adoption of the commonsense bill that we have 
here, and I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. BEYER. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
  Mr. Speaker, I rise in strong opposition to the bill today.
  In a world full of lions and tigers entertaining the masses, have you 
ever seen a wolf in the circus? If you love your dog, thank a wolf.
  There is a line of poetry that says: ``A wolf eats sheep but now and 
then; Ten thousands are devour'd by men.''
  Wolves are historic and vital keystone predators that have been 
hunted to near extinction in the contiguous United States. After being 
formerly designated as endangered and protected under the Endangered 
Species Act, wolf populations began to rise. However, they still 
inhabit just a fraction of their historic range, and continued 
protection under the Endangered Species Act is necessary. Instead, H.R. 
6784 strips the protections that have allowed the species to begin to 
  Prior to widespread human settlement, hundreds of thousands of gray 
wolves roamed North America. They could be found from the Pacific Coast 
to the Atlantic Coast. Today, sadly, the farthest east they can be 
found is in Michigan.
  Some of my colleagues might know that I would love to see the gray 
wolves in Virginia some day, but for now, it is important that we 
continue to protect the fewer than 6,000 that we have left in the lower 

[[Page H9544]]

  How did we get to only 6,000? As the human population grew in the 
19th and 20th centuries, gray wolves were poisoned, trapped, shot, 
gassed--every possible way to kill them--and their population decline 
was exacerbated by habitat destruction. Removing Federal protection 
opens the doors to further baiting, hunting, and trapping of wolves.
  The war on wolves is based, in part, on a myth that wolves are 
dangerous to humans and livestock. The reality, of course, is that 
humans are far more dangerous to wolves than wolves are either to 
humans or wolves are to livestock. Wolves cause less than 1 percent of 
all livestock losses in the United States, which is a mino threat 
compared to health issues, weather, and even other predators. In fact, 
domestic dogs cause more cattle losses than wolves do. But no one is 
talking about trapping or poisoning dogs.

  Ironically, researchers at Washington State University have found 
that killing wolves leads to an increase in livestock losses caused by 
wolves. Wolves generally avoid people. There are only two known deaths 
from wolves in the entire contiguous United States in the 21st century. 
Far more Americans are killed by bees, dogs, or deer-car collisions 
than by wolves.
  It has also been proven that State agencies cannot successfully 
manage these species. We have to look at what happened when they were 
delisted in Idaho and Montana in 2011. In just those two States, 
hostile State management practices have caused more than 3,200 wolves 
to be killed through hunting and trapping. That is half the known 
wolves in the lower 48.
  Furthermore, we know that targeting wolves is not only cruel and 
detrimental to the species itself, but it is also detrimental to the 
other species and to the ecosystems in which it belongs.
  Many of us have seen the video, the documentary on what has happened 
to Yellowstone since the reintroduction of wolves. Before, when wolves 
were eliminated, the explosion of other populations caused defoliation, 
erosion, and an unbalanced ecosystem in the park.
  When wolves were reintroduced in 1995, everything changed. They were 
the keystone predator, the linchpin, that held together this delicate 
balance. When the deer and elk populations were managed, vegetation 
regenerated, which brought back species such as birds, beavers, mice, 
and bears. Riverbanks stabilized as plant life thrived and erosion 
decreased, and the whole landscape was transformed.
  Delisting decisions are best kept in the hands of scientists, and we 
can't allow any delisting decisions to happen because of politics, 
particularly not to a species so historic, majestic, integral, and 
charismatic to the ecosystem in which it belongs.
  Mr. Speaker, I urge my colleagues to vote ``no'' on this bill, and I 
reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. WESTERMAN. Mr. Speaker, I yield 5 minutes to the gentleman from 
Wisconsin (Mr. Duffy), the sponsor of the bill, who actually lives in 
an area where the wolves live.
  Mr. DUFFY. Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the gentleman from Arkansas 
for his support in coming down and managing our time.
  Mr. Speaker, this is a bill that is bipartisan in a time where I 
don't think we see a lot of bipartisanship. I think the reason you see 
Democrats and Republicans coming together and, actually, the House and 
the Senate coming together on this bill is because, if you live in the 
northern part of the United States in the Great Lakes and West, you 
understand that the wolves are a huge problem. That is why you have 
seen Democratic Senators from this region, Democratic Congressmen from 
this region, and Republicans standing together to say: Hey, listen, we 
have to manage these wolves.
  If you live in the suburbs of Washington, D.C., it is not a problem. 
If you live in Madison, Wisconsin, it is not really a problem. You can 
make the argument that the pretty little puppy of the wolf, it is so 
pretty and beautiful and we have to protect it. Well, we did protect 
it. We put it on the endangered species list.
  Like a lot of government programs, this one worked. We have protected 
them and allowed them to recover. We have three times as many gray 
wolves as was projected to be necessary to take them off the endangered 
species list.
  We are coming to a hunting season in Wisconsin right now, so a lot of 
Wisconsinites put on their blaze orange and get their guns, and they go 
out to the woods and hunt deer.
  Mr. Speaker, I have never seen a picture of Barack Obama in blaze 
orange and with his rifle going out to hunt deer. He is not a great 
outdoorsman, I don't think, but Barack Obama's administration was the 
one that first took the gray wolf off the endangered species list. And 
Donald Trump, too, agrees. Donald Trump and Barack Obama agreeing on an 
issue? They do on gray wolves.
  You can say: I love the gray wolf. Protect it.
  Does anybody like Bambi? Does anyone like Little Bear? Does anyone 
like your little pet--dogs? cats? cattle?
  In our communities, here is a picture of one of our gray wolves. It 
is hard to tell on this picture, but that is a bear, and the bear is 
dead, by the way, because the wolf killed it.
  Here is a picture from one of my farmers that shows one of his cattle 
that was attacked by a gray wolf. So what we are saying here is why 
can't we come together, acknowledge the success of a program, that the 
gray wolf has recovered, and then acknowledge that we should allow our 
States then to manage the gray wolf?
  Some States might say: I want to allow the population to continue to 
grow. Other States might say: We want to manage it. So if you live in 
California, you might say: In California, we have a small population. 
We are going to let that little population thrive and grow. But if you 
live in Wisconsin, especially northern Wisconsin, you might say: It is 
necessary for us to actually manage this population because it is good 
for the environment; it is good for the wolves; it is good for the 
cattle. It is actually really good for our deer population.
  So I think this just makes common sense.
  And, by the way, some have come out and said--as I talked about on 
the floor, I am kind of a PETA guy. I want to protect animals. Well, 
protecting animals is allowing our States to successfully manage the 
wolf population, because if you do, you not only protect the wolf, but 
you protect the deer; you protect the cattle, the dogs, and the bear. 
Everyone gets protected when you have a balance to the ecosystem.
  We are out of balance right now, and, frankly, I believe that our 
States are far more in tune in understanding the ecosystem of their 
State than bureaucrats in Washington. So I would far rather empower 
Wisconsin; and my good friend, Collin Peterson from Minnesota, let 
Minnesota manage those populations because they understand the 
ecosystem better.

