Orrin Hatch Reintroduces Wolf Legislation

Bill already has opposition in the Senate

Yesterday, Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT) reintroduced a bill (S.249) described as “[a] bill to amend the Endangered Species Act of 1973 to provide that Act shall not apply to any gray wolf (Canis lupus).” This, in effect, could lead to the eradication of wolves anyplace in the U.S. especially in areas such as the Northern Rockies and those Mexican Gray Wolves in Arizona and New Mexico.

The legislation has opposition which means that it is unlikely to pass the Democratically controlled Senate. Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, and Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD), Chairman of the Water and Wildlife Subcommittee, made the following statement on the legislation:

“The Endangered Species Act is one of the nation’s landmark environmental laws and has protected iconic species like the bald eagle. The Act, which unanimously passed the Senate and was signed into law by President Nixon, relies on the best available science to make decisions about how to protect the nation’s threatened and endangered species.

Legislation introduced today that completely and irreversibly removes the Gray Wolf from the list of threatened and endangered species sets a dangerous precedent that undermines the Endangered Species Act and threatens the continued existence of the Gray Wolf across this country.

We objected to moving similar legislation on the floor of the Senate in December of last year, and we remain just as opposed today. But we also look forward to working with our colleagues on an approach that follows the science, addresses the concerns of local communities, and upholds the integrity of the Endangered Species Act.”

Sen. Orrin Hatch Reintroduces Legislation to Empower Utah and Other Western States to Manage Wolf Populations
By: Kramer Phillips – The State Column



, ,



  1. Mtn Mama Avatar
    Mtn Mama

    Is this the same legislation proposed by Montana Rep. Denny Rehberg? Seems very similar in context.

    1. Ken Cole Avatar

      It does pretty much the same thing.

  2. jdubya Avatar

    Good luck trying to talk “science” with Hatch. It is not in his lexicon unless it comes with a substantial donation for his re-election campaign.

  3. Kayla Avatar

    This bill by Orrin Hatch will not make it thru Congress and if it does, do think that Obama will Veto It! So there is no use even debating about it Now personally am Political Independant but I sure do NOT like Orrin Hatch. All I can say for him is, ‘Good Grief!’.

    1. william huard Avatar
      william huard

      With the word he might get challenged by the SH&^baggers on the right, expect more hairbrained legislative efforts from good old Orrin. He’s almost up there with Mr Mccain for 180 degree turns- you know- being against stuff that you were previously for and possibly co- sponsored. I would love to see more Delaware’s in 2012

  4. skyrim Avatar

    My dearly departed Grandfather would refer to Mr. Hatch as an “Old Mossback”. I affectionatly refer to him as I have for most of the 100 years he’s been planted in DC, as Anal Hatch. Yup, I’m a Utahn.

    1. william huard Avatar
      william huard

      You mean he’s only 100? I thought he was about 125

  5. Immer Treue Avatar
    Immer Treue

    Perhaps it’s just a matter of being on a site that deals with wildlife, outdoors, wolves and ecology, and it’s a hot topic item, but are there more pressing needs in the RM states than wolves?

    1. Brian Ertz Avatar

      biologically speaking, there are certainly priorities which would could be argued to be more pressing. everyone might have a different idea, but as far as watershed/”game-changing” progress i’d say that getting sage-grouse listed, or other protections for “umbrella species” that cover wide swaths of landscape has the potential to curtail our destructive relationship with western lands and wildlife to a large degree. these existing legal channels are pretty much where opportunity resides at this point.

      many of these things are relatively ‘less-than’ charismatic as far as public salience — unfortunately, we’re in a nightmare economy, any political/social scientist will tell you that people’s care about the environment in such an economic climate dramatically declines — so wolves social/political salience – it’s ability to elevate conversation about conservation issues, is a welcome opportunity for environmental advocates to articulate that, and other things – in this extremely hostile political environment. i think it’s important that this opportunity be used.

      1. Immer Treue Avatar
        Immer Treue


        Perhaps my question was poorly worded, but my intent was mistaken.

        My point was don’t the politicians, Hatch etal, have more pressing needs for their states than delisting wolves. I am all for environmental advocacy for wolves and other wildlife. One of the reasons I have happily happened upon the Wildlife News site.

