Chorus Grows for Wolf Delisting

Wolves roam in the wilderness on Thursday, February 11, 2010 near the Minnesota-Wisconsin border. (MPR Photo/Derek Montgomery)
Photo courtesy MPR Photo/Derek Montgomery

A growing chorus in favor of removal of the eastern gray wolf from the federal Endangered Species List could culminate in a lawsuit to force the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to turn management of the species over to state agencies.

As Minnesota Public Radio reports in a comprehensive story, HERE, despite a growing population of wolves and three attempts by the USFWS to de-list the species in Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Michigan, wolves still remain under federal control.

The more than 4,000 wolves that inhabit the three states — including some 3,000 in Minnesota alone — have prompted frustration for some that wolves still remain federally protected. Wolves are increasing blamed for killing cattle and pets, and, in an apparent backlash against the animals, a large number of wolves were shot illegally during the last hunting season.

In January, Ely, MN resident Gerald Tyler and Aitkin cattle farmer Dale Lueck filed a notice of intent to sue the USFWS in federal court to remove the animal from the Endangered Species List.

Eastern gray wolves were originally protected in 1974.  The USFWS has tried three times to remove the wolves from the list, only to be stymied by judges’ rulings on suits filed by environmental and animal rights organizations.

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