  Mr. Speaker, I encourage all of my colleagues to join Barack Obama 
and join Donald Trump and join a few Members of Congress from 
Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Washington--and Senators as well--to allow us 
to successfully manage the gray wolf population which allows for a 
healthier ecosystem.
  Mr. BEYER. Mr. Speaker, I yield 3 minutes to the gentleman from 
California (Mr. Huffman), my colleague.
  Mr. HUFFMAN. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman from Virginia.
  Mr. Speaker, I rise in opposition to this bill for a number of 
reasons, but I would specifically like to address how the bill 
undermines science.
  Congress enacted the ESA to conserve and protect endangered and 
threatened species and their habitats in the U.S. and abroad. Congress 
also recognized that scientists, not Members of Congress--even me, ones 
like me with political science degrees--scientists have the necessary 
expertise to make decisions about species' protection. So the ESA 
requires that the Fish and Wildlife Service make the decisions 
regarding species listing and delisting. The law entrusts the Service's 
scientists to determine what is best for imperiled species, such as the 
gray wolf, using the best available science.
  The ESA is credited as being one of the most science-based laws on 
the books, but this bill completely eliminates scientists from the 
decisionmaking process. It mandates that all gray wolves be removed 
from the ESA in the lower 48. In doing so, it short-circuits the law's 
science-based process

[[Page H9545]]

that determines when species have recovered and when protections are 
appropriately removed.

