Gray Wolves Likely to Lose Protection
Draft rule by Interior Department would take them off endangered list
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Apr 26, 2013 4:26 PM CDT
This undated photo provided by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service shows a gray wolf.   (Anonymous)

(Newser) – Federal wildlife officials have drafted plans to lift protections for gray wolves across the Lower 48 states, a move that could end a decades-long recovery effort that has restored the animals, but only in parts of their historic range. The draft rule by the Department of Interior contends that the roughly 6,000 wolves now living in the Northern Rockies and Great Lakes are enough to prevent the species' extinction. The agency says having gray wolves elsewhere—such as the West Coast, parts of New England, and elsewhere in the Rockies—is unnecessary for their long-term survival.

The loss of federal protections would be welcomed by ranchers and others in the agriculture industry, whose stock at times become prey for hungry wolf packs. Yet wildlife advocates say the proposal threatens to cut short the gray wolf's dramatic recovery from widespread extermination. The Fish and Wildlife Service said the rule was under review and would be published in the Federal Register and opened to public comment before a final decision is made. It would transfer control of wolves to state wildlife agencies by removing them from the federal list of endangered species. The government has been considering such a move since at least 2011.

Copyright 2016 Newser, LLC. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. AP contributed to this report.

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Showing 3 of 45 comments
kati
Apr 28, 2013 6:24 AM CDT
OK, let them go extinct, one less animal to exploit, abuse and murder.
YankeeJane
Apr 27, 2013 8:41 PM CDT
Stupid nitwits in the Interior Dept. and the rest of the Government agencies. Perhaps we lift protections on politians? See how they like it!
Plato
Apr 27, 2013 7:06 PM CDT
Hey Brush, there is no problem controlling the elk population. Just adjust the length of elk season and the limit taken as needed. By the way, do you sell fuller brushes for a living ?