If this legislation prevails, Henry maintains, wolves will be the target of sport hunters, trappers or government-controlled killing programs alike in these states.
How did we get here?
"Let's take a step back," Brett Hartl, endangered species policy director at the Center for Biological Diversity, told The Dodo.
"Gray wolf recovery in the U.S. has been very patchy. There have been a few places where [the species has] done well, mainly the northern Rockies and the Great Lakes. But by the year 2000, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) said 'that was enough' in terms of where we need to have wolves in the lower 48, and since then, FWS has tried to delist the wolves from the Endangered Species Act (ESA) and those protections."
Hartl argues that FWS has tried to repeatedly remove wolves' protections "piecemeal" and "every time they have done that, the courts have said, 'No, that's not how the ESA works because you have to recover the wolf in its historic habitat.'"
However, in 2011, Congress intervened, and delisted the wolf in Idaho and Montana.