                              {time}  0930

  Despite years of Republican efforts to ignore the science behind the 
ESA, we know it has been a huge success. Ninety-nine percent of listed 
species have continued to survive, and 90 percent are on schedule to 
meet their recovery goals. So we should be working to make the gray 
wolf another one of those ESA success stories, not eliminating the 
protections that have helped put it on a path to recovery.
  When the gray wolf was listed in the early 1970s, there were only a 
few hundred left in the wild. Since then, scientists have shown that 
the reintroduction of gray wolves in the Northern Rockies has been a 
huge ecological and economic success. I was able to see gray wolves in 
Yellowstone with Mr. Beyer and Mr. DeFazio earlier this year and to see 
the ecosystem that has rebounded since their reintroduction.
  We are on the right track, but science shows that ESA protection is 
still needed. Currently, these wolves occupy only 5 percent of their 
historic range and only 36 percent of their suitable habitat. So while 
it is encouraging that the wolves are recovering and even coming into 
California for the first time in 90 years, a handful of these animals 
hardly shows that it is time for them to be delisted.
  Instead of enacting a new law to eliminate protections, we ought to 
be working with landowners, local and State agencies, and others to 
prevent conflicts so that we and wolves can both thrive.
  I would like to point out that if American citizens believe an agency 
does not follow the letter of the law, under the ESA, they have the 
right to hold the government accountable in court. It is part of the 
system of checks and balances that must be protected.
  Politically driven, species-specific legislation like this sets a 
dangerous precedent for delisting. It opens the door to future partisan 
attacks on vulnerable species. Legislative delisting measures like this 
one undermine the scientific process fundamental to the success of the 
Endangered Species Act. Scientists, not Congress, should make these 
  Mr. Speaker, I urge my colleagues to vote ``no.''
  Mr. WESTERMAN. Mr. Speaker, I would just say that the Endangered 
Species Act delisting a species is based on science, and the science 
has proven that this species is recovered. Twice under the previous 
administration, Fish and Wildlife tried to delist the species based on 
the science.
  Mr. Speaker, I yield 3 minutes to the gentleman from Minnesota (Mr. 
Peterson), who is also a cosponsor of the bill and from wolf country.
  Mr. PETERSON. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman for yielding.
  Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of the bill. I have to say, in my 28 
years in this body, I have never seen so much nonsense, misinformation, 
and propaganda put out on a bill as is being put out on this one. We 
followed the Endangered Species Act. We did what was said. The 
scientists said that we have recovered, and they delisted the wolves. 
These were scientists who did it; it wasn't any politician.
  The politics on this, you had a group out there, these extreme 
environmentalists and others who have captured our party, that went to 
a judge in Washington, D.C., who has no idea what is going on at all, 
and convinced that judge that the wolves had not recovered because they 
had not been reestablished all the way to Des Moines, Iowa.
  Do you want some wolves in Des Moines, Iowa? I don't think so. There 
were never any wolves in Des Moines, Iowa, in the first place.
  So we followed the law. The Fish and Wildlife Service is on our side. 
They delisted these wolves. The DNR in Minnesota was managing the 
wolves and doing a good job before the court intervened politically.
  I don't agree with the DNR. I have very seldom got along with the DNR 
in Minnesota. This is one time where they were doing the right thing. 
They did a good job, and the court stopped them.
  It was politics; it wasn't science. So this nonsense that somehow or 
another that we are politically doing this is not true.
  We have more wolves in my district than any other district in the 
United States. We have twice as many wolves as was required to get the 
wolves delisted. But that wasn't good enough.
  So I say to all you folks who think this is such a great idea: We 
have a lot of extra wolves. We will send them to your district. We will 
let them eat some of your fancy little dogs and see how long that will 
go before your constituents demand that you do something about it.
  My neighbor has had four of his cattle killed in the last 2 years. 
They killed his German shepherd dog and ripped it apart.
  Are you telling me that this is not a problem?
  When we had the population under control, we didn't have these kinds 
of problems. So this idea that somehow or another you are on the 
righteous side of science and all that stuff is complete nonsense. I 
will have the gentleman come up to my district, and he can see what is 
going on.
  So we followed the law. We have the Federal agencies that are 
responsible for this that are on our side. It wasn't us who screwed 
this up; it was that court in D.C., and that judge has no clue about 
what is going on.
  Mr. Speaker, I tell Members to support this bill.
  Mr. BEYER. Mr. Speaker, I yield 4 minutes to the gentleman from 
Oregon (Mr. DeFazio).
  Mr. DeFAZIO. Mr. Speaker, I have a few wolves in my district, not 
enough. I don't know that I will take Mr. Peterson's wolves, but we are 
breeding our own.
  OR-7 made an incredible journey from way up in northeastern Oregon 
all the way down to the California border. He went down to California 
looking for a mate. He finally found one, and those were his first 
  Guess what? We are not having catastrophic predation on cattle in 
southern Oregon. We could accommodate more wolves.
  Now, there are reasons why cattle die. My colleague from Oregon might 
show up, and he has a picture--it is kind of ugly--of a calf that was 
killed by wolves. It was sad that that calf didn't get to grow up and 
go to the slaughterhouse.

  Here are the real facts. Seventy-four percent of loss is due to 
health issues; that is, good husbandry. Eight percent almost, 7.8, is 
due to weather; 2.7 is due to coyotes, cougars, bear, and dogs--
predators. Oh, here we are. Look, that is the problem. Wait a minute. 
We have new numbers, 0.2 percent--0.2 percent--is due to wolf 
  Now, I doubt that my colleagues on the other side have gone to 
Yellowstone to see the phenomenal recovery of the ecosystems in 
Yellowstone. We will hear that, oh, it is bad for hunters, elk. Well, 
actually, the elk population is doing very well, but they don't browse 
all the way down into the streams anymore. So now fish have come back, 
and other species have come back, because the elk are worried about the 
wolves, so they stick to the forested areas where they should be. So 
having apex predators is incredibly important to a balanced 
  To say that we have to go out and slaughter those--Fish and Wildlife 
or Animal Damage Control, whatever the heck we call those jerks these 
days. The Federal Government has been subsidizing for years the 
indiscriminate slaughter of predator species, ostensibly to help out 
the ranchers.
  Now, when I was a county commissioner, we were kind of broke, and we 
went through a list of everything we were doing. I said, what are we 
doing, giving this money there? They said that is our match to the 
Federal Government to come and kill coyotes. I said, why? What is that 
about? They said, oh, sheep predation, horrible, horrible.
  We were broke. We cut out that. We said, no, we don't want these 
people here anymore. We are not going to subsidize it.
  Guess what happened? Nothing. We did not have horrible sheep 
predation in my county.
  So a lot of this is based on some kind of gut-level, historic fear or 
hatred of predators that has been passed down from generation to 
  We can have a healthy wolf population, and you can still do good 
husbandry with cattle.
  So they want to delist the wolf in all the lower 48. We have maybe 8, 
12, 10--

[[Page H9546]]

