Saturday, April 27, 2013

Feds Preparing to Lift Gray Wolf Protections

Posted By on Sat, Apr 27, 2013 at 11:28 AM

Saying that the approximate 6,000 gray wolves now living in the Northern Rockies and Great Lakes regions are enough to prevent the species's disappearance from the continental United States, the U.S. Department of Interior is inching closer to lifting federal protections of the animals across the nation's Lower 48 states.

The Los Angeles Times reported Friday that a new rule is already under review by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service which, if approved, would cede federal authority over wolves to individual states, similar to Idaho's model.

"It ends up being a political question more than a biological one," wolf specialist John Vucetich told the Associated Press. "It's very unlikely the wolves will make it to places like the Dakotas and the Northeast unless the federal government provides some kind of leadership."

The Fish and Wildlife Service, in an emailed statement, wrote that "robust" populations of gray woves in the Northern Rockies and Great Lakes remain as evidence that the animals' recovery "is one of the world's great conservation successes."

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