The flip flop of wolves on and off the Endangered Species List is continuing. Currently both the Western Great Lakes population and the Northern Rockies population are on the federal list, with full protection. But when the Great Lakes wolves were recently re-listed, several petitions were filed with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) asking that wolves be again taken off the list and managed by the states. These petitions have been found to have merit, according to USFWS. This decision means that more study of the situation is warranted, and then a final decision regarding delisting would be made.
According to USFWS, Tuesday’s decision, known as a 90-day finding, is based on scientific information about the species available in service files and provided in the petitions requesting delisting of the species. The finding does not mean that the Service has decided it is appropriate to remove ESA protection for wolves in these states. It means that the USFWS will be further investigating this issue, and the decision to re-list the wolf under the ESA is not yet confirmed.
Along with the departments of natural resources in Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan, other groups signed onto the petitions including: The Wisconsin Bear Hunters Association, the Dairyland Committee of Safari Club International Chapters of Wisconsin, National Wild Turkey Federation of Wisconsin, Whitetails of Wisconsin and Wisconsin Firearms Owners, Ranges, Clubs and Educators.
Environmental groups that oppose delisting the wolf include the Center for Biological Diversity, who is proposing that a national wolf conservation plan be created to ensure the prolonged presence of wolves across the U.S.
To read the actual documents and the press release for the USFWS decision, visit the USFWS web site.
YOU CAN HELP!
There will be a 60 day comment period. The public (that includes you!) may submit information regarding the Service’s status review of the gray wolf at the Federal eRulemaking Portal. In the box that reads “Enter Keyword or ID,” enter the Docket number for this finding, [FWS-R3-ES-2010-0062]. Check the box that reads “Open for Comment/Submission,” and then click the Search button. You should then see an icon that reads “Submit a Comment.” Please ensure that you have found the correct finding before submitting your comment.