U.S. wildlife officials announced Wednesday plans to remove the gray wolf from the endangered species list in the lower 48.  Acting Interior Secretary David Bernhardt said in Wednesday’s announcement the decision was based on gray wolves successfully recovering from widespread extermination last century.  Fish and Wildlife officials intend to publish the proposed rule in the Federal Register in the coming days, meaning details will be made available at that time.


The Gray Wolf received endangered species protections in 1975, when there were about 1,000 left, only in northern Minnesota.  Now more than 5,000 of the animals live in the contiguous U.S. with dozens of documented packs in Washington and Oregon.  If delisted, management of the wolves would be turned over to states and tribes.


“The best available science shows that the gray wolf has successfully recovered from the danger of extinction and no longer requires federal protection,” said Newhouse. “We can see in Washington state that the wolf population is growing quickly while being effectively managed by the Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife in the eastern third of the state. I applaud the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s for moving forward with a proposal to delist the wolf in the lower 48 states in order to return management to the states.”


Representative Dan Newhouse was an original cosponsor of H.R. 6784, the Manage Our Wolves Act, which the House passed on November 16, 2018.



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