we don't even know--in my district, which is historic habitat. In other 
parts of the State that have been previously occupied, there are no 
wolves. A couple of our wolves have wandered down to California, the 
first ones there since we were on this campaign to eliminate them all.
  The other thing is science. When you kill the apex predators, then 
the coyotes depredate on the cattle. Then you have overpopulation of 
elk, and they browse riparian. A balanced environment is good for 
  The SPEAKER pro tempore (Mr. Young of Iowa). The time of the 
gentleman has expired.
  Mr. BEYER. Mr. Speaker, I yield the gentleman from Oregon an 
additional 30 seconds.
  Mr. DeFAZIO. Mr. Speaker, these people want to unbalance it and 
delist the entire lower 48. They want to defy good science. And, oh, by 
the way, what they are doing is so indefensible, but, well, we can't go 
to court because, actually, we are not following the law.
  So this bill does a number of things that are really short-term bad.
  By the way, it is going nowhere in the Senate. We are hearing 
messaging today that we could be doing a farm bill, and we could be 
doing affordable college education. There are a lot of things we could 
do--a budget for the United States Government. But, no, we are here on 
a talking point for a few idiots.
  Mr. WESTERMAN. Mr. Speaker, I am glad that the gentleman from Oregon 
is so passionate about wolves, and this bill would be fantastic for him 
and his State.
  It would allow their State natural resources folks to manage their 
wolves. They could release some in Portland. They could let those wolf 
populations get as large as they want to get. But the scientists at 
U.S. Fish and Wildlife have said that the species is recovered, and we 
are talking about letting other States have the opportunity to manage 
those wolf populations in their States.
  I wish we were doing a farm bill. I wish the Senate would do a farm 
bill, because we have already done one out of here.
  Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the gentlewoman from Washington 
(Mrs. McMorris Rodgers).
  Mrs. McMORRIS RODGERS. Mr. Speaker, in my home in eastern Washington, 
we have been living the real impact of large wolf populations for many 
years now.
  We see the impact on safety. We see the economic impact it is having 
on our ranchers. Each year, we are losing hundreds of livestock to 
wolves and costing our economy millions of dollars.
  The gray wolf is recovered, and it is time for it to be removed from 
the Endangered Species Act. The Endangered Species Act has listed many 
  This is not about a hatred or a fear of predators. This is about 
actually recognizing that the Endangered Species Act has done its job, 
and it is time for the wolf to be delisted.
  In the fall of 2013, the Obama administration announced that the gray 
wolf was recovered. President Obama's Fish and Wildlife Director Dan 
Ashe has stated: The gray wolf ``is no longer endangered or threatened 
with extinction. . . . As we propose to remove ESA protections, States 
like Washington and Oregon are managing expanding populations under 
protective State laws.''
  Unfortunately, the gray wolf was not delisted. In eastern Washington, 
and specifically in northeastern Washington, predation on calves has 
become common. I regularly hear from people who are seeing wolves 
around their property and from people who cannot defend themselves 
without it being a felony.
  Eastern Washington knows better how to manage our land and wildlife 
than someone sitting here in a cubicle in Washington, D.C. What we are 
proposing is that these management practices would be returned to the 
State level, that we would allow the people who are closest to the land 
and to the practices to be able to take action that would benefit 
endangered and native animals while protecting farmers, ranchers, and 
our way of life.

  I was proud to be an original cosponsor of this bill because it is 
important. It is important to our way of life. It is important to the 
people in eastern Washington. It is important to our economy.
  I thank Congressman Duffy from Wisconsin for his work and leadership 
on this issue that impacts many communities across the country.
  Mr. BEYER. Mr. Speaker, I yield 4 minutes to the gentlewoman from 
Michigan (Mrs. Dingell).
  Mrs. DINGELL. Mr. Speaker, I claim the time in opposition to H.R. 
6784, the Manage our Wolves Act.
  Despite the claims made by our colleagues across the aisle, gray 
wolves play a critical role in keeping ecosystems healthy and balanced, 
including across Michigan and the Great Lakes region.
  At one time, gray wolves roamed in the hundreds of thousands. Today, 
there are fewer than 6,000 gray wolves in existence. Just this week, 
the National Park Service announced that a gray wolf died after being 
relocated from Minnesota to Michigan's Isle Royale National Park.
  The threat to gray wolves is still real, and they must be protected. 
The bill before us would remove all protections for gray wolves under 
the Endangered Species Act, including reissuing a 2011 rule by the U.S. 
Fish and Wildlife Service that delisted the gray wolf in the western 
Great Lakes.
  H.R. 6784 also seriously undermines scientific integrity, which is 
one of the foundations of the Endangered Species Act. It would remove 
scientists from the decision-making process to delist gray wolves. 
Scientists, not Congress, should be making listing or delisting 

                              {time}  0945

  As a keystone species, these iconic animals are vital to the 
structure of the ecological communities in which we live. Two decades 
ago, the lush landscape of Yellowstone National Park was not as we see 
it today. Instead, it was riddled with defoliation, erosion, and an 
unbalanced ecosystem.
  Due to the absence of predators, deer and elk populations were out of 
control. Despite efforts to manage them, they overgrazed the park's 
vegetation. That all changed when gray wolves were reintroduced into 
the park in 1995.
  As a top predator in the food chain, wolves hold together that 
delicate balance of the ecosystem. Once wolves were brought back to the 
park, the natural balance of the ecosystem was restored. The 
regenerated forests stabilized the riverbanks, leading to less erosion 
and more suitable wildlife habitat. And not to mention, wolves reduce 
the coyote population by as much as 50 percent. The whole landscape was 
dramatically transformed with the reintroduction of just a few gray 
wolves, and their presence can similarly be felt across the Great Lakes 
  Finally, gray wolves not only benefit the ecosystem, but they provide 
significant economic benefits as well. Just 10 years after 
reintroduction, wolf-related tourism generated more than $35 million 
for communities in Wyoming, Idaho, and Montana.
  Mr. Speaker, we have seen what the absence of gray wolves can do to 
the ecosystem. We have seen how wildlife and plant populations suffer, 
from our national parks to the Great Lakes, without a proper predator-
prey balance.
  Yes, good progress has been made to revive the gray wolf population, 
but there is more work to do. H.R. 6784 would halt and potentially 
reverse the progress that has been made. I urge my colleagues to vote 
  Mr. WESTERMAN. Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the gentleman from 
Wisconsin (Mr. Grothman).
  Mr. GROTHMAN. Mr. Speaker, I will emphasize something I think that 
has been said before. You always try to think of something new.
  You can't help but notice that the number of people who do not want 
the gray wolf delisted live in areas that don't have gray wolves. The 
State of Wisconsin is maybe typical in this. They introduced gray 
wolves to northern Wisconsin. When there was controversy about it, they 
said, Well, that is okay. These are northern areas where very few 
people live. Of course, even then I had a problem with it because 
people did live up there.
  I don't think the people near where this judge lived would want the 
gray wolves wandering around the Virginia and Maryland suburbs. They 
would not want the concern, walking around at night with the wolves, 
even though

