Feds Again Propose Wolf Delisting

Federal officials will once again try to remove the gray wolf from protection under the Endangered Species Act, saying populations of the animal have recovered in Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Michigan.

Minnesota Public Radio has the story HERE.

Friday’s announcement by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service marked the fourth time the agency has attempted to remove gray wolves from the Endangered Species List. Court rulings have thwarted previous attempts to delist the animal which has enjoyed federal protections since 1974.

The proposal to lift protections will be published within the next two weeks, and will initiate a 60-day public comment period. Officials expect to finalize the delisting plan by the end of the year. Actions to remove protection of the animal began in 2000. The last attempt to do so was finalized in the spring of 2009, but the plan was later withdrawn in response to another legal challenge.

In the meantime, a lawsuit by two individuals was brought to force delisting of the animals. The State of Minnesota also petitioned the federal government for the removal of federal protection.

Surveys estimate the wolf population in Minnesota at 3,000 animals. Wisconsin and Michigan, together, are home to an estimated 1,200 additional animals.

Find more information on the USFWS web site, HERE.

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