House GOP Efforts to Strip ESA Protections from Grizzly Bears and Wolves.

House GOP Efforts to Strip ESA Protections from Grizzly Bears and Wolves.

Earthjustice tweeted March 24th,

“The House held a hearing yesterday on bills to delist grizzlies and gray wolves, an attempt to destroy the safety net the Endangered Species Act provides.”

An article on  said a Wyoming state Fish and Game official, Brian Nesvik testified in support of a bill sponsored by U.S. Representative and Trump-devotee Harriet Hageman to delist federally protected grizzly bears in the greater Yellowstone area. At the hearing in front of a  House Committee on Natural Resources subcommittee Hageman said “environmental litigants have been holding farmers, ranchers and the government hostage to their demands and for the purpose of protecting their own pocketbooks….Wyoming is done waiting on the federal government when the science has said for a long time that it’s time to act.”

Meanwhile, Lauren Boebert, another Republican fascist U.S. representative known for spreading lies about Biden’s “stolen election”, hate toward gay people and Black politicians in public comments, spreading anti-Covid vaccine BS, trying to eliminate the separation of church and state, and attacking the Paris agreements to combat climate change, has brought forward HR 764.

Boebert has in typical Orwellian doublespeak fashion, deemed this the “Trust the Science Act”. It would reinstate a Trump regime decision delisting  wolves throughout the U.S.

Leaving aside for a second that Boebert and other fascists of her ilk wouldn’t recognize, understand or act based on actual science if it bit them on the butt, what is the point of these GOP attacks on endangered species and their eschewal of climate science and efforts to recognize and combat the extinction crisis?

Some ask, in  part correctly, “are they just hateful of any living thing unless it’s a Bible toting, gun-loving, Trump-adoring, white supremacist”. Yes, part of the point is to spread hatefulness toward the very things most of the people who have compassion and love in their hearts for others and for the natural world cherish. Yes, part of the picture is to try to generate hate, resentment and a passion for revenge among the fascist base of the GOP and to appeal to and bring in segments of the white population in the west especially -state’s rights thinkers, , anti-government types, hunters and ranchers, right wing Christians, etc. At the same time to advance an agenda aimed at overcoming any efforts to protect the environment and its species.

A big part of the reason for this is to defend the interests of,  and fight to attain a society where there are no limits or regulations governing expansion of corporate power and profit-making, and no limits or government regulations restraining unmitigated feasting on earth’s resources. Part of the point is to try to further unleash a gleeful bloodlust toward any forces such as progressives, radicals or environmentalists, or even government officials who would stand in the way of achieving this type of  “human dominion” over nature.

More overarchingly, the point is to channel and mobilize this resentment toward achievement of a fascist society where white people are dominant over non-white, immigrants suppressed, women are subservient to men, where “liberal” ideas, thought and movements  such as teaching the history of racial oppression in the U.S. or environmental defense or opposition to white-supremacist/Christian fascist rule, are thoroughly suppressed if not outright crushed.

Some may so, “oh, Lauren Boebert and Marjorie Taylor Greene, etc. are too stupid to have such a thought out agenda”. Their intelligence or lack there-of isn’t the point. They do have a mobilizing passion for such a society and world and are out to try to achieve it in connection with the whole Republi-fascist GOP. People also said Hitler was a buffoon and crazy fool.

The full picture of the ACTUAL science and history, and current situation of wolves and grizzly bears and the importance of their role as apex predators in natural ecosystems, is beyond the scope of what I can do here, though I hope to dig more into this in future pieces.

Just to say briefly, according to a Montana Public Radio report, grizzly populations declined from 50,000 to 1,000 until they were protected by the ESA in 1975. Their habitat had shrunk to 2% of it’s original extent.

For wolves, according to the Center for Biological Diversity, “By the 1960s gray wolves were finally protected under the predecessor law to the Endangered Species Act. They’d been exterminated from all the contiguous United States except Michigan’s Isle Royale National Park and part of Minnesota.” There has been an important and significant comeback of wolves under federal ESA protections in many areas and states. The story of the battle over wolves is long and complex, but the CBD says despite this recovery, “Yet today wolves occupy less than 10% of their historic range and continue to face persecution.”

Reinstituting state control over decisions on endangered species has proven a means to unleash a bloodbath wiping out predators. In Wyoming, Utah, and Montana state control over wolf hunts in 2021-22 resulted in slaughter of 500 wolves, including 20% of the wolves that sometimes ranged outside Yellowstone National Park. Allowed to make decisions on these type of decisions, would mean the almost complete, or possibly complete,  extinction of these species which are so wondrous and crucial to functioning natural ecosystems. They would go the same way they were headed, toward elimination, before the ESA stopped it.

As Earth Justice’s tweet concludes, “In #ESA50 anniversary, we must restore and strengthen the ESA to confront the extinction crisis.”





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