HOWL Colorado

Jon Tester says he will keep fighting, but senate democrats resist

[large thumbnail url=”jon-tester-says-he-will-keep-fighting-but-senate-democrats-resist” filename=”news” year=”2011″ month=”04″ day=”04″] [thumbnail icon url=”jon-tester-says-he-will-keep-fighting-but-senate-democrats-resist” filename=”news” year=”2011″ month=”04″ day=”04″]┬áMontana’s senator Jon Tester stood in front of his hunting friend over the weekend and said that regardless of the court settlement he will continue to seek a legislative declaration that wolves are biologically recovered, but he has a powerful opposition in the Senate.

According to the Missoulian, Montana senator, Jon Tester, appeared in front of the Hellgate Hunters and Anglers Club on Saturday, April 2. He told his audience that he was happy that the proposed court settlement currently in front of Judge Molloy would return management to Montana and Idaho, but he also said he would continue fighting to pass legislation which would declare wolves as biologically recovered and remove them permanently from the Endangered Species list – and preventing judicial overview of the passage of the law (a condition that begs constitutional review).

The proposed court settlement, submitted by ten different wolf-advocacy groups, would return wolf management to the states in Idaho and Montana, but would also include the establishment of a panel of scientists which would then review the current recovery goals and potentially adjust them.

The legislative solution which Tester is relying on is attached as a rider to a budget bill which must be passed by April 8 in order to avoid a shutdown of the Federal government. However, there is a significant opposition to the passage of the bill with environmental- and conservation policy-gutting riders intact.

Senate majority leader, Harry Reid, said when talking to reporters on a conference call on Friday that no riders forcing policy changes to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency would survive the Senate or the White House. As part of that observation, he also implied that riders which would amend conservation will also be stricken from the House bill during senate review.

However, the entire situation is a game of chicken. The EPA changes are a pivotal issue which House Speaker John Boehner appears willing to fight over – with an imminent and worrying deadline. However, it is unclear how much the House Republicans would fight to reinsert the anti-wolf rider should the Senate Democrats strip it from the current bill. The prevention of judicial review and the pending court settlement may be sufficient to make the rider a bitter pill for most republicans who may elect to fight for a more politically – read spending cuts – supportable position.

The next four days will be full of deal making, and it’s really important that wolf advocates make their voices heard with their senators and representatives. ┬áMake the anti-wolf rider as bitter as possible and make it so neither side wants to take on the wolf fight with the additional pressures of a budget-related government shutdown.

The worst thing that can happen for wolves right now is that politicians simply let the rider through due to lack of apparent interest.

Related stories

Associated Press article from the Washington Post: Lawmakers to keep pressing wolf bills despite settlement between wolf advocates and government

Missoulian article: Tester tells Missoula hunters, anglers group he won’t back down on wolves

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