Democratic Sens. Max Baucus and Jon Tester and Republican Rep. Denny Rehberg voiced their support Friday for Interior Secretary Ken Salazar’s decision to back the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s position that Montana gray wolves should be removed from the federal endangered species list. Several lawsuits, however, are certain to stand in the way of immediate delisting.
“I’m pleased with Secretary Salazar’s decision to move ahead with the gray wolf delisting in Montana. This is great news. The decision puts wolf management back into the hands folks who know best: Montanans. As we move forward, we must ensure we continue to protect both our outdoor heritage and the livelihood of the ranchers who call Big Sky Country home. And I’m confident we will find solutions that work for all Montanans.” – Sen. Max Baucus
“I have always supported delisting, and this is good news. We need to support folks working together on the ground in Montana on our smart wolf management plan. I applaud my friend Secretary Salazar, and I will continue my work to pass the bipartisan “Wolf Kill” bill to support Montana’s wolf management efforts on behalf of our ranching families and communities.” – Sen Jon Tester
“I was overjoyed to learn that President Obama heeded the concerns voiced in my letter requesting rapid action on the delisting of wolves as an endangered species in Montana. As a rancher, I know first-hand the frustrations many Montanans have felt over the continued unnecessary federal management of wolves, and that’s why I asked the President to uphold the previous delisting decision. By all accounts, the gray wolf populations in Montana have far surpassed their recovery goals, and it’s well past time for state agencies to assume control over wolf management.” – Rep. Denny Rehberg
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