Wilson, Wolves - Society and Natural Resources, 19:863870...

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Policy Review Forward to the Past: Wolves in the Northern Rockies and the Future of ESA Politics PATRICK IMPERO WILSON Departments of Political Science, Conservation Social Science, University of Idaho, Moscow, Idaho, USA As the 30th birthday of the Endangered Species Act (ESA) passes and the act moves toward middle age, it is possible to discern a new generation of ESA-related issues. One of these is the management of the small number of species that have recovered or will recover to the point where they can be delisted. The delisting of some species raises two important questions that are the focus of this article. First, how will the delisting of species affect the relationship between state governments and the federal government? Second, how will state efforts to manage delisted spe- cies seek a balance between utilitarian and ecological values? This article examines the planned delisting of the gray wolf in the northern Rocky Mountains and three state management plans (Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming). It argues that the com- promises entailed in these management plans suggest a sense of the future direction of the politics of species conservation. Keywords delisted, endangered species, ESA, politics, state governments, wolves As the 30th birthday of the Endangered Species Act (ESA) passes and the act moves toward middle age, it remains perhaps the most controversial of legislation of its gen- eration. Despite the controversy, which often makes dispassionate discussion of the Act’s merits and shortcomings difficult, it is possible after 30 years to discern some of a new generation of ESA-related issues. One of these is the management of the small number of species that have recovered or will recover to the point they can be delisted—the ESA-mandated protections removed. The delisting of some species raises two important questions that are the focus of this article. First, how will the delisting of species affect the relationship between state governments and the federal government—the institutional context of ESA policymaking? The ESA was the culmination of a marked increase in federal govern- ment authority to determine natural resource management priorities, particularly in the public lands of the western United States, and it continues to be a source of Received 3 February 2005; accepted 11 November 2005. An earlier version of this article was presented at the Annual Meeting, Pacific Northwest Political Science Association, Portland, OR, November 2004. I thank the editors and anonymous reviewers for their helpful comments and suggestions. Address correspondence to Patrick Impero Wilson, Department of Political Science, Department of Conservation Social Science, University of Idaho, PO Box 443165, Moscow, ID 83844-3165, USA. E-mail: pwilson@uidaho.edu Society and Natural Resources, 19:863–870 Copyright # ISSN: 0894-1920 print/1521-0723 online DOI: 10.1080/08941920600835635 863
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contention between the two levels of government. Second, how will state efforts to
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This note was uploaded on 03/11/2010 for the course PS 225 taught by Professor Pahre,r during the Fall '08 term at University of Illinois, Urbana Champaign.

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Wilson, Wolves - Society and Natural Resources, 19:863870...

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