[[Page H9547]]

they don't normally attack humans. They would not want the concern of 
the wolves out there if they have dogs or other pets around. If they 
had cattle, they wouldn't want that concern.
  Wisconsin being very typical, I think the gray wolves that began in 
the northern part of the State are now all the way down to areas like 
Columbia County or Sheboygan County in the southern part of the State. 
And they will, unless somebody does something about it, continue to 
grow, continue to go further south, and the herds will continue to 
  I would ask people who are going to vote against this: Think how you 
would feel if you have a significant number of gray wolves wandering 
around your subdivision--or even one gray wolf wandering around your 
subdivision--and then have more respect for the Congressmen who are 
living with these gray wolves.
  Mr. WESTERMAN. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may 
  Mr. Speaker, we have heard a lot about letting scientists make the 
decision, not letting others make the decision. But right now, courts 
are making the decision on the delisting of this wolf.
  We have heard testimony that, even though it is a bipartisan bill, 
even though it was people in the previous administration that first 
suggested delisting the wolf, we have heard testimony that if you 
support delisting the wolf, you must be an idiot.
  I don't think supporting this legislation means you are an idiot or 
you are trying to message something. I think it means that we want to 
see science implemented. I think it means that we want to let the 
scientists do their jobs.
  Mention has been made about Yellowstone National Park. I was actually 
in Yellowstone National Park this last summer and talked to scientists 
out there about the big fire in the 1980s.
  What many of us know about fire is that it is a natural occurring 
phenomena, and it mimicked a huge clear-cut in Yellowstone National 
Park. After the fire and all this vegetation started growing back, we 
saw a huge increase in elk and deer herds, and the wolf population 
increased right along with that.
  As a matter of fact, the scientists at the park told me that the 
greatest numbers of elk that they have had happened within about 10 
years after the big fire out there. The greatest population of wolves 
that they had happened after that. Now that the forest is growing back, 
that ecosystem, that forest will burn again--it burns about every 100 
years--but the science is being applied here.
  We just want to let States make the decisions on how to manage these 
wolves that the scientists have said are recovered and need to be 
  Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time, and I ask unanimous 
consent that the balance of my time be managed by the gentleman from 
Texas (Mr. Gohmert).
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Is there objection to the request of the 
gentleman from Arkansas?
  There was no objection.
  Mr. BEYER. Mr. Speaker, I yield 4 minutes to the gentlewoman from 
  Ms. McCOLLUM. Mr. Speaker, this bill sets several incredibly damaging 
precedents, fundamentally weakening the protections of our Nation's 
threatened and endangered species.
  The Endangered Species Act is one of the most effective and important 
conservation laws ever passed by Congress. The success is due, in large 
part, to a careful scrutiny of scientific evidence and the critical 
analysis of all factors when making decisions on the status of a 
  The Manage Our Wolves Act would remove protections under the ESA for 
one of the Nation's iconic wildlife species, without an opportunity for 
public participation in the rulemaking process for delisting. Even more 
troubling, this bill would explicitly ban any judicial review of the 
delisting of gray wolves in both the Great Lakes and nationwide.
  No judicial oversight will be allowed for the removal of the science-
based protections established under the Endangered Species Act. A 
species is only listed as endangered or threatened, or delisted upon 
its successful recovery, after a rigorous assessment of its extinction.
  By eliminating judicial review of ESA delisting actions, this 
legislation removes the ability of the public and the scientific 
community to participate in the process. Access to a court of law is a 
cornerstone of American democracy and a fundamental part of our 
  The judicial branch is also where the American people can have their 
voices heard and they can have a say in our system of checks and 
balances. Stopping our independent Federal courts from reviewing the 
actions of Federal agencies, or of Congress, violates this access to 
justice principle. It is simply undemocratic. It undermines the 
necessary oversight of government decisions.
  For years, the courts have served as an important forum for 
addressing disputes over ESA-related decisions. This legislation's 
attempt to remove judicial review from the ESA decision has no 
scientific or legal basis. It is simply a politically expedient move.
  By prioritizing politics over conservation, this bill would cause 
irreparable damage to the integrity of the Endangered Species Act and 
sets a dangerous precedent of overriding the careful deliberations of 
the court.
  Mr. Speaker, we should not support legislatively mandating decisions 
about vulnerable species. We should not circumvent the established 
process for making ESA determinations.
  For this reason, I would urge my colleagues to vote ``no.''
  Mr. Speaker, may I inquire how much time I have remaining?
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The gentlewoman from Minnesota has 1 minute 
  Ms. McCOLLUM. Mr. Speaker, I was recently in Yellowstone in the last 
month and a half. And, yes, there was a fire in Yellowstone. I am from 
Minnesota. I know all about after fires go in, and the moose munch, as 
we call it, around the boundary waters in the Voyageurs National Park 
area comes back and you can start seeing moose. They start doing 
better. The same thing is true of the elk. I saw elk literally right 
out a car window. They are doing better.
  But it is also very important to remember what Congressman DeFazio 
said about how, when the wolves are interactive and they are part of 
the regrowth and the rebirth of our forest system, the wolf, by being a 
predator, helps protect the stream banks and the rest from the elk and 
other animals from being on the stream banks and pressing them down. 
That has a big ripple effect on fish and other wildlife in the 
ecosystem, especially in Yellowstone.
  So I appreciate the gentleman's remarks about Yellowstone, but it is 
just not one thing that is causing the elk to come back healthy. It is 
the wolf population, as well.
  Mr. GOHMERT. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
  It is important, I think, to note, so you get a sense of what the 
gray wolves have done, that 1987 was when a plan was finalized to 
restore them to the Northern Rockies by transplanting the wolves from 
Canada into central Idaho, Yellowstone National Park.
  In 1995 and 1996, 66 Canadian wolves were transplanted, with a goal 
of establishing 10 breeding pairs in each of three recovery zones in 
Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming for three consecutive years.
  Well, guess what, Mr. Speaker?
  Those 66 Canadian wolves have done pretty well. In fact--and I think 
this is largely why the scientists with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife 
Service, with whom I have had many disagreements--but in this, these 
folks have come out and said: You know what? The U.S. population of 
5,500 wolves have done real well since being transplanted from Canada. 
They are not the original U.S. wolves, but from Canada. They are 
bigger, more aggressive. But there are 3,800 just in the upper Great 
Lakes, 8,000 to 11,000 in Alaska, and now 60,000 in Canada. As their 
numbers increase, so do the massive problems.

