A plan to effectively remove the gray wolf from the federal endangered species list has been successfully added to a larger U.S. House appropriations bill.
The House voted to attach the amendment to legislation funding for the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of the Interior.
Washington Representatives Dan Newhouse and Cathy McMorris Rodgers, as well as Oregon Congressman Greg Walden, supported the measure, which would pull funding for endangered species protections for wolves.
The larger appropriations bill has not yet received a final vote in the House.
In Oregon and Washington, gray wolves in the western two-thirds of each state are listed as federal endangered species. Recently, the state of Oregon removed the wolf from the state endangered species list and are managing the recovery under the Oregon Wolf Plan.
Walden says the measure would streamline wolf management in Oregon.
“We need to get to a single management strategy where we have local control under the Oregon state plan,” he said in a video statement.
The Oregon Wolf Plan is up for review this year. And environmental groups are currently challenging the state of Oregon’s recent decision to delist the gray wolf in Oregon.
Oregon officials estimate there were at least 110 gray wolves in the state at the end of 2015.
Livestock depredations continue to be a contentious issue. But despite a nearly 40 percent increase in wolf population from 2014 to 2015, the number of livestock killed decreased.