BY JOEL CONNELLY, SEATTLEPI.COM
The U.S. House of Representatives voted late Wednesday to cut back the President’s authority to create National Monuments, targeting marine monuments of a kind that Presidents Obama and Bush have designated in the past decade.
The Republican-run House also voted to prohibit the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service from spending any money to “treat” the gray wolf as a threatened or endangered species in the “lower 48″ states.
The actions, likely to be blocked in the Senate, are part of a two-pronged assault that has targeted the 1906 Antiquities Act, under which Presidents create monuments, and the Nixon-era Endangered Species Act.
The amendment prohibiting the USFWS from spending money on wolf protection was sponsored by U.S. Rep. Dan Newhouse, R-Wash. It passed by a 223-201 vote.
Wolves began repopulating Washington in remote reaches of Okanogan County, which is in Newhouse’s district. The Lookout Pack was identified in 2008 in the Methow Valley. The pack survives, although poachers shot two wolves but were caught trying to ship still-bloody pelts to Canada.