Effect of Trump Deregulation Will Last Regardless of Election Outcome

Regardless of whether President Trump wins reelection, his focus on deregulation will continue to improve daily life for many for years to come, often in places and ways that remain under the radar of the larger public. For example, the long overdue removal of the gray (timber) wolf from the Endangered Species List a few days ago, a significant issue for the rural economy, farmers and ranchers in a handful of states, including Minnesota.

While the timing of the announcement drew criticism from green activists due to the proximity of the election among other issues, it elicited an overwhelmingly favorable response from residents who face devastating wolf predation problems to their cattle and farms in upper Midwest battleground states.

The Associated Press acknowledged the positive political impact on the ground in those swing states.

Trump administration officials on Thursday stripped Endangered Species Act protections for gray wolves in most of the U.S., ending longstanding federal safeguards and putting states and tribes in charge of overseeing the predators.

The U.S. Department of Interior announcement just days ahead of the Nov. 3 election could lead to resumption of wolf hunts in Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin — a crucial battleground in the campaign between President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden.

It’s the latest in a series of administration actions on the environment that appeal to key blocs of rural voters in the race’s final days, including steps to allow more mining in Minnesota and logging in Alaska.

The usual suspects wasted no time in displaying their disconnect with locals who bear the brunt of their advocacy.

Minnesota Gov. Tim Waltz, who opposes recreational wolf hunting, called the decision disappointing and wildlife advocacy groups pledged to fight it in court.

Yet there’s no denying the recovery plan for the gray wolf has been wildly successful. It should stand a much better chance of holding up against activists determined to turn back the clock through litigation once again.

In an announcement attended by several dozen people at a national wildlife refuge overlooking the Minnesota River in the Minneapolis suburb of Bloomington, Interior Secretary David Bernhardt declared the gray wolf’s recovery “a milestone of success.”

“In the early part of the 20th century the gray wolf had essentially become a ghost throughout the United States,” Bernhardt said. “That is not the case today.”

In fact, Minnesota, Minnesota and Wisconsin had already collaborated on a regional protection plan before a federal court ended it in 2014.

Ashleigh Calaway of Pittsville, Wisconsin said 13 of her family farm’s sheep were killed by wolves in July of 2019. Reducing wolf numbers through state-sponsored hunts would help prevent such attacks, she said.

“It’s allowing them to be managed to a level to lower the risk to sheep and cattle,” Calaway said.

The administration’s delisting has done just that for years to come. It lays the groundwork for the states to pick up where they left off, including returning more local control to farmers and ranchers in dealing with wolf attacks on their livestock.