U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has announced their intent to remove Endangered Species Act protections for gray wolves across the lower 48 states. The agency has begun a review of the status of the gray wolf and will publish a proposal by the end of the year if they decide to move forward with the delisting process.
Their rationale? Federal regulators say they’ve recovered and management can be handed over to the states, yet many states have expressed their interest in wolf hunting seasons once they resume control.
“Federal protections for wolves are essential to help the species recover and expand into still-suitable parts of its former range. The gray wolf has barely begun to recover or is absent from significant portions of its former range where substantial suitable habitat remains,” states Maggie Howell, Executive Director of the Wolf Conservation Center.
USFWS proposed delisting the species nationwide in 2013, but an independent scientific peer review of its plan determined that science did *not support* the delisting.
“The ESA let our country give wolves a second chance. With second chances so hard to come by, should we be willing to throw one away?”