How do elected leaders make decisions about wolves?

The leaders we elect are very important. Each branch of government has a role to play in wolf management.

Federal Government

Each branch of the federal government makes and enforces laws that apply to all states.  

President
> Appoint staff to federal agencies, such as the Department of the Interior and U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, that oversee wolf management
> Sign or veto bills to list or delist wolves as an endangered species

U.S. Senate
> Confirm or reject the President’s appointments to agencies that oversee wolf management
> Pass wolf bills to list or delist wolves as an endangered species

U.S. House of Representatives
> Pass wolf bills to list or delist wolves as an endangered species

Follow along with the Endangered Species Act (ESA) that paved the way for the reintroduction of wolves to Yellowstone and protection of wolves in the lower 48 states. Once wolves are delisted from the ESA, then state governments take control over wolf management.

U.S. CONGRESS
> U.S. Senate approved ESA
> U.S. House of Representatives approved ESA

PRESIDENT
> President Nixon signed ESA in December 1973 > Federal Law to Protect Wolves


ONCE WOLVES ARE DELISTED AS ENDANGERED SPECIES > STATE GOVERNMENT TAKES OVER WOLF MANAGEMENT

State Government

Once wolves are delisted, each branch of state government makes and enforces laws that apply within that state.

Governor
> Appoint staff to state agencies that oversee wolf management
> Sign or veto state wolf population management bills

State Senate
> Confirm or reject the Governor’s appointments to state agencies that oversee wolf management
> Pass state wolf management bills and resolutions

State House of Representatives/Assembly
> Pass state wolf management bills and resolutions

Follow along with what happened recently in Montana. Wolves were first delisted in Montana in 2011, and since then, thousands of wolves have been needlessly slaughtered. Then, in 2021, the Montana State Government passed new state laws to encourage even more killing.

STATE LEGISLATURE

> Montana Senate approved wolf killing bills in 2021
> Montana House of Representatives approved wolf killing bills in 2021

GOVERNOR
> Gov. Greg Gianforte signed wolf killing bills in 2021

NEW STATE LAWS THAT ENCOURAGE MORE WOLF KILLING
- Wolf Snaring (HB 224)
- Longer Wolf Trapping Season (HB 225)
- Wolf Bounties (SB 267)
- Baiting Wolves, Unlimited Killing, and Light/Night Vision on Private Land (SB 314)