  I appreciated the anecdotal information about seeing more elk and 
moose. I would suggest, based on the rapidly escalating number of 
attacks, that you are going to see more and more elk and moose want to 
come hang around the cars so they don't get eaten by wolves. So you 
will have more and more tourists seeing elk and moose, but their 
populations are diminishing.

[[Page H9548]]

  In fact, it is rather dramatic. Wolves eat 20 pounds of meat a day 
and elk comprise 92 percent of the wolf kills during the winter. Other 
prey include moose, caribou, deer, beaver, hares, and livestock.
  In 1995, there were 19,000 elk in the northern Yellowstone herd. By 
2008, there were 5,000. That is down from 19,000. The moose herd in the 
area also dropped from more than 1,000 to somewhere around 100 to 300. 
I am sure they will get to hanging out with tourists more and more just 
to keep from getting eaten.
  Mr. Speaker, I yield such time as he may consume to the gentleman 
from Wisconsin (Mr. Gallagher).
  Mr. GALLAGHER. Mr. Speaker, I rise today in support of my colleague 
from Wisconsin, Representative Sean Duffy, and his bill, the Manage Our 
Wolves Act. This piece of legislation is critically important to my 
district and its farmers.
  You see, farming is the lifeblood of northeast Wisconsin. Not only do 
our agricultural products support thousands of local jobs, they also 
feed millions of mouths across the world. This is why so many of my 
constituents are concerned by the threat of the gray wolf population to 
our farms. Already, the gray wolf's predatory behavior has cost 
Wisconsin farmers millions of dollars in damage.
  This is why we must pass the Manage Our Wolves Act to delist the gray 
wolf from the Endangered Species Act and return control of population 
back to the States where it belongs. By doing so, farmers will finally 
be able to focus on actual farming, instead of having to spend extra 
time and money on keeping their livestock out of danger.
  I urge all of my colleagues to join me in supporting this important 
piece of legislation. Our farmers are depending on it.

