Idaho Rep. Mike Simpson got his rider delisting wolves in Idaho and Montana into the budget bill that prevented the government shutdown Friday.
Simpson, chairman of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior and the Environment, had included the wolf provision in the original House budget resolution that ended up being negotiated in the long talks between the House and the Senate that ended Friday. Simpson’s original wolf provision would reinstate the 2009 decision by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to delist the gray wolf in Idaho and Montana. But the new language — and the final budget resolution bill — won’t be finished until later this week.
On Saturday, U.S. District Judge Donald Molloy of Missoula rejected a settlement between 10 environmental groups and the Obama administration that would have removed wolves from the endangered-species list and allowed Idaho and Montana to resume state management of wolf populations, which included hunting seasons. He said he did not have authority to return wolves to Idaho and Montana state management in part because all 13 groups that sued did not agree to the settlement.
“Molloy’s ruling demonstrates why Congressman Simpson’s language is so necessary to address this issue for the West,” said Nikki Watts, Simpson’s press secretary.
Read the full story at idahostatesman.com.