Wolves Off Endangered Species List, Again

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service de-lists most wolf populations in the Lower 48
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U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service de-lists most wolf populations in the Lower 48

U.S. Fish and Wildlife officials have decided once again to de-list the formerly endangered wolf in the states of Montana, Idaho, Utah, Michigan, Minnesota, and Wisconsin. Wyoming wolves will remain on the Endangered Species list, as the Fish and Wildlife Service claims that the cowboy state's wolf management plan is inadequate.

The change will get published in the federal register next week, and will take effect 30 days after that. Once the Obama administration takes office, they could reverse the decision, but Fish and Wildlife personnel maintain that it would be a mistake.

“We believe this is a major success story for conservation,” deputy secretary of the Interior Lynn Scarlett said Wednesday in a teleconference from Washington, D.C. “We’ve laid the groundwork for recovery to continue far into the future.”

“The bottom line is wolves are fully recovered, and they should be delisted,” (Federal gray wolf recovery coordinator Ed) Bangs said. “It’s the right time and the right thing to do.”

About 1,500 gray wolves live in the northern Rockies. Much larger populations exist in Alaska, but even there they inspire controversy—find out why in BACKPACKER's "Dogs of War" feature.

—Ted Alvarez

Fish and Wildlife Service to delist gray wolves (Missoulian)