(KCPW News) Utah Representative Jim Matheson is co-sponsoring a Texas congressman’s bill to permanently remove the gray wolf from the endangered species list, allowing states to manage their own wolf populations. But what’s wrong with the federal government managing wolves?
“The answer is: the management isn’t happening,” he says. “The different states had come up with their own plans that met the initial requirements that the Fish and Wildlife Service had set, and now people have moved the goalposts again on what the recovery numbers ought to be, and I think this is an approach that hasn’t worked.”
Matheson is troubled by declining deer, moose and elk populations in Montana, Idaho and Wyoming, which he says hurts rural economies.
And he wants to protect Utah’s growing game numbers.
“There’s been this wonderful effort to restore those populations and work on habitat protection to make that happen, and so there’s an effort to protect that, and that’s why it’s important to Utah,” says Matheson.
The wolf had already been de-listed in some states, until a recent federal court ruling. Utah Congressman Jason Chaffetz is also backing the bill.