TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) — The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said Friday it would try again to drop wolves in the western Great Lakes region from the federal endangered species list, although courts have overruled previous attempts.

About 4,200 wolves roam and forests and fields of Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, their numbers growing steadily since receiving government protection in the early 1970s.

“Wolves in the western Great Lakes have achieved recovery,” said Rowan Gould, acting director of the Fish and Wildlife Service.

The agency said it would take public comment for 60 days before making a final decision on its proposed rule.

Its action came one day after Congress voted to strip wolves of federal protections in five Northern Rockies states: Montana, Idaho, Washington state, Oregon and Utah.

The fish and wildlife service has proposed removing Great Lakes wolves from the endangered list four times since 2004 but has been thwarted by court rulings that sided with lawsuits filed by animal rights and environmental groups.

The agency tries in its newly proposed rule to objections raised by the courts, including making the case for identifying the Great Lakes wolves as a distinct population and calling for their removal from the endangered list at the same time, agency spokeswoman Georgia Parham said.

For the first time, the rule recognizes the existence of two species of wolves in the region: the gray wolf, which was the type listed under the Endangered Species Act, and the eastern wolf, which historically ranged in eastern Canada and the northeastern U.S. The proposal to remove federal protections applies to both.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Comments (20)
  1. Lost vote says:

    Amy Klobuchar has just lost another vote when her re-election comes in 2013.

  2. kevin says:

    It’s about time. The mn. population is twice the number that was suppose to remove them from the list.To PETA , elf’s and thte rest of you tree hugger’s start putting your money in the environment instead of lawyers pockets

    1. Tim says:

      Sen. Klobuchar won’t lose your vote because her re-election is in 2012.

  3. tom says:

    4000 wolves in three states? and thats reason to take them off? this creature of the great north woods(or used to be) will always be endangered by the greed and selfishness of the human race.

    1. Farmer Brown says:

      Well spoken from the comforts or urbania. Self preservation centuries ago was the impetus behind wolf eradication in developed areas. Eventually, the protection of domesticated animals required their extirpation.

      1. MARK says:

        Farmer Brown, you have a firm grasp on this problem 100 years ago. What about today? And how do you know where tom is posting from? Some kind of secret farmer superpower?

        1. Farmer Brown says:


          Let’s let Tom answer for himself. I am certain he is a big boy.

          Actually, the comment about protecting livestock is as pertinent today as it was 100 yrs ago. Perhaps even more than ever as your tax dollars pay for each animal that can be proven to have been lost due to wolf activity. 100 years ago, we, the farmer took the loss.

          Today wolves are posing a problem in that they have exceeded predetermined population thresholds that would deem a threat to the balance of nature, mainly cervids, and livestock. Given yesterday’s announcement that federal compensation for livestock losses due to wolf depredation are likely to be slashed, the feds must relinquish wolf control to the states. The states cannot afford these compensations. Therefore the states will open limited hunting to control the population.

          Ultimately the population of wolves will be lowered due to ecological and economic factors.

          1. MARK says:

            Farmer Brown, you make good points here. I don’t pretend to have all the facts about this issue, but what you’ve written here makes sense to me.

            My negative reaction to your first post was regarding the “comforts of urbania” addition. I object when people engage in ad hominem arguments with people they can’t possibly know.

            1. Farmer Brown says:

              You got me – my bad.

  4. KEVIN says:


    1. MARK says:

      That’s nature. Did you have a point? We should shoot more wolves so they don’t eat baby moose?

      1. Bill says:

        Yes. There are less moose in MN than wolves now. After disrupting the balance of nature through settlement, we are morally obligated to manage nature to levels commensurate to the era of pre-development.

  5. KEVIN says:


    1. MARK says:

      Kevin, you should start your own website and then you can post whatever asinine thoughts go through your brain. I’m sure you’ll get a lot of traffic there.

  6. Murph says:

    Now if some sane politicians would just put Grandma and Grandpa back on the endangered list.Many of us would sleep better! Never thought America could turn brutally agressive again’st the old folks.But I can see now Pawlenty is not alone in his greed feeding binge for the ultra rich on the meager assets of the elderly! At least the courts stepped in and lanced that ugly pimple on his butt with a ladies size nine pointy toe high heel! Suddenly he decided to fly away.Good riddence.He is LAST in the latest poll …again!!!!

  7. kevin says:

    yes Mark I do have a point . Shoot every wolf you see. Also look in a mirror and see the definition of asnine.

    1. MARK says:

      Zing! (you spelled it wrong)

      That’s a GREAT point, by the way. I’m sure you’ll have a lot of support with that.

  8. Mark Owens says:

    Cool Wolf pictures from Michigan and surrounding areas. Nice to see a comeback!

  9. Ola says:

    I hate Tree Huggers, they are droyesting the outdoors lifestyle. Wolves are pushing the elk up high, making them change their migration patterns. I personally think that areas where the elk are dwindling, take the wolves out of the area, and put them somewhere where the population for deer and elk are too high, or even better, make a General season for Wolves every year! Don’t put them on the endangered species list, ever! I read an article in a magazine saying in Alaska for every 1 dog there is 2 wolves. That is enough, they are thriving. I don’t believe they should be eradicated from MT and WY, but I do believe they should be hunted. I guarantee that sometime soon we will here of a PACK of wolves killing a person. Put a General season on them and everyone will be happy, and let people also buy up to 2 Wolf tags. This solves everything. There may be a few flaws with this, but there is a flaw in every rule.

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