                              {time}  1000

  Mr. BEYER. Mr. Speaker, I yield such time as he may consume to the 
gentleman from Arizona (Mr. Grijalva), my colleague, the ranking member 
of the Committee on Natural Resources.
  Mr. GRIJALVA. Mr. Speaker, given the fact that the Endangered Species 
Act is under unrelenting attacks by the Trump administration and House 
Republicans, it should come as no surprise that, after being out of 
session for more than 6 weeks, the first rules bill to go to the floor 
is one that continues those attacks on ESA, eliminates judicial review, 
takes the American people out of the public rulemaking process, and 
makes it easier to kill wolves.
  However, one must ask my Republican colleagues: Seriously? Do we not 
have more pressing issues to address?
  Children are still being separated from their families.
  Wildfires are blazing across California.
  There have been 311 mass shootings in our country this year.
  We have more Federal troops on the southern border than we have in 
Syria, Afghanistan, and Iraq, all patiently sitting around and looking 
for Poncho Villa's ghost to come around.
  The UN released a climate change report finding that we are in a much 
more dire state than we thought. In fact, today would have been a great 
day to permanently reauthorize the Land and Water Conservation Fund, 
which my Republican colleagues have allowed to expire twice on their 
watch, a bill with 240 bipartisan cosponsors. Instead, we are talking 
about killing wolves, a bill introduced in September with three 
  In this Congress, Republicans have introduced more than 100 bills, 
amendments, and policy riders to remove or block ESA protections for 
individual species or to weaken important provisions of a law that is 
not only hugely popular with the American people, but also conserves 
our biodiversity.
  The bill before us today, H.R. 6784, is a piece of legislation we 
have seen time and time again to undermine wolf populations in the 
United States, but this would deliver an even more devastating blow to 
the continued recovery of gray wolves across the lower 48.
  Congress should not be making decisions on which species to list or 
delist. What we need to be doing is properly funding the Fish and 
Wildlife Service to implement measures to strengthen ESA and protect 
species and their habitats from permanent extinction, given the fact 
that we are facing an ongoing extinction crisis.
  The ESA has a near perfect record of saving imperiled species. Even 
in the face of massive population growth, haphazard development, and 
pressure on ocean and coastal resources, over 99 percent of the species 
receiving protection are still surviving today.
  ESA works, and 90 percent of the American voters would agree with me.
  However, despite its incredible public support and impressive track 
record, the Trump administration and House Republicans continue to 
attack this historic environmental law and the species that it 
protects. These attacks on one of the most successful and popular 
conservation statutes in the history of the world are old, they are 
tired, and they are not fooling anyone.
  I can say with some confidence that these types of attacks on ESA 
will not be legitimized in the next Congress. Science, budget 
allocation, and protection and conservation will return as the 
prominent criteria for ESA policy--not just the resource extraction, 
industry's singular agenda.
  I urge my colleagues to vote ``no'' on this legislation.
  Mr. GOHMERT. Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. BEYER. Mr. Speaker, I yield 3 minutes to the gentleman from 
Oregon (Mr. Blumenauer).
  Mr. BLUMENAUER. Mr. Speaker, I really have appreciated sitting on the 
floor and listening to this dialogue because I think that there are 
some lessons here about getting things right. My friend from Virginia, 
my friend from Oregon have dealt with the ecological benefits of having 
apex predators to be able to restore ecological balance.
  I heard the notion of, ``Well, how would you feel if you were 
reintroducing wolves in metropolitan areas?'' and I just thought for a 
moment of listening in the past to people who are overrun with deer in 
Virginia suburbs, in Maryland suburbs. It is not just messing up their 
yards; it is killing people. We have several hundred people a year who 
are killed in collisions with deer. There are problems with chronic 
wasting disease that having an apex predator helps provide health 
benefits where you have healthier herds.
  I have watched the dynamic in Oregon, and it is complex because there 
are people who are ranching interests, there are people who are 
involved with hunting, and they want to short-circuit it, even in a 
State as ecologically and animal friendly as Oregon. It is a struggle.
  To take a step back, weakening the endangered species protections, 
substituting political judgments, I think, is inappropriate.
  I would also note no small amount of irony that, in addition to the 
notion that we should be here reauthorizing the Land and Water and 
Conservation Fund, if we want to deal with animals in the closing hours 
of this session of Congress, why aren't we dealing with a half dozen 
bills that Republicans have refused to allow us to vote on that are 
overwhelmingly supported by the public and are supported by a majority 
of our Members?
  It is, I think, doubly ironic that we are concluding where we have 
had Republican leadership forcing some of the worst animal welfare 
records. We lost two Republican incumbents with 50 years of service in 
Republican districts who had the worst animal records in Congress.
  I fought really hard to have animal welfare be a bipartisan issue. 
Taking issues like this, forcing people to make false choices that are 
bad for animals, bad for the environment--frankly, they are bad 
  I hope that we go through this charade, it goes nowhere, but deal 
with the underlying debate here about what we want in terms of 
ecological balance, animal protection, and rule of law. We will be 
better off if we do that; the species will be better off if we do that; 
and I think the politics will be cleaner and more productive.
  Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the gentleman's courtesy in allowing me to 
speak on this.
  Mr. GOHMERT. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself 1 minute.
  Mr. Speaker, I know there is a contention that gray wolves, though 
they have dramatically exploded from those 66 original wolves being 
introduced to thousands and thousands now, are not

[[Page H9549]]

