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HomeTammy BaldwinTammy Baldwin Endangers Wisconsin Gray Wolf Hunt With 'Poison Pill' Bill

Tammy Baldwin Endangers Wisconsin Gray Wolf Hunt With ‘Poison Pill’ Bill


This is a classic U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin move: Wisconsin’s Senator “Do Nothing” takes a public relations position that makes it sound like she’s for a moderate position that Wisconsinites care about, and then makes sure the bill has a quiet poison pill that ensures it won’t happen. That’s exactly what she’s done with delisting the Wisconsin gray wolf from the endangered species list.

Baldwin proposed a bill that makes it sound like she is for delisting the gray wolf. However, her version does not contain a ban on judicial review, such as that favored by Republican Wisconsin Congressman Tom Tiffany.

“Senator Baldwin’s bill has a couple of weaknesses,” Tiffany said. “For instance, it does not cover the entire United States, and it also does not protect the delisting from judicial activism. There’s a better alternative – the Trust the Science Act – that I introduced alongside Rep. Boebert to delist the gray wolf in the lower 48 and ensure that action is not subject to judicial review. I encourage Senator Baldwin to support it.”

In practical reality, allowing judicial review means a judge, say in California, is likely to just invalidate the whole gray wolf hunt. Baldwin surely knows this. Her bill allows this. The reason can likely be found in the pressure she has gotten on the wolves from left-wing environmental activists and Native American tribes.

“I will note that without text to prevent the rule from judicial review, we will end up in the same position we are currently in where activist judges can unilaterally relist the gray wolf. This leaves rural communities bouncing back & forth between federal listings and de-listings. Wolf management belongs in states’ hands,” Tiffany’s spokeswoman told Wisconsin Right Now.

This matters to Wisconsin farmers – a lot – because they’re losing livestock and dogs to the wolves.

According to the Associated Press, the wolves sometimes attack pets and livestock. See the list of wolf depredations in Wisconsin for 2013 here.

Here we unpack, and expose, how Tammy Baldwin is actually endangering Wisconsin’s gray wolf hunt while pretending to be for it.

Tom Tiffany’s Gray Wolf Bill

Tiffany and Representative Lauren Boebert, also a Republican, introduced the “Trust the Science Act.” It passed out of the House Natural Resources Committee on a party-line vote and is now waiting to be brought to the House floor, his office tells us.

It ensures that gray wolves are delisted in the lower 48 United States. According to their press release, the bill would require following “the scientific recommendation of wildlife experts that the gray wolf should be removed from the Endangered Species List and that gray wolf populations should be managed by states instead of one-size-fits-all federal government regulation.”

“This bill also includes a specific section ensuring that the reissuance of the final rule will not be subject to judicial review by activist judges, like the California judge, who vacated the rule in 2020 and unilaterally relisted the gray wolf by judicial fiat,” Tiffany’s office explained to Wisconsin Right Now.

“It’s a scientific fact that the gray wolf has recovered well past its recovery goal. Saying otherwise undermines the purpose of the Endangered Species Act. This is a true recovery success story, and it’s past time to give states the reins to control their wolf populations,” Tiffany said in a news release.

“Congressman Tiffany also filed an amendment to the Interior appropriations bill that ensures the reissuance of the final rule on the gray wolf shall not be subject to judicial review,” Tiffany’s spokeswoman told us.

Text: SEC. 3. “NO JUDICIAL REVIEW. Reissuance of the final rule under section 2 shall not be subject to judicial review.”

Tammy Baldwin’s Poison Pill Gray Wolf Bill

Baldwin introduced a competing bill called the “Northern Great Lakes Wolf Recovery Act.” No further action has been taken on the bill, which would only delist the gray wolf population in Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.

Notably, though, the text does not prevent the final rule from going through judicial review.

Furthermore, U.S. Senator Ron Johnson (R-Wisconsin) reintroduced legislation that would not allow judicial review of the gray wolf delisting. But Baldwin, who was listed on it last time, is not on it anymore.

Instead, she introduced her own bill, the “Northern Great Lakes Wolf Recovery Act” without any text preventing judicial review.

Jessica McBride
Jessica's opinions on this website and all WRN and personal social media pages, including Facebook and X, represent her own opinions and not those of the institution where she works. Jessica McBride, a Wisconsin Right Now contributor, is a national award-winning journalist and journalism educator with more than 25 years in journalism. Jessica McBride’s journalism career started at the Waukesha Freeman newspaper in 1993, covering City Hall. She was an investigative, crime, and general assignment reporter for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel for a decade. Since 2004, she has taught journalism at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Her work has appeared in many news outlets, including (where she is a contributor reaching millions of readers per month),, WTMJ, WISN, WUWM,,, Milwaukee Magazine, Nightline, El Conquistador Latino Newspaper, Japanese and German television, Channel 58, Reader’s Digest, Twist (magazine), Wisconsin Public Radio, BBC, Wisconsin Policy Research Institute, and others. 

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