Gray wolves in the western Great Lakes region are protected by federal law once more. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is publishing a rule Friday designating wolves in Michigan and Wisconsin as “endangered” and those in Minnesota as “threatened.”
Gray wolves in Wyoming and three Great Lakes states would lose court-ordered protection under legislation proposed in Congress, the latest offensive in a 12-year battle over whether the predator species is secure enough to allow hunting and trapping or should retain its federal shield.
Gov. Mark Dayton is consulting with his Department of Natural Resources chief on how the state should respond to a federal ruling that outlaws hunting of gray wolves.
A group of wolf experts disputes that gray wolves in Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan are endangered or that a judge’s ruling will help the population spread to other states. A federal judge in Washington on Friday threw out the Obama administration’s decision to remove gray wolves in the three states from the endangered list, a move that bans wolf hunting and trapping in the region.
A proposal to lift federal protections for gray wolves across most of the U.S. suffered a significant setback Friday as an independent review panel said the government is relying on unsettled science to make its case. Federal wildlife officials want to remove the animals from the endangered species list across the Lower 48 states, except for a small population in the Southwest. The five-member U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service peer review panel was tasked with reviewing the government’s claim that the Northeast and Midwest were home to a separate species, the eastern wolf.
Wildlife managers say Minnesota’s wolf population has fallen by about 700 animals over the past five years to around 2,200.
Federal wildlife officials have drafted plans to lift protections for gray wolves across the Lower 48 states, which would end a decades-long effort that has restored the animals but only in parts of their historic range.
A Minnesota man has been convicted of violating the Endangered Species Act and lying to a federal official in connection with the 2010 killing of two gray wolves — a threatened species at the time.
Wisconsin’s first organized wolf hunt has started with no kills reported. The Humane Society of the United States and The Fund for Animals have filed notice that they plan to sue to get the animal back on the endangered species list in the Great Lakes region.
An indictment from the U.S. Attorney’s Office claims two Minnesota men shot two endangered wolves and then lied to investigators about it.
After devoting four decades and tens of millions of dollars to saving the gray wolf, the federal government wants to get out of the wolf-protection business, leaving it to individual states — and the wolves themselves — to determine the future of the legendary predator.
There was plenty of support to remove gray wolves from the federal endangered species list from nearly 200 people who attended a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service meeting in Grand Rapids.
Western ranchers say they’re hopeful the removal of gray wolves from the federal endangered species list will make it easier to hunt the predators and stem losses of cattle and sheep.
The Obama administration on Wednesday announced it is lifting endangered species act protections for 5,500 gray wolves in eight states in the Northern Rockies and Great Lakes.
The federal government plans another attempt to remove gray wolves in the Great Lakes region from the endangered species list.
U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar wants the federal government to speed up the removal of gray wolves in Minnesota from the endangered list.