GOP-Controlled House Passes Bill To Nix Wolf Protections

Photo by Andy Feliciotti on Unsplash

( – On Tuesday, April 30, the GOP-controlled House passed a bill that would stop the gray wolf from being considered an endangered species with protections in nearly all US states. The decision has prompted backlash from conservationists.

The bill, which was sponsored by Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-Colo.), managed to pass through the House in a 209-205 vote, along partisan lines. The Senate will now consider the bill.

On Monday, the White House expressed opposition to the bill and indicated that it was likely that President Joe Biden would veto it if it ended up landing in his office.

In October 2020, former President Donald Trump took away the protected species status from gray wolves. This status had been granted to the species in the 1970s after they went almost extinct across the United States. 

In February 2022, a federal judge restored the protections. During the lapse in protections, many wolves were lost. Those in favor of protection have argued that the predators are the embodiment of the American wilderness, while those against the protection have argued that the wolves pose a threat to ranchers and their work.

Prior to European colonizers taking on the efforts of eradicating the wolves in America, there were a quarter of a million wolves that existed freely. The campaigns to destroy the species continued in the 20th century and resulted in the species almost being completely killed off throughout the US, outside of Alaska. Nowadays, there are around 5,000 gray wolves in the continental United States, and critics are concerned that this progress will take a hit if the protections are removed.

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