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A recent decision by a federal judge in Washington, D.C. will reinstate protections for the gray wolf in Wyoming under the Endangered Species Act. The decision came after Wyoming’s state wolf management plan was challenged by environmental groups. Wyoming’s congressional delegation, U.S. Senators Mike Enzi and John Barrasso, and U.S. Representative Cynthia Lummis, were disappointed by parts of the ruling but encouraged by Wyoming’s decision to keep fighting to manage its own wildlife.

“Ever since the federal government decided to reintroduce wolves into Wyoming, our state has had to fight for the right to manage these predators which are regularly a problem for outfitters, ranchers and game populations,” said Enzi. “This isn’t a new issue. It’s gone back and forth for decades. I trust Wyoming wildlife managers over environmental groups and Washington judges for how to best manage our state’s wildlife. Those closest to the problem have a better understanding of how to manage it, and I’d encourage those who think wolves need more federal protections to spend a day in the field with ranchers and outfitters to see the impact of wolves up close and personal.”

“Wyoming is in the best position to manage the wolf, not Washington,” said Barrasso. “Wyoming has honored its commitment and put together a solid and working plan to protect the state’s wolf population. I made that clear to U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Director Dan Ashe today. I support the Governor’s efforts to address issues raised by the court, and look forward to working with the State to finally resolve this issue once and for all.”

“Wyoming has a winning record on species management, including the wolf even after it was foisted upon Wyoming by the federal government," said Rep. Lummis. “This record speaks volumes about the expertise and trustworthiness of Wyoming’s wildlife management and shows that there is no justification for the doubt that a Washington judge and animal rights groups have in Wyoming. The people who live in these places see and understand the issues far better than a judge thousands of miles away reading a piece of paper. I look forward to working with the rest of our delegation and our governor to protect Wyoming's balanced and science-based wolf management plan.”

“These lawsuits and those who bring them, use the Endangered Species Act as a club to beat down state management plans that have been worked on and developed with input by all stakeholders. It’s an abuse of the law and another clear example for why the Endangered Species Act needs to be fixed,” added Enzi.