The US Fish and Wildlife Service wants to completely remove federal protections of gray wolves. Agency leaders announced the proposal Friday. The move would turn over gray wolf management to states. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Director Dan Ashe says gray wolves have recovered dramatically over the past decade.
"To see a species rebound from a century-long campaign of human persecution to flourish on the landscape again, is something we're all extraordinarily lucky to witness in our lifetimes,” Ashe told reporters in a conference call.
Federal protections have already been removed for some states, including Idaho, and the eastern third of Oregon and Washington. Some conservation groups think the delisting is premature. They want protections extended so that wolves can expand beyond their current areas to places they used to inhabit. The federal proposal is subject to a 90-day public comment period before it's finalized.
On the web:
Gray wolf delisting proposal - US Fish and Wildlife Service