The Oregon Legislature has approved a contentious bill that would uphold last year's decision to remove the gray wolf from the state's endangered species list. The measure intends to block an ongoing lawsuit filed by environmentalists.
House Bill 4040 cleared the Senate on Wednesday in a 17-11 vote, and now heads to Gov. Kate Brown, whose office has taken a neutral stance on the proposal.
The Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission delisted the species in November as part of its wolf management plan, and environmentalists sued, seeking to challenge the scientific merits of that decision through judicial review.
But by upholding the delisting decision in state law, the judicial review being sought in the lawsuit would likely be rendered moot, subsequently thwarting the case.