A bipartisan bill sponsored by U.S. Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyoming, would solidify the delisting of gray wolves in the state and expand protections for sportsmen while also reauthorizing several environmental protection acts.
“The HELP Wildlife Act promotes conservation based on sound science and provides needed protections for America’s sportsmen,” Barrasso said in a statement last week. The state’s junior senator is chairman of the Environment and Public Works committee.
A U.S. appeals court on Friday lifted protections that kept gray wolves an endangered specie…
A federal court lifted protections for Wyoming’s gray wolves in March. A lower court had previously agreed to uphold those protections, despite a 2011 decision by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service that the wolves were no longer endangered in Wyoming.
The HELP Act would require the Interior Department to reissue that 2011 rule and would bar courts from overturning it.
It would also restore a decision delisting gray wolves in the western Great Lakes region.
The act is backed by a group of both Republican and Democratic senators. It will reauthorize five environmental laws through 2023, including the North American Wetlands Conservation Act and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation Act.
Sen. Ben Cardin, D-Maryland, said in a statement that the bill’s support for those acts shows congressional backing for environmental protections that President Donald Trump’s administration has expressed skepticism about in its federal budget proposal.
“I urge appropriators to take note of the bipartisan support for authorizing these programs, despite the president’s lack of understanding of their worthiness,” Cardin said.
But the Center for Biological Diversity harshly criticized the legislation, suggesting that the Democratic