September 26, 2020

Plan To Hand Management of Wolves Over to States

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U.S. Interior Secretary Gail Norton will announce plans today in Washington, D.C. to hand the management of the gray wolf over to the departments of natural resources in the states of Wisconsin, Minnesota and Michigan. All three states already have approved wolf management plans in place.

In the Great Lakes Region, the wolf population is estimated to be three times what scientists had establshed as the goal for achieving a stable and recovered population.

An attempt a few years ago to turn the management over to these states was shot down by two federal courts in Vermont and Oregon. The courts said that even though they believed the wolf population was good, the plan was too broad and didn’t adequately cover areas where the wolf is not well established.

The plans for each state vary but essentially the wolf will remain protected by the management plans although officially they will be removed from the federal endangered or threatened species act.

The plans will allow for wolves that are a problem with livestock, etc. to be killed. In some areas trapping and hunting seasons may be open depending on estimated populations.

The proposed plan could take a year or more before it becomes a reality depending upon whether animal rights groups protest the move and how long it gets tied up in the courts.

Tom Remington

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