Because of hunting and habitat loss, gray wolves were almost entirely wiped out in the U.S. at the beginning of the 20th century. Protections from the ESA (passed in 1973) helped gray wolves slowly start to come back.
"Wolves that have just begun to recover — in states like Oregon, Washington, Michigan, Wisconsin, and every other state they’re beginning to expand — would lose lifesaving protections," Leda Huta, executive director of the Endangered Species Coalition (ESC), said in a statement.
Also worrying for many conservationists is another part of the bill, which would make it impossible for ordinary citizens to challenge the decision in court.
"Ordinary Americans like you and I would be kept from exercising our right to ask the courts to step in," Huta added. "This proposed legislation is an attack on wolves, on the science that is allowing them to recover, and on the law."