      2. wolf moderate Avatar
        wolf moderate


        I also thought you had a change of heart. Was worried about ya Immer 🙂

      3. Immer Treue Avatar
        Immer Treue

        Wolf Mod,

        Not to worry, I’m probably more entrenched than I ever have been for wolves. I do realize it is a tough situation for wolves, and we will lose quite a few of them only because they do what, well, comes natural to them.

        I’m not anti-hunting, and everyone I know who went into wolf country got their deer or elk. I’m sure that many hunters will have to change some of their old ways…
        I do have empathy for ranchers who are really having predation problems, but then perhaps those in the most trouble because of wolves have been teetering on the edge for a while. To be sure, I’m not in their boots.

        There have been a lot of folks in this country who have had to change what they do for a living. Think of the jobs and way of life lost by those in the auto, steel, mining, and airline industry’s to name a few.

        So, back to my point, a huge national debt, unemployment so high, getting people back to work, and a housing market that has been staggered(a house was one asset the common working person could depend on) I find it ludicrous politicians are spending so much of their time on wolves.

      4. wolf moderate Avatar
        wolf moderate

        I’m a supposed libertarian, so I hope the govt just stays out of pretty much everything. I don’t want to see the “lost decade” happen to the USA as it did to Japan, due to government interference.

        Maybe the buffalo and wolf situations will keep them occupied, so they don’t meddle with the economy.

  6. jon Avatar

    Hatch needs to retire. He’s also a liar.Utah has a very small wolf population.


    1. Christopher Harbin Avatar
      Christopher Harbin

      I don’t think Utah has a wolf population, period. I know of the Yellowstone Wolf, the “gimpy” wolf, spent a week or two vacationing there and was sent packing. Anyone heard anything different?

      1. timz Avatar

        Why on earth would any living creature vacation in Utah?

      2. JimT Avatar

        It isn’t Utah’s fault that it has some of the most unique, breathtaking, amazing geography in the world…And there are folks..ie, Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance, Great Broads for Wilderness…that are fighting the good fight…Those of us who do not live there need to support these folks…

  7. WM Avatar

    And the radical “solutions” will continue to unfold as legislators continue to work the issue rather than find a solution in the middle.

  8. Dean Malencik Avatar
    Dean Malencik

    Hatch is worried about a primary challenge from a Teapary member. Recall how is cohort Bennet was defeated by Lee. Hatch will stakeout the most extreme postions in order to show the Teapary primary Republican voters that he can be as hard-nosed as they want him to be. This is Utah after all; no need to worry about this planet since each member of the LDS will inherit a separate universe.

  9. Ralph Maughan Avatar

    Dean Malencik,

    You are spot on in your analysis.

    I was born and raised as a Latter Day Saint, but lost interest in my 20s when I perceived that you were pretty much required to be quiet about politics unless you were going to be a Republican.

    Although the Church’s “general authorities” frequently issue statements about their partisan neutrality, the reality on the ground is that the lay ministry excepts Republicanism. This is getting to be quite a problem in my estimation as the Republicans become more and more hostile to education and the concepts of Christian brotherhood and charity, embracing instead a kind of social Darwinism.

    1. Elk275 Avatar


      ++I was born and raised as a Latter Day Saint, but lost interest in my 20s ++

      Did you go on a mission? I have meet a number of LDS who lost interest after they completed they mission.

    2. Salle Avatar

      A kind of “coerced” Darwinism.

    3. JimT Avatar

      Ralph, you should talk to Terry Tempest Williams….

  10. Dean Malencik Avatar
    Dean Malencik

    I grew up in Utah. When I was school age 60 years ago, Utah had the second highest educational level in the USA. Education and faith are intertwined and one that is educated must finally ask the question “is my faith reasonable”. The church fathers began to understand this and in the final analysis education was given secondary standing. Today Utah ranks near the bottom 40% of the states in educational level. Faith seeking understanding in Utah is not desirable to the heirarchy.

  11. Salle Avatar

    When trying to control a population, they can’t be smarter than the controllers.


Ken Cole is a 5th generation Idahoan, an avid fly fisherman, wildlife enthusiast, and photographer. He is the interim Idaho Director for Western Watersheds Project.

We do not accept unsolicited “guest” authors or advertising.

Subscribe to get new posts right in your Inbox

Ken Cole