(The Center Square) - The plan to send wolf management back to the states took a step forward at the U.S. Capitol last week.
Congressman Tom Tiffany, R-Wisc., said the House Natural Resources Committee approved the Trust the Science Act he has co-sponsored on Friday.
"It's a scientific fact that the gray wolf population has met and exceeded recovery goals, and it's time to celebrate this success by returning wolf management back to where it belongs, in states' hands," Tiffany said in a statement.
Tiffany is one of several Republicans on Capitol Hill who want to allow individual states to manage their wildlife.
Tiffany's proposal deals with wolves, but there are similar proposals that would deal with grizzly bears in western states like Montana and Wyoming.
Congresswoman Lauren Boebert, R-Colo., is a co-sponsor on Tiffany's wolf plan.
"I am thrilled that the House Committee on Natural Resources trusted the nonpartisan science and passed Rep. Tiffany's and my bill so we can finally delist the recovered gray wolf and focus scarce taxpayer funding on endangered species that actually need help being recovered," Boebert said. "The science is clear, the gray wolf is fully recovered, and it is time for the federal government to get out of the way and allow state and tribal wildlife agencies to manage this species."
Tiffany went a step further, and blamed environmental groups for the wolf's spot in limbo.
"Activists endanger the Endangered Species Act by not removing species, like the gray wolf, when they have recovered," Tiffany added.
Gray wolves were first added to the Endangered Species List in the early 1970s. Former President Donald Trump ordered them delisted in 2020, but a judge in California last year restored federal protections for the wolves in most states.
In Wisconsin, Gov. Tony Evers' Department of Natural Resources is working on a new wolf management plan that would limit hunting and trapping in the state. That plan has not yet been finalized, and many of the details remain unclear.
Tiffany and Boebert's wolf plan next heads for a vote in the House of Representatives. Politicos expect it faces an uphill climb in the Democratic-majority Senate.