a threat to people; but I would suggest to you that, not only have the 
liberals in the U.S. Government seen a need year after year to delist 
the gray wolves, but a college student named Kenton Carnegie's family 
members would suggest that, when Kenton was killed by gray wolves, the 
gray wolves were a threat to mankind; and Candice Berner, a teacher in 
Alaska who was killed while jogging, her surviving family members would 
suggest gray wolves are a threat to people.
  Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time, and I ask unanimous 
consent that time be managed by the gentleman from Arkansas (Mr. 
  The SPEAKER pro tempore (Mr. Simpson). Is there objection to the 
request of the gentleman from Texas?
  There was no objection.
  Mr. BEYER. Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the gentleman from 
Pennsylvania (Mr. Fitzpatrick).
  Mr. FITZPATRICK. Mr. Speaker, I rise today in opposition to H.R. 6784 
as this act will block vital protection for gray wolves across the 
entire Nation, protections that were implemented under the Endangered 
Species Act.
  H.R. 6784 would direct the Secretary of the Interior to issue a rule 
removing the gray wolf from the Endangered Species Act list, which 
would preclude judicial review of agency decisions on wolf delisting 
and deny citizens the right to hold the Government accountable for its 
  There is no mystery about the negative impact that passing this 
legislation would have on the gray wolf, because we have already seen 
it. In 2011, Congress used an appropriations rider to delist wolves in 
Idaho and in Montana. And since 2011, over 2,500 wolves have been 
killed in these two States where the management practices included 
shooting wolves lured by bait, chasing wolves with packs of hounds, 
using steel-jawed legholds, and using wire snare traps.
  Given these concerns, Mr. Speaker, I oppose this legislation. 
Endangered Species Act decisions must be made with caution. We should 
also be extremely bipartisan in these approaches. And if there is 
legitimate dispute over delisting, then delisting is premature and ill-
advised. That is why I oppose this legislation.
  Mr. WESTERMAN. Mr. Speaker, I have no additional speakers, and I 
reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. BEYER. Mr. Speaker, I yield 1 minute to the gentlewoman from 
Oregon (Ms. Bonamici).
  Ms. BONAMICI. Mr. Speaker, the Endangered Species Act was passed to 
increase protections for and provide for the recovery of vanishing 
  Unfortunately, in recent years we have seen countless attacks on the 
ESA and science-based decisions, and this bill is no exception. This 
bill would hastily remove Endangered Species Act protections for all 
gray wolves in the lower 48 States without a rulemaking process or the 
opportunity for judicial review.
  Although the population of gray wolves has started to recover, it is 
now only 5 percent of the number that existed historically. Scientists 
are just beginning to understand the role of gray wolves in the larger 
ecosystem, and listing and delisting decisions should be based on 
science, not politics.
  Mr. Speaker, there are so many more important things we need to be 
doing today. Today, instead of undermining the Endangered Species Act, 
we should be reauthorizing the Land and Water Conservation Fund, 
passing the Violence Against Women Act, and the list goes on.
  Mr. Speaker, I strongly urge my colleagues to oppose this bill.
  Mr. WESTERMAN. Mr. Speaker, I continue to reserve the balance of my 
  Mr. BEYER. Mr. Speaker, may I inquire how much time I have remaining.
  Mr. SIMPSON. The gentleman from Virginia has 1\1/2\ minutes 
remaining, and the gentleman from Arkansas has 8\1/2\ minutes 
  Mr. BEYER. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself the balance of my time.
  Mr. Speaker, as we have heard today, our colleagues say that this 
bill is needed to mitigate human/livestock conflict, but that claim is 
just simply not compelling. Across the country, wolves account for only 
two-tenths of 1 percent of all cattle losses. Other predators, such as 
mountain lions, coyotes, and even stray dogs account for significantly 
more livestock kills.
  My friend from Minnesota talked about his neighbor's German Shepherd 
being killed by a wolf. We have small dogs and cats killed in our 
densely urban area all the time by coyotes and by foxes, and no one is 
talking about hunting the coyotes or hunting the foxes. For example, 
out of the 3.9 million cattle deaths in 2015, coyotes and dogs combined 
killed more than 164,000 livestock, compared to the 10,000 killed by 
wolves. That is 16 times as many. Not to mention that 93 percent of all 
cattle losses are due to disease or other natural causes.
  In the northern Rockies alone, which is where we have been talking 
about today mostly, wolf depredations account for less than 1 percent 
of all livestock losses: 256 sheep and 41 cattle over an 8-year period 
of time.
  The numbers don't lie. The claims that wolves are responsible for a 
massive slaughter of livestock is simply a myth used to justify lethal 
control of these animals.
  Instead of the shoot-first-ask-questions-later mentality, there are 
lots of great farmers promoting nonlethal methods that have been 
scientifically proven to mitigate human/wolf conflicts: livestock 
guardian dogs, fencing, and reducing attractants.
  There are solutions to this problem that don't involve the 
unnecessary killing of one of the most iconic and charismatic animals, 
not just in North America, but in human imagination.
  Mr. Speaker, I yield back the balance of my time.
  Mr. WESTERMAN. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself the balance of my time.
  Mr. Speaker, as we consider this bill and we talk about the science 
behind it, again, we are basing this legislation on science, on letting 
the scientists do their jobs. This bipartisan bill is exactly, exactly 
the type of legislation that will save the Endangered Species Act.
  The ESA aspires to recover imperiled plant and animal species. The 
act was never meant to serve as a long-term management tool.
  What my colleagues across the aisle should be celebrating is this ESA 
success story. Not just once, but multiple times, U.S. Fish and 
Wildlife Service has determined the gray wolf recovered and attempted 
to delist the species.

                              {time}  1015

  We know this wasn't a partisan decision because we saw these attempts 
span multiple administrations from both sides of the aisle. Our 
experts, our very own scientists, at Fish and Wildlife Service have 
expressed to us again and again that the gray wolf is recovered and 
ready to be delisted.
  Unfortunately, instead of allowing the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service 
to focus its resources on other endangered species, litigation 
activists continue to force the agency to defend this scientifically-
driven decision and delay the delisting.
  We are nearly a decade past the agency's first attempt to delist the 
recovered gray wolf species. To continue to list a species our own 
experts have determined is recovered sends the message that the 
Endangered Species Act doesn't work.
  I appreciate the bipartisan support this bill enjoys, and I hope more 
of my colleagues across the aisle will join us in helping strengthen 
the Endangered Species Act in the long run by supporting this 
  With that, I urge adoption of this commonsense bill, and I yield back 
the balance of my time.
  Mr. SENSENBRENNER. Mr. Speaker, I rise today in support of this 
bipartisan legislation. The Endangered Species Act helps species 
recover, and let me tell you, it works. In 1980, there were 25 wolves 
in Wisconsin. Recently, that number grew to 232 wolf packs--roughly 900 
  Now that the wolf population is recovered, states must be allowed to 
take over management. The rising wolf population means livestock and 
hunting dogs fall prey to attacks, and as long as federal protections 
remain in place, Wisconsinites cannot protect their property.
  Mr. Speaker, I support H.R. 6784 because, outside of dire 
circumstances, states are the most effective managers of wildlife and 
the policies affecting state residents. This legislation restores power 
to states, and I hope all my colleagues join me in voting for it.

  The SPEAKER pro tempore. All time for debate has expired.

[[Page H9550]]

  Pursuant to House Resolution 1142, the previous question is ordered 
on the bill.
  The question is on the engrossment and third reading of the bill.
  The bill was ordered to be engrossed and read a third time, and was 
read the third time.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Pursuant to clause 1(c) of rule XIX, further 
consideration of H.R. 